I recently had a visit with my daughter and her parents. After the visit was over, Nick made a comment about looking forward to a time when Mack can carry on an actual conversation instead of spouting random words and phrases. I agreed that it will be fun, but I also appreciated the moments we shared with her as they were – rambling and all.
Though I’ve never parented a child, I’ve been involved in childcare for many years. I was a nanny for twin infant boys before I graduated high school, and my first jobs after high school were long term nanny positions. Childcare, as in parenting, is helping those children reach their full potential, or in other words, to grow. Therefore, it’s easy to concentrate on the next milestones or the next steps to reach those milestones. It’s harder to treasure every moment.
However, as a birthmom, I’ve had the opposite experience. I’m not involved in the day-to-day parenting tasks. I’m not involved in raising Mack nor am I helping her reach her full potential. I see the milestones she reaches through her parents’ eyes. So when I get to experience the person she’s becoming in pictures, antidotes shared through letters and emails, and our visits, I can easily treasure each moment.
Treasuring the moments as you see them has a benefit too. It’s easy to get caught up in the bittersweet. It’s easy to look at a moment or a milestone, appreciate it, but then wonder what else you’re missing. I’m sure all of us are familiar with that. But if we work on concentrating on each and every moment, some of the bittersweet disappears. It will never completely disappear. The terms bittersweet and birthmom tend to be synonymous with one another.
Those of you who either know me in person or have been following my blogs for any time realize that I try to look on the positive side of things – to find the silver lining, so to speak. I think that focusing on the small stuff, the stuff that can get easily overlooked when looking forward to something else, is a great way to look on the positive side.
In closing I urge you to do the same thing in your own adoptions. Not only will it give you a new appreciation for the wonder of your child, but focusing on the moment will have greater repercussions for your attitude surrounding adoption as a whole.