Sunday, May 15, 2011

the details of Vladi

It will be a month this week that my little Vladi came home forever. And we are learning so many details about him. Honestly, who he is and some of the things he does just blow me away. Things like he has dance moves that are so exuberant and fun that Josh and I just smile and laugh over and over. Or that he will come into the room and see me and put his arms out and run to me to be hugged. Or that he is always trying to help Syrus -- help him up the stairs or with his shoes or stopping Syrus from getting into some sort of mischief. Or that he loves to take a bath -- not surprising considering how much he loves to clean! Or how he is using sign language like a pro -- I only have to show him a sign a couple of times and he will use it regularly after that. He is so smart! Or how about that he cleans up after lunch by pushing in all the chairs and putting things in the trash. I mean, seriously? And he snuggles in bed with me every morning for about 30 to 45 minutes. Really?!

How did I get so outrageously blessed to have this hilarious and sensitive and helpful little treasure as my son?

Sure he still cries but it is nothing like two weeks ago. The crying has slowly begun to dissipate as he has begun to understand that he can trust and he can love. He can get kisses and give hugs. He can be comforted and snuggled. He can be celebrated and encouraged. Sure he still doesn't want to go to bed at night, but he does fall asleep so much quicker and in a bed next to ours so he can always check and see if we are there. Sure he is starting to test the boundaries, but it is because he is starting to feel a confidence that he didn't have before.

And all of this in only a month. I have learned so much about Vlad in just a month.

I can't help but stand in wonder at how blessed I am that God's crazy plan allowed ME to be this little guy's mom. But I also can't help but think about his birth mom. She really missed out on having this boy in her life every day as her son. I mean he is something else. And I want her to KNOW. To know him. To know the details of who he is. To share all the victories big and small; all the first words and steps; all the wild and crazy dance moves; all the hopes and dreams that I have for this little boy that I'm sure she must have too but doesn't get to participate in every day for forever. I want her to be a part of the daily spilling out of who this boy is. Does that sound crazy? I have this desire to share it with her -- to share Vlad with her. I just think she should know how delightful her son, my son, OUR son is.

I think I'm going to start writing her letters, a journal maybe, where I write to her and share about the details of Vlad -- not sure that she will ever see it -- maybe it is more for me because I've never understood how to negotiate the whole birth mother/adopted mother concept. Maybe it's because I watched my dad cry quietly every time someone on a talk show was reunited with a birth mother, longing to know who his own birth mother was and overwhelmed by the desire for her to know him. Maybe it's because I feel somehow guilty that I have the privilege to be the mom to this sweet, sweet boy and she doesn't.

Every day I am slowly discovering the details of Vlad and how those little quirks and smiles and moments and tears and dance moves and hugs enter into my heart and make me his mom more and more each day. And I don't want her to become less his mom as I become more his mom. I want her to take the journey too. To take it with me as two women who anticipated little Vlad's arrival into their families and loved him in a way that could not be described or articulated. Even if it is only ever a journey on paper -- letters, if you will, from one mother to another mother. Of the same boy. Hmmmm....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Better than I think

I know, I know. I'm sorry. I have been horrible at updating the blog. It's already been two weeks! Let me see what I can do to give you a taste of how life has changed in the Burick household.

To be honest, I am overwhelmed. Good overwhelmed and bad overwhelmed.

There are times when I am so relieved that Vlad is home with us and I love being a mom of two boys -- those moments where Vlad seems to be showing off because he is adjusting so well. Like when he went to the nursery on Easter Sunday with Syrus and it didn't phase him at all. Or the times he dances with Syrus when American Idol is on TV. Or when he helps me clean up after a meal by pushing in the chairs and lining up the sippy cups on the table. The moments when he snuggles with me for about an hour in the morning when he wakes up. Or when he points to me when I ask, "where is mama?" These are the moments of good overwhelmed.

Then there are days like today when I can't seem to figure out how to get him to stop crying. I take his temperature, I hold him, I change him, I get him a drink, I feed him, I try to play with him, and nothing works. There are the times when Syrus starts to cry, and pushes Vlad off of me in an effort to still be important and Vlad slides down at my feet and begins to whimper, while I try to see him over my huge belly. Or the moments when I am standing, nine months pregnant, with nothing on but a towel, and Vlad is screaming and Syrus is crying, and all I can do is cry too because I'm not sure how I'm going to get dressed and get them lunch and down for a nap before I have to be at work in an hour. Or the moments I've convinced myself I must be going into labor because why else would this be so difficult. These are the moments of bad overwhelmed.

And I wrestle with a million questions about this little boy who I don't know as well as I know Syrus. See, with Syrus, I know all the different cries -- which ones mean I am afraid or injured and which ones mean I am two years old and want my own way. I don't know those with Vlad yet. So, when Vlad cries, the questions come. Is he afraid I am going to leave him? Is he testing me to see if I'll really always be there? Has he somehow contracted an awful fatal disease in the last few minutes? Is he just being a toddler boy and trying to figure out what he can get away with? Does he hate me because I turned his life upside down? Am I just horrible at being a mom to more than one child? Did my water just break?

Ugh. I hate the questions. I want the answers. I want the key to unlock this little boy so I know why he cries when he cries. I want to know why one night he slept in his crib in the room he shares with Syrus and now he panics if I try to put him in there. I want to understand why I can leave for work with no tears from him but if I leave the room and he can still see me, he slides down the wall, sucks his thumb and whimpers. I want to know how he can possibly learn how to use sign language so quickly -- really it is amazing how fast he picks up on everything! I want to know why yesterday at the doctor, Syrus measured two inches taller than Vlad and Vlad is a year and a half older than Syrus. And the list goes on and on. So many questions. I just want the answers.

And as I sit and write this, partly feeling guilty for being honest about how there has been BOTH beauty and stress since Vlad came home, I am as usual reminded that the essence of my stress comes from my desire to know the answers to questions that I'm sure God often has about me.

Me. The one who God must constantly shake his head at and wonder why is she crying about that?
Me. The one who makes one decision one day and turns around and does the opposite thing the next day.
Me. The one who trusts God in this big moment but freaks out in that little one.

Me. Unpredictable, stressful, crying, questioning, messy me.

Hmmmm..... Maybe I know Vlad better than I think. :)