The REAL Deal

The REAL Deal
Here you will find the chronicals of the Crazy Crook Crew...enjoy:)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Adoption illiterate

Today I had a new experience...new doesn't mean good.  As an adoptive mama, I've heard a lot of ignorant comments/ questions over the years.  Usually I use those moments as opportunities to educate. Sometimes though, the words that come my way are so absurd...I am speechless...truth.  A few years ago, I was at one of my husbands cross country meets (he's a coach) and a parent asked me if all of our kids were ours.  When I said "yes", he replied with "Wow!  You guys have a broad gene pool!".  Now that's funny.  And typically, even if I'm annoyed in the moment, I can laugh later and feel good about my part in educating the "adoption illiterate" community.  Today...however...was not one of those days. I'm still in shock honestly.
I was outside with my family...kids were playing, and I was holding the ladder my husband was standing on while he cleaned a tree out of our gutter.  Some neighbors were walking by with their dog and stopped to check on us.  We were talking gutters and then out of nowhere the husband points at our youngest and says "Adopted?"  That's it.  "Adopted?"  One word in the form of a question.  My three children were all standing there petting their dog.  I looked at my husband...we both had the same "Is this guy serious?" look on our faces.  I gave Mr. H an awkward look and then replied with "Actually all of our children are adopted."  In the kindest voice I could muster.  I think his wife could sense the tension because she was quick to let us know that their three grand children were adopted too.  Then he said it.  The words "I know I shouldn't...but I'm gonna ask it anyway.  How much did each of em' cost?" came out of his mouth.  I. Was. Shocked.  I could feel the blood in my face getting hot.  I said "Yes you probably shouldn't ask people that question."  And his wife walked away with the dog.  I'm pretty sure she understood what was happening and was helping by getting the kids to a safe zone.  But Mr. H didn't stop there...he proceeded to tell me how much each of his grand children "cost".  To be exact, he said "those kids cost $xx a pop".  I walked away.  I went in my house and started sobbing.  I could not believe what just happened...those words...my children...heard them.  I was mad.  As I cried I got more mad and knew I couldn't sit on it.  So I marched back outside and my kids were still petting the dog, my husband was talking to Mr. H...so I walked up to his wife, put my hands on her shoulders, and through my tears told her that what he said was hurtful and inappropriate and to please ask him to never say that to anyone again.  Then I walked back inside.  She was kind and I believe she understood me.  JT came in to check on me after they left and he was dumbfounded.  Whether or not Mr. H "meant" anything by his horrible words, he was utterly rude.  Tactless.  It's rude to ask how much someone's home cost.  Who in the right mind walks into someone's driveway and asks about adoption expenses.  Oh wait...he didn't ask about adoption expenses...he asked how much my kids cost!  In front of them.  Like they are objects.  And what if our kids didn't know they were adopted?  They obviously do and that is a whole other blog but what if we were the crazy parents that didn't tell?  Mr H. Just blew our cover.  There are just so many things wrong with the words that were spoken in my driveway tonight.  I can't wrap my mind around that kind of stupid.  This made all the people who have asked me "do you think you'll ever have any of your own?" right in front of my OWN children seem like...uh...never mind, that burns me up too.  Here's the thing...an AI (adoption illiterate) can say whatever they think they need to, to me.  I will likely make them feel uncomfortable with my answer...and through that avenue, ensure that those particular words are erased from their repertoire. But...when an AI says those things in front of my kids...that does something to my mom heart.  I'm defensive and protective.  And I do not want to explain those kind of words to my 3, 4, and 5 year olds. No one has the right to make my children feel like they do not belong in this family or feel like an object that has been purchased.  I will destroy that notion in their presence.  Next time I'm going to do better.  Now I know what this feels like and I'll be better prepared.  I apologize for the tone of this blog, this isn't my style.  Still hurt, frustrated, furious.  I just hope this one reaches a few AI's out there.  Some words hurt, some words make me boil...literally...I think my blood was boiling.  My ears have never been so hot.  All it takes is a little thought before the words flow out.  I sure hope Mr. H is the last of his kind..because seriously.

~Crazy about my children,
Mama Crook

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

She loved it! I survived:)

I am an emotionally inspired blogger...so today...I blog:)


We made it!  Jayde had a fabulous first day of kindergarten and my tear ducts are still in tact!  I am sooooo proud of her:)  She was made to be a student...I realized this when she was reading sight words at 19 months.  She's been showing off since she rocked our world and I adore her for it:)  Today wasn't as "natural" for me...but I got through it.

