Tuesday, November 24, 2015
SENTIMENTALITY AND THE HOLIDAY SEASON
I get pretty sentimental this time of year. Not because of all the hoopla of the holidays themselves, but because everyone is discussing family and getting together.
I remember many years dreading the holiday season. I was childless and yearning for a family. I was reluctant to go anywhere where there might be children, especially babies. It was just a reminder of how I was still waiting. I avoided the shopping mall and holiday parties. I created a support system for any events I would have to attend. Close family and friends knew what I was feeling. They would my “out”, if I needed an emotional escape route and or a defense against probing questions about having kids.
Even now, with 2 daughters, I will never forget those tough times. I think about all the women and men hoping to welcome a child into their lives but who are still waiting and wondering if adoption will be successful. I wish I could take away that worry and reassure them that one day they will be parents.
What I can tell them is that I had many days when I wondered if my dream of being a mother would come true. If I would know the joy of cuddling an infant, building a block tower with a toddler, playing catch with a pre-schooler, arranging playdates for an elementary school child, helping a teen become self-confident and a young adult to be independent. Would I have a child to see through all of those stages of development? Would I be a competent and successful parent?
I brought my first daughter home two days before Thanksgiving and introduced her to the extended family at the Thanksgiving gathering. They fell in love with her immediately and were thrilled for me. They had questions and I did my best to answer them without revealing her specific history. We spoke more about the adoption process and her routine so far, like how often she ate and how long she slept between bottles.
Being there with her seemed surreal. I had wished for so long and now it was true. I was a mom.
As Thanksgiving and the coming holidays approach, I think a lot about those early days of becoming a mom. Of the fears it would never happen. I think of finally attending all those family events and going to holiday parties I avoided in the past. I remember trying to stay awake New Year’s Eve to celebrate. But, as many new mothers know, I couldn’t do it with a new baby in the home. My eyes closed around 10 PM.
It’s 28 years ago that I celebrated becoming a mom. And 24 ½ years since I did it again. I love my daughters with all my heart. I love my family for welcoming them into the Brodsky clan. There were 6 cousins close in age - my 2 girls and 4 boys. They played together when schedules permitted. I love my extended family for never treating my kids differently. For asking what they wanted to know and accepting what they were told.
Adoption still brings a happy tear to my eyes. It involves parents by nature and nurture. If you are waiting, it will happen, when the time is right. It made me a mom and so many others mothers and fathers. The right child will find you. If you are waiting, it will happen, when the time is right. If you are waiting, it will happen, when the time is right.
Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. She has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled adoptive parents and parents-to-be, and has trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program from March 1992 to March 2015. She is Head Writer for Adoption.net, member of the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood and has a private practice in New York City. She was a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption Series and named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001. Follow or reach her at ADOPTION MAVEN BLOG or EMAIL.