Adoptation

February 14, 2010

We Three

Filed under: Adoption, Newborn, Paperwork, Parentood — adoptation @ 5:19 pm

While we were out of state waiting for our adoption paperwork to move forward, the guest list was rock steady: my son, my wife, and me. The nearest friend or family member was at least a time zone away, and seemed to be sated by my daily uploads of digital photos and videos.

Once we made it home, however, all bets were off—everyone wanted to see the baby, in person, now. One family member even went so far as to e-mail twice and call twice within a 36-hour period, barely giving us time to respond. And anyway, the response wasn’t what anyone wanted to hear: because our son was born quite premature, the doctor felt that his immune system might not be up to the bacteriological exposures of the outside world or the people who carried these bugs from place to place. In other words, we were back home, but not really accepting visitors.

Needless to say, this has been an extremely difficult discipline to maintain. Family members (especially those with school-age kids) who have already gotten a “please, not just yet” answer have re-asked for an audience with the baby. I don’t blame them—he is super cute and thoroughly awesome—but quite frankly, we didn’t wait several years for a baby just so we could put him and his underdeveloped immune system at risk right away. It’s been a daily exercise to try to graciously process everyone’s excitement about the kid while also kicking it down the road a week or two.

But there were two sets of people who would simply not wait: the grandparents. My wife and I understand where they’re coming from, so we’ve arranged to lift the veil a bit for these people—and these people only. And since my mother-in-law lives fairly far away…we consented to a weekend visit.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I like my mother-in-law. She’s very nice to me. She was and is a good mom to my wife. And she took good care of the baby while here. But you know those house guests who essentially take care of themselves, find what they need in your house, and blend into the environment seamlessly? That is not the kind of guest my mother-in-law is. She requires a lot of attention and guidance in our home, and does not always occupy herself very well.

So while it was nice to have her visit, fun to see her excitement about the baby, and awesome to have her babysit while we went out for dinner…by the time 48 hours had ticked off the clock, my wife and I were desperate to return to the We Three rhythm we’d quickly eked out since the adoption. (I think we hit bottom when my son was crying early in the morning, and she walked into our bedroom, without knocking, to check on him.) We’d spent so long chasing after the idyll of our little family unit, and it seemed like a sharp violation to have even a thoroughly benign intruder elbow into our little trio.

But I guess we need to get used to it. We both have lots of friends and family around, and I certainly can’t blame them for being psyched about the baby. After a couple of weeks, it’s going to be a stretch to keep the wall up around him, especially as he seems to be getting more robust and healthy by the day (though a clearance from his pediatrician would be AOK by me, too). I know that we should, and will, be grateful to have so many well-wishers for our newly/finally formed family…but I also can’t help but want to live inside a blissfully undisturbed We Three bubble for as long as we can.

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2 Comments »

  1. I can understand how hard it must be to turn people away right now (we have lots of family members that would want immediate access!!) but you are doing the right thing. It’s sweet to hear that you are such a family now….the three of you!

    Comment by Danielle — February 15, 2010 @ 9:13 am

  2. It’s a struggle, for sure – we have to think of the bay 1st, while also not shunning people too much. But at least we’ve got the basic family thing down pat!

    Comment by adoptation — February 15, 2010 @ 1:47 pm


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