French Fries With a Side of Flirtation

Today’s after church lunch at Culver’s, a fairly regular event, was quite amusing – to us and those observing us.  For some reason Shannie often cries when we arrive somewhere other than home until she settles in and decides to stop – generally 5 – 10 min. tops.  Today she was pushing 10 minutes, but finally settled.  That wasn’t the amusing part.

First Ella, Jacob, Christian, Callie and Jacob thought they’d sit at one of the high tables.  So, we grabbed two of them next to each other.  All this time Shannie is crying and people are staring.  Then Callie decided she didn’t want a high table and I convinced her to wait to move after her dad returned from the rest room.  Then we moved and Ella, Jacob and Christian stayed put.  Thankfully before our food arrived Shannie settled in and stopped crying and the staring became less obvious and more furtive, my preferred type of observation.

When the food came everyone settled in some and all was calm.  Pretty soon I noticed Christian was grinning ear to ear and glancing over to the counter gesturing and nodding his head.  Pretty soon he was leaning back with his hands behind his head and adjusting his shirt.  Jacob comes over giggling about how he’s trying to impress some girl.  Christian kept saying, “What? What?”  like – it’s all good, nothing going on here.  We all got the giggles and Ella was rolling her eyes and moving away from him.  It just became hilarious.  I don’t know if the girl said “hi” – she certainly didn’t approach him in any way.

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I teased him a bit about it in the van and when he got home he told Jacob she was his girlfriend.  I’m pretty sure that’d be news to her and he didn’t seem to know her name, so that makes it kinda tricky I’m thinking.  It was so funny to watch him attempt to impress her with his somewhat limited flirting skills.  Gotta admit – Christian had more game than a lot of 14 yr. old boys who’d never have the confidence to even look in a pretty girl’s direction.  She may not have given him the time of day, but he still enjoyed every second of the experience.

Second Best – And I’m Good With That

I love all my children and am so proud to be their mother and can’t imagine my life without them.  I have, however, decided that I am second best and I’m good with that.

In a perfect world, and this world ain’t that, my adopted children would have been born to healthy families who had planned for them, excitedly awaiting their arrival, loved and adored them, were old enough, had enough money and resources and had extended family and a support system that were anxious to help in any way they could.  In a perfect world.

In this perfect world there would be no attachment issues or great loss to be suffered.  All children would share the same biology and family history with their parents.

I know this will be offensive to some adoptive parents.  As adoptive parents we’re used to hearing how “lucky” our kids are to have us.  What a ridiculous notion.  If our kids were “lucky” they wouldn’t have been born into situations or with health conditions that didn’t require a different set of skills then their first parents could provide.  Some of those parents simple knew they couldn’t provide, but in some of our kid’s situations their very lives were in danger because of their first parents.  This is not the norm for birth parents, but it is sometimes true.

I also know many people have grown up in bio families that suffer great pain inflicted physically and emotionally by their parents and there may be kids or adults who wish they’d been adopted. They likely fantasize about perfect adoptive parents just like adopted kids fantasize about their perfect first parents.  Sometimes life is just all messed up.

I had a psychologist once tell me that when my son screamed at me, “You’re not the mom I wanted” I should say something like, “You’re not the boy I expected either”.  Personally, I could never say that – possibly truthful, but it seemed pretty hurtful too.  The reality is, in his own way he’s right.  The mom he wanted at that moment is a mom that, sadly, doesn’t exist.

I know if this world wasn’t so broken this choice wouldn’t have been necessary in the first place.

So, yes in the grand scheme of things I may be second best, but I’m also the best mom they have.  I’m not the best mom period, but the best one they have.