Saturday, April 25, 2015

the gritty bits

let me take you back to a lovely spring day in 1987. big hair and man perms. the scene is jfk international. back when you could go and watch the planes come in just for fun. a crowded terminal, the anxiety so thick you can almost see it. and then the doors open and mothers are crying tears of joy and fathers are speechless and grandparents and aunts and uncles and brothers and sisters clap and cheer.

i flew all the way around the world to meet two strangers that i would eventually call mom and dad. it was glorious and terrifying and beautiful and chaotic. i was theirs. they were mine. the end. and since i wasn't even 6 full months old yet, it was assumed that i'd never know the difference. "it will be like she was always ours". and so it was.

except life is never that simple.

so in honor of my gotcha day - that day so long ago where i journeyed from the only home i knew to the only home i'd remember. i'm going to tell you about the gritty bits that get left out. because the hard days deserve a voice, as well.

i loved her. i loved the mother that gave me life and then abandoned me to an unknown fate. despite all logic, i loved her. i'd dream up a grown up version of myself and imagine the lines of her face, the warmth of her hug, the timbre of her voice. i'd never tell my mom because i knew it would break her heart. i knew she'd resent the love that couldn't belong to her. so i loved her in secret and time and time again the weight of abandonment would crush my heart. because it was our secret, mine and hers, that we loved each other. except i didn't really know if she loved me. because she left me. and i couldn't make those things marry.


i'm different from them in ways that can't be ignored. there are so many ways i am like my dad, anxious and nerdy, and my mom, headstrong and emotional. but i wear it in a totally different way. i have one brother that's a bio kid. the similarities he has with my parents are so striking you know immediately that he belongs to them. no one would ever think that about me. because i'm just different from them. i think, act, process, analyze, and feel in a way that is so me and so not them. some of this is born out of my sheer determination to be different, but some of it is simply the result of genes and biology and science-y things that are beyond my everyday vocabulary.


when i was younger, i desperately wanted to look like i belonged to my family. being an asian kid in a house full of white folks isn't so bad, until you have to leave said house and venture out into the unrelenting stares from strangers. does she speak english? who does she belong to? how much did she cost? what is she? all questions that maybe were spoken out of curiosity but even as a young child, were like daggers right through my heart. i grew up with constant reminders that my piece of the puzzle just didn't fit for most people. i didn't belong


some days it's still hard. trying to answer questions about a medical history that doesn't exist. pondering what my newborn will look like when i don't even know what i looked like. growing up doesn't mean the questions eventually fade away. if anything it feels like the questions have gotten harder, my identity more complex. there is her, the orphan baby, and there is me, the daughter of the people i call "mom" and "dad", the wife of G, the mother of the #rowenugget. but don't tell me that orphan baby isn't important. because she is me. and her story matters even if it is unknowable.


in the hardest moments i cling to the Gospel, remembering that i am fully known by the Creator of the universe. there is not a moment of my life unknown to him. and he loved me every moment. he loves me now in my doubt and fear. he planned the complicated, beautiful, messy, sometimes sad, sometimes joyful story of my life. he planned for me to have multiple people i would know as mother and father so that he could remind me that he is all i need to satisfy my longing for love. because he is love.

adoption, like most good things in life, is hard. but oh, it's so worth it.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

week 28

first, let me just say that it's no lie that the second trimester of pregnancy is magical. it's like fairies have sprinkled all the good feelings on you and you just can't believe that something so foreign could feel so good.

which leads me to the beginning of the third trimester. suddenly things that were just somewhat bothersome now seem impossible. bending at the waist? ha! walking long distances? i can't. sleep? what's that? in other words, the last trimester feels strangely similar to the first trimester except that instead of feeling bloated for no good reason, you feel like you have eaten at least a dozen bricks.

i did drag my pillowy azz to the gym this week where i took 30 minutes to wog a mere 2.5 miles. this is third trimester pregnancy success. i felt like i had just tackled goliath and won. and i was waddling. it was a waddling wog.

however, even though i've been pretty uncomfortable like 85% of every moment of my life the last two weeks, i still feel so incredibly grateful. me and G have been blessed with a healthy pregnancy and good reports on the #rowenugget every step of the way. so good that sometimes i want to double check because it just seems like things are going too smoothly.

in other news, i am back to only being able to eat a little bit at a time. no i am not binge eating. it literally takes me 2 hours to consume an entire meal. also, the #rowenugget loves to move and my gut instinct would like to think she's finally shifting from breach to her head down position. last night there was this huge hard bulge that had to be her head and it was weird, people. weird.

baby size: 14-15 inches "head to heel" and 2-2.5 pounds, the size of an eggplant!

weight gain: 15 lbs.

craving: no particular cravings lately.

can't even: the waddling. it's like when you've had one sip too many of the adult beverages and suddenly each step you take seems important. that's how it feels to be largely pregnant and not waddle.

loving: imagining what she looks like. sometimes i imagine she looks like me, sometimes i imagine she looks like G. but i can't really fathom what our half panda looks like and i can't wait to find out.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

week 27

so weeks 24-25 were pretty much the best ever. i mean. sleep is elusive and laying down is still pretty much THE WORST. but for a solid two weeks i was all like, "aww this isn't so bad" and "i love that she's so safe and warm in my tummy". in a moment of weakness i even mentioned to G that i might someday be willing to venture down this road again.

fear not. it was just a phase. i'm back to being ambivilent about pregnancy on the best day and totally over it on the reg. i credit this to all of you and your big mouths. lately all anyone can talk about is how round, large, big, and pregnant i look. thank you, people of the world, for pointing out to me on a daily basis that i am "way bigger" than i was a few short weeks ago. i love being told i'm fat, don't you?

forgive me, father if i have ever commented to a pregnant lady on the size of her bump. save me from future transgressions of the same. i have learned my lesson tenfold.

since i haven't exactly been on the top of my game with posting, how about a quick 2 week recap?

at 26 weeks, the #rowenugget was 13.5-14.5 inches "head to heel" and 1.5-2 pounds, the size of a head of lettuce!
baby size: this week, we are only marginally larger still at about 13.5-14.5 inches "head to heel" and at 2 pounds(ish), the size of a head a cauliflower.

also of note, this is the beginning of the end! hello, final trimester! this week the baby is considered viable, meaning she could live outside the womb (although not without a lot of complications and risk). her heart rate remains pretty speedy, further perpetuating the notion that girl nuggets have faster heart rates than boy nuggets. she was a cool 145 bpm last week at the doctor.

speaking of hearts, my little heart has been quite tender as of late. basically, everything hurts my feelings and makes me cry/whine/cry some more. so if you happen to witness me randomly burst into tears, don't worry. it's totes cool.

weight gain: 13-14 lbs.

craving: i still prefer sweet to salty most of the time, which remains the total opposite of my normal non-pregnant self.

can't even: greeting me with "wow!" instead of "hello" "hey you" or any other normal person greeting. note: the exclamation is usually accompanied by eyes the size of plates transfixed on my middle region.

loving: watching G transform from normal dude into overprotective dad. sometimes this falls into the "can't even" category because it feels like he's transforming into MY overprotective dad. but he loves our little nugget and wants the very best for her.