The adoption process is a strange one. It takes you into parts of yourself that you didn't realise were there both in positive and negative ways. It really is a rollercoaster of a ride and it takes an enormous amount of energy. I've had two conversations recently about the energy required for the adoption process. Prior to meeting your new child for the first time there are a ridiculous amount of things to organise in a very short time. It can feel quite overwhelming. You might wonder if it's normal to feel so stressed and tired and emotional and also emotionally flat. The build-up to introductions is a tough time for many adopters. There is the excitement of a possibly long-awaited child but there are also worries about the feelings you may (or not yet) have for your future child. I don't think there is a right way or a wrong way to feel. I felt differently with both adoptions. With Katie I was more apprehensive prior to meeting her but I had no doubts from Matching Panel onwards but with Pip I worried more about the change in dynamic with Katie and I worried a lot about whether having an extra child would be right for her. After an initial excitement of being matched and feeling lots of bonding, I felt quite flat for several weeks building up to meeting Pip. That feeling continued throughout our introductions and I felt a bit like a fish out of water. In hindsight I think it was just anxiety about everything that was getting in the way but at the time I was worried about whether this was all right.
If I'm honest, I've felt so tired since we first met Pip and his homecoming that I've not really felt particularly inspired to do very much at all. We've still not joined any baby groups, although that is about to change because I'm feeling more ready now. I've not wanted to spend lots of time with other people. I've just wanted to be at home, finding out about my son. People don't always realise how long it takes to build a bond with a child, as opposed to a newborn which is very gradual and very needs led. They may not realise how exhausted new adoptive parents are or wonder why they are so tired particularly if the child sleeps well. They may wonder why the new parents don't have time to do housework and may not understand that the reason is that it takes huge amounts of time and energy to build those bonds between parent and child. Hours upon hours of intensive bonding time is required usually through play. It's not forced though, it is very natural but your child takes up all of your time and energy and there is little time for other things. It is such an important time for everyone involved, parents and child.
I suddenly became aware about a month ago of how much I love Pip. It was a gradual deepening of a bond between us throughout the past 4 months. I noticed he started to cuddle me more and he's certainly demonstrating his attachment to me by not wanting me to be away from him. Positive steps for both of us I think. I find him fascinating and very funny. I am feeling more confident with him and his routine and feel ready to step outside the house and reintegrate myself again.
One of the things I'm currently enjoying with my nesting time is buying a few things for the winter. We've been very lucky over the years and been given so many clothes for Katie, and now for Pip, that I don't often get to buy things for them myself. I was delighted that Katie needed a new winter coat and Pip a hat and mittens so spent some wonderful time looking through the Next and Amazon websites yesterday. I found a lovely hat at Next (pic opposite) which I think he will look adorable in and found Katie a lovely red coat. I was also very impressed to find some mitten clips on the Amazon website which I'm hoping means I don't have to sew elastic onto everything this year!
But what about me I hear you ask? Well I'm in need of a bit of TLC as well. I've put on a bit of weight this year (after the bout of anaemia and a bit of a dodgy leg that's preventing me from doing any high impact aerobics these days). I did order myself a couple of cardigans and am about to book the massage therapist who used to visit me at home a while back (so much cheaper than going to the salon as well). I'm getting more of a yoga routine going as well now and finally rejoined my tap class last night. I could do with some new casual tops for the winter (let's face it I don't dress up these days) and might be tempted by some of the casual tops and hoodies at New Look http://www.newlook.com/shop/womens/tops/sweatshirts-hoodies/_/N-9wfZcc4 which are within my budget.
Whatever I decide I know that I am definitely on the up. All I need now is to find a way to manage Katie's behaviour and life couldn't get much better. I think I'll leave that bit for another post though......
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