The days leading up to this one were way worse.  I was too busy this morning to turn into mommy mush.  But I know my anxiety is still there by the way I take deep, uncontrolled, random breaths every couple minutes.  And my chest feels weird.  This used to happen every time we would have a court hearing for the kids.  I know the feeling well.  I don't think I'm "sad" that my daughter is in kindergarten...I'm struggling because I feel like a chapter in my life is closing.  And it was my favorite chapter.  I've been at home with my little loves for 4 years...almost exactly...and loved every stage and season.   It was a distant dream once upon a time...and I got to live it.  It was amazing.  Wait...it still is...I still get to be home with my boys:)  Although Chandler will soon be starting preK two days a week and I'll be doing preschool at home with Rowan.  It seems like yesterday I was doing preschool at home with Jayde...

Why does time have to go SO fast?  It went so much slower during our pre kid era.  I was warned this would happen.

Other than the beginning of a life altering new phase...today couldn't have gone better.  Well...there was this one thing...I must have misunderstood snack time.  Jayde and I had fun creating a "snack chart" and shopping for the different items she would bring each day.  Today she had carrots and dip, yummy gummies, and a super special surprise love note from me in her lunch bag.  Then the entire class had goldfish...provided by...I'm not sure who.  She didn't even get to unzip her bag.  This made me sad...but I'll be okay.  Jayde loved every detail about her day...including a "Mrs. Wiggins".  I asked her who that was and she said "no one...I just really like that name.  I wish someone at school had it."  This reassured me that she is still just five...not actually heading to college:)
My boys...they have this weird ability to become playmate perfection when it's just the two of them.  I do not complain.  I caught Chandler being big and helpful...which was lovely.  At one point in the morning, Rowan was crying about something and Chandler was singing to him "I like you, I like you, I like you, Just the way you are".  Those of you who tune into 'Daniel Tiger' on a regular basis know this song I speak of:)  After his serenade he said "You like that song Rowan?  Does it make you happy?" Melt my stinkin heart.  My blonde had all the right words to get me through this day...1/2 day that is:) And can I just take a moment to say...Praise the Lord for 1/2 day kindergarten!  I'll tell you what...those programs are few and far between and I'm not taking the blessing for granted!  We may have to revisit the topic at the end of this semester though...there's a chance my 'too smart for school 5 year old' resents me for choosing the 1/2 day option. Time will tell.
I know this post just needs a violin in the background...I'm a sap and I don't care.  But the truth is I have so much to be thankful for...there are so many blessings...details that have fallen exactly into place. From a perfectly timed home sale, to low mortgage interest rates, to a beautiful new neighborhood, to fast forming friendships, to a school we fell in love with the moment we first took a tour, to a grant that allowed us to send our daughter there, to a curriculum that includes our Creator and His perfect text book.  I am trying to meditate on all these things...these dreams...prayers that God said "yes" to and timed so precisely.  And with His help, I'll kick this anxiety issue that rules minutes of my every day.  I read a blog back in May...around Mother's day. It's a letter to adoptive moms...and I love this part...
"Maybe you prayed for it. Maybe you had to convince a partner it was the right thing. Maybe you did it alone. Maybe people told you to just be happy with what you had before. Maybe someone told you it simply wasn’t in God’s plans for you to have a child, this child whose hair you now brush lightly from his face. Maybe someone warned you about what happened to their cousin’s neighbor’s friend. Maybe you ignored them.
Maybe you planned for it for years. Maybe an opportunity dropped into your lap. Maybe you depleted your life-savings for it. Maybe it was not your first choice. But maybe it was.
Regardless, I know you. And I see how you hold on so tight. Sometimes too tight. Because that’s what we do, isn’t it?"
That last line resonated with me in a big way.  She gets it.
Here is the link if you want to read the whole letter...it's a great read:)


Thanks for checking in today...I know I've been an erratic blogger this last year or so.  But for reals...this mama is BUSY:)  Don't fret...once all my children are grown and in school for the rest of their lives, I'll have plenty of time to write.  Maybe I'll start on a book...or maybe I'll get a job as a full time aid at their school.  That sounds nice:)


The kisser of a kindergartener,
Crazy Mama Crook