anxiety, believe, depression, santa, Uncategorized

Joyful Jill…

JOYA good friend’s daughter I call “Lovely Leah” nicknamed me “Joyful Jill” or just “Joyful” for short. That got me thinking….and realizing: I am Joyful. Finally. My last blog post I was in a bad place…winter blues aka SAD, overwhelmed with my “Holiday TO DO List”, and just plain old bitchy. I did call my Dr….she changed my medicine and now after a few days…I am back! I feel like myself again.

My friends, co-workers and family: It’s ok!! I am BACK! Thank you for your love, lifesaver books, kind words and being YOU!

My hubby is a saint….not to mentioned relieved that I am “back”. He would lovingly pick up the slack, let me sulk and sleep, and walk with the utmost quietness on all those egg shells around me…like avoiding a land mine. My kids are happy to see me smile and have fun. And good old Gracie (that ever loved Elf on the Shelf) has been moved by my girls 🙂

While I had that I need an anxiety medicine to make me feel “normal”, I realize that I do NEED it. I will not feel bad about that. Instead I will swallow that little (actually horse size) capsule with a big old glass of water and enjoy life. Enjoy family. Enjoy this, the most wonderful time of the year – oh and if you feel or hear the biggest let down sigh tomorrow morning – don’t worry, it’s just my children being pissed that they did NOT get an iphone for Christmas! However they did get some nice things they NEEDED not necessarily WANTED. Someday when the self centered teen years are behind them…they too will realize that is not what Christmas is all about! In the words of The Grinch (also my former personality):

“Maybe Christmas he thought doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more”

I wish you all a Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus…..and a wonderful HAPPY New Year!

Adoption, birth mom, depression, family, mom, Uncategorized

The Playbook…

playbook

There are playbooks for all sports, directions for electronics, assembly instructions for put together furniture and even instructions on how to use shampoo.  During my journey with being a birth mother and an adoptive mom I have seen so many books and articles about how to adopt, what to tell your kids, reunion stories etc.  But when you reunite with a birth child after 22 years of placing him for adoption…then what? Where is the playbook? When I first found him we stumbled our way through the words and emotions of it all. Took it one day at a time…slowly and steadily. Now 4 years later we – me, my husband, daughters and him – have a wonderful relationship that keeps on growing. He has met the rest of my family just a handful of times – which seems so strange because we all live so close and are so close.   So why is it so hard to cross the line and bring the rest of them on in? Is it they don’t want to? Not sure how to? Not sure how to feel? What the “relationship” will be – such an unfamiliar territory. My sister said you can’t just Google “Reuniting with a birth son while he meets his sisters that were adopted from Korea and the rest of the clan”. There is NO PLAYBOOK.

I am learning so many things through all of this. I know how I feel through all of this – but how does the other family feel? The REAL family – the one that raised him.  I truly believe that every person’s life is one big jigsaw puzzle. At times we feel complete and at times we feel a part of something is missing. That missing piece could be the loss of a family member, a wrong spouse, a bad job – whatever – but sometimes it is a person, a person that they have never met. I believe that people who were adopted (most people) it is a curiosity thing… wondering what the missing link is. What does the other part of the DNA look like, act like – etc. I do not believe that is a lack of love from the adoptive family – or that there is something wrong. I believe it is a natural curiosity. As an adoptive mom I look forward to taking the journey with my children if they want to find their birth families. But I also realize I have half a world between her and us. I find security in that. My daughter who is 11 thinks about her birth mom a lot and often we talk about it. I don’t ever doubt that I AM her real mom…but I also know the wondering because as a birth mom, I have always wondered about my son. It doesn’t mean I love my daughters any less or they don’t complete me – but my birth son has always been in my heart. I know that I am my girls mom.period. But I do know they have a whole heritage and birth family a world away that they must wonder about – especially as they get older.

