Earlier today, I wrote a post about television. A sarcastic, flip little post about four colorful creepy TV show characters. But for some reason, that post sparked quite the conversation in the comments.
I don't want to spend more time on details than is absolutely necessary but I have to say, sometimes a pee is just a pee, people, and not an invitation to preach adoption 101 on my blog. I've spent just as many days as any other adoptive mom rocking and comforting and being thrown up on because the crying had gotten so inconsolable, while I talked gently and sung and reached down into the core of my very being to find the strength to be the mother my daughter deserves. And yes, I've even peed with a child on my lap (gasp!). I just don't expect a reward for it. It's called parenting. Do you want to hear how I used to dread Lucy waking up in the morning because I knew I couldn't make her happy? OR how I still wake up every single weekend and sneak out of the house to drive an hour to a therapist and write a big, fat check in order to discuss my fears of not being a good enough mother? Because you know what, you can pretend to know what happens in our house, thinking because, after all... you also adopted so must know what it's like for every other adoptive family out there... but you have no idea. So spend a little more time being the perfect parent for your children and a little less time visiting my blog five times a day.
While I could go on and on responding to every comment, this is the one I really want to address by our dear friend anonymous:
Wow...a spark in the fire. Jackie I have been flowing your blog for a very long time now...never commiting...being an innocent bystander..it wasn't todays tv article all on it's own thst promted me to take the step to respond to you. My husband and I have bio children and adoptive children...I've walked on both sides of the fence in two different sets of shoes. A working mom and stay at home mom. I decided to post for several reasons but mostly for Lucy. She is a beautiful little girl who is attempting to do what ever it takes to get her mommy's attention--positive or negative. I am hoping that as a stranger I can get you to take off your rose-colored glasses (you do a marvelous job pretending that everything is wonderful) and get down to your baby girls level and spend mommy and daughter time with her. You can pretend writing through your blog that everything is wonderful....but sny intelligent reader can see and feel your pain that you so quickly brush off with smart humor. You have made several comments of late that prove my theory....I have read your postings on other parents blogs as well. Wasn't your dream not too long ago to have a baby girl, to shower her with all the love and devotion that you might not have been given as a child? Maybe it's not too late to make that a reality...but sacrifices will have be made. Will it be the daughter you wanted and who you tucked into bed this evening or a career? You are an funny, beautiful, and talented writer...would it be so bad to put the DREAM JOB on hold...only for now...to be able to spend the rest of your adult life knowing you did what was the best thing for both of you? Jackie, believe or not, I think you need Lucy maybe more than she needs you...go to her. This will be my last post and the last visit to your blog...Best wishes to both of you!
If you really have been following my blog, you'd know that you are full of crap, anonymous. (well, except for that smart part. and maybe the beautiful part -- but only when I really put in the effort ;) I do not pretend anything. Everything you see here is me. I use humor in my every day life... sometimes at the end of the day, it's all I have left. Rose colored glasses? It's called seeing the beauty, even when things get ugly. It's believing that I am the most blessed girl in the world. 'Cause guess what... I am. But it doesn't mean that I don't struggle. And, you think you're so smart reading between the lines, I wasn't hiding the struggle. It's in there, clear for everyone to see. It's reality. It's life. It's my life.
Let me tell you about my "DREAM JOB", oh wise anonymous one. Almost five years ago I walked away from a boatload of money two weeks before giving birth to my first child. I could've supported my family (living in Los Angeles) with one salary, giving my husband the option to stay home, if he chose. But my job required everything I had and I just wasn't able to give that, for that was reserved for my husband and son. I don't expect a pat on the back for that... it's just what was right for our family. For two and a half years, I worked from home -- mostly part time -- seeing every milestone my son hit. I stopped for months at a time to give birth a second time and oh, that tiny thing of sacrificing my own body so that my children wouldn't have to suffer the early loss of their mother, like I did.
In case you haven't read back far enough, just weeks after my second child was born, it was discovered I had a huge cancer risk -- a gene that gave me a 90% chance of developing breast cancer. Oh and there was a nice lump in my breast to drive the reality home. I looked at my incredible life and knew, above all else, I had to protect my children and husband. There's not a day that goes by that I don't look at my unrecognizable, scarred body and feel proud that I did what I needed to do for my family. But I have no idea what sacrifice is.
OK, back to the "DREAM JOB" (which I will continue to put in caps, as you did). Two years ago, I got a call to launch a Web site for moms, produced by a major studio. As exciting as the opportunity was for me, I could only take it part time. Guess what, anon -- that's not very good business. When someone offers you an career opportunity, you either take it or you send the message that something else is more important. Not only did I send the message, I reiterated it for a year and a half while the project took off with me involved, but far from running it. Last May, the big job presented itself again. And you know what? I took it. I took it under the agreement that it was only until I could go and get my daughter -- thinking in my head that was two months or so. I took it because international adoption is very expensive, medical bills had pretty much wiped out our savings the two years prior and I wanted to support my husband. Did I mention that every time I would work, my husband would be home with the kids... and for the past year and a half, we haven't gone to bed together because we run shifts in this house so we can be present for our kids? Did I mention that he would get home at 4am and be up with his children a few hours later? For four months, I worked my tail off day and night, crying myself to sleep while missing my daughter a world away and the two boys who lived under the same roof. Don't talk to me about sacrifices.
When we brought Lucy home in September, we had to find a way for me to bring in some income -- imagine that, preschool costs money too! -- without missing life with Lucy. Every day, I would get up at 5am to work before the kids get up, staying up late at night to finish. I would squeeze every second out of Lucy's nap to make deadlines, and crank out as much as I could on the weekends while Jeff was home. All without leaving the house. Because isn't that what Lucy needs?
I went back to work at the beginning of the new year, six hours a day, two days a week. Aren't I just the most evil mom? Twelve hours a week not eating, drinking, breathing Lucy's needs? Call CPS immediately. Of course it doesn't matter that when I'm not home, her loving father is there every second of the day. And let me tell you something, you won't find a better father than Jeff MacDougall. I guarantee that.
Last week, when my company laid off ten of my co-workers, I was offered a different position there. A full time position. Because guess what... twelve hours a week just doesn't make a successful Web site. Guess what again? I turned it down. Because, once again, I made a decision that was best for my family. But also because of that, I have no job. No extra income. My husband is picking up as much work as he can and I am scrambling to make enough to pay this month's health insurance. Because no matter how much you bubble wrap them, those darn kids get sick.
So please do me a favor and make good on your threat (or was it promise) to never visit my blog again. Because if you're looking for flowers and rainbows, you aint gonna find it here.
Is that honest enough for you?