I think about Mike – how does he feel? I know he loves Joshua and has welcomed him always into our family. He stood by me when I would be sad on his birthday and wonder about him. He held me when I would cry at night after I found him on Facebook and all I could say was “This is so big – so emotional”. There were no words to describe how wide open my heart became – but he got it and would just hold me and love me. Yet I was the one who couldn’t give us belly babies.

My close girlfriends have been by my side through every step of this journey – encouraging me, supporting me, listening to me talk about things and share the excitement of it all. They always ask about him and how he is doing. These woman have supported me every step and have helped me sort out feelings with love, laughter and occasional glass of wine!

So why is it so hard for those closest to me?? There are no defined roles, feelings or rules. It is fly by the seat of your pants and hope that it all turns out okay. I have had 4 years of feelings building up and finally felt they came free today. It was a hard conversation to have…but one that never had taken place. All in all I think it was a good thing. I feel like I can move forward and have two special worlds mesh together with a common ground, me.

Life can be so difficult and hard sometimes. I realize communication is key. I can’t assume how people feel or think. There are paths we go down in our lives that come with no playbooks. We learn as we go and we become stronger because of it.

anxiety, anxiety in kids, depression, mom, Uncategorized

Evil Twin…

Image I have an evil twin. She looks just like me, talks just like me, has same mannerisms as I do and most people are fooled that it is me. I don’t like my evil twin. She comes in out of nowhere – usually in the winter. She comes in and yanks the rug out from under me in a slow unnoticeable way. She makes me feel so tired and always craving sleep. She takes my creativity and stomps on it til its dead. She takes my energy and tosses it out the window like a dead limp cat. She swats away my patience and self esteem with the ease of shooing away a pesky mosquito. She takes my love and thoughtfulness towards my family and turns it into annoyance and dislike. She makes me want to eat and drink away my feelings, so yes I blame her for weight gain. She turns me into a no good,lazy, helpless, worthless pile of sadness. She makes me just get thru the day just barely and sends me to bed early, crabby and spent. She takes a day full of possibilities and opportunities and turns it into a day I just need to get through. She makes me grind my teeth at night, toss and turn and get bad sleep. She puts me into hiding and gives me the “poor me” syndrome. She keeps me away from my friends. This evil twin has a two names;  Anxiety and Depression. She is always with me – but in winter she is the annoying guest that never leaves. When you take the depression checklist quiz at the doctor and check most of “severe” column, it makes you think…maybe there is a reason I am feeling this way. I know we as a nation think people are over medicated blah blah blah. But I AM on medicine now and this is the best I have felt in a long time. I have the spring in my step back, my creativity is bursting at the seams, I have joy again. I am fun with my children and husband again. I embrace each day happily instead of dreading it and wondering how may hours til I can go home and nap…then when can I go to bed? I no longer have thoughts of not being good enough. I no longer want to say :screw you!” to anyone that crosses my path or upsets me. I am happy to see my kids and hear about their day. I feel happy when my husband comes home from work instead of dreading it because it meant I had to have an idea of what to make for dinner. Each day flows smoothly and the bumps that come get worked thru instead of being coated over with food or wine. I never really knew how anxious about things I was until I wasn’t. I didn’t realize what a depressive funk I was in until I wasn’t. To always feel exhausted, overwhelmed and anxious on a normal day isn’t right. I shouldn’t have to breakdown because I need to unload the dishwasher. Yes, we do have days in our lives that can be tiring and overwhelming…that is not depression/anxiety. Anxiety is when you worry all the time about things you would normally not be so consumed with, worrying all night if your teenager will have a successful day at middle school or worry that you aren’t taking care of your family….then throw in the depression piece and all those things you still worry about, but you don’t care. All you care about is being left alone to sulk and sleep. The house is a mess, dinners are less than thrilling and your family annoys you. It is not fun having this evil twin – but my medicine gives her a one way ticket out of here. It feels good having her gone. ADIOS! And don’t let the door hit you in the ass!