The weight of it all

I’ve had a post written for quite a while about what today is.? Originally it started as a memory and I never published it.? I looked at a calendar yesterday and realized what day tomorrow (today) was.? I knew.? I just didn’t want to remember.? I sat down and looked at the previously written post and altered it.? I thought I’d have it in my arsenal to publish today.? Yesterday I logged out of my dashboard satisfied that I had my post planned for the next day.? Best laid plans I guess.

For those of you who don’t know what today is, or simply don’t remember, today marks two years since we were informed Alexander was adopted by a Russian family.? For those of you who are new you can read the stories here and here.? While this day is difficult, it is also a reminder of what we went through to become parents to the most adorable child in the entire universe.? A labor longer and more painful than many have ever experienced.? That isn’t to say that others haven’t waited longer.? But painful and long nonetheless.

My journey to motherhood is unlike any of my girlfriends (except Kathou) have experienced.? I have girlfriends who have had miscarriages.? I have girlfriends who have had c-sections.? I have girlfriends who have given difficult home births.? But I don’t have a single girlfriend (except Kathou) who held her baby and had to give him back.? None have videos of their children laughing.? Photos of the very first time they met them and the moment they said goodbye.? Not knowing that it would be goodbye forever.

Adoption is not for the faint of heart.? It takes strength to deal with the raw emotion of the process.? It is a burden you carry and the world doesn’t see it.? There is no physical proof that you are waiting for something.? Well, there may be.? Some have a significant weight change or like me, hair loss. Many of us wait quietly.

When all is said and done we long for the day that we become just plain old mom.? I tried to shirk the “mom to a PI kid” label as quickly as possible.? I am still cautious of some behaviors, but for the most part my child your run of the mill 3 year old.? And once you reach that level you can’t help but be offended when someone doesn’t recognize the struggle you went through to get that child.

I get irritated at those that assume that since you are a mother you automatically gave birth to your child.? I am never one to bring up birth stories simply because I don’t have my own to share.? So when we were having a small party for the boy’s teacher (who is going on maternity leave) I found myself taken aback by something another mother said.

The teacher sat down on a stool and apologized for any miscellaneous body parts that might be sticking out.? (she’s quite huge pregnant)? I said, “that’s ok, we don’t mind.”? A classmate’s mother piped up and said, “yep, we’ve all been there.”? … ? … ? …

I sat there with my mouth a little agape and blurted out, “Well, I haven’t”? That woman backtracked faster than Hillary Clinton playing down Geraldine Ferraro’s asshat comments.? I was offended.? Highly offended.? I wanted to sit down with that mother and explain to her why.? However it wasn’t the appropriate moment.? But for it to happen today of all day’s I’ll never know.

So while I’ve never been huge and waddly I have carried my fair share of expectant mom weight.? Weight people will never see.? Weight in the form of a (now) 3 1/2 year old, brown eyed little boy living somewhere in Far East Siberia.

26 Comment

  1. Cindy says: Reply

    Lisa, I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I truly can’t imagine what it must have been like. I’m so glad that at the end of that long bumpy road you found the child who was perfect for you!! Of course, reading about it right now literally makes me feel sick as we’re currently between trips. We know the risks but try not to worry ourselves to death over it.
    I wouldn’t wish it on anyone but I know that all our infertility hell and adoption waiting that we have been through makes me a better parent (not better than others, better than I would have been otherwise). For example, when I look around my house and there are toys everywhere and a brownie smeared in the carpet, I can honestly be thankful instead of irritated! (Most of the time!)

  2. DebiP says: Reply

    I feel your pain friend and I so sadly remember those days for you…I was new to you then….to re-read it is hard…but to re-live it is worse…I am sorry…but it is part of O’s story…

  3. Jenny2 says: Reply

    this made me cry.

  4. Amy says: Reply

    It is pathetic that people are still so ignorant. I can never imagine the HUGE pain of having to say goodbye to a child that you already love unconditionally…

    But in the end, as you said, you ended up with your adorable blondie. So cliche…everything happens for a reason. Even if it sucks and hurts like hell, it is all for a reason. Your reason looks to be about 30+lbs of pure energy!

  5. I can’t imagine that ache. I had a miscarriage and I remember how hard that was… but what you experienced was more than a miscarriage. I’m sorry the road to your son was so hard,and I’m sorry today of all days someone said something so thoughtless.

  6. It never really goes away does it? I know I’ll always be Peanut’s mom. And, as complete of a family as Slugger and I are, I know I’ll always have a son in Siberia, too.

  7. *sigh*

  8. Carla says: Reply

    Having been through the birth process, the infertility process, the miscarriages, the c-sections, and adoption…I just can not fathom how incredibly difficult it is to know your child that you bonded to, that you loved is living a life apart from you in another country. It was hard enough waiting to be able to go get Katie. It was hard waiting and not knowing if China would approve us, but I had never held her. I’d never seen her smile. You had. Just even thinking of that in terms of Katie makes my heart ache.

    I wish I could find something to say that could make it easier, but I know I can not. So, instead, I send you hugs upon hugs upon hugs…

    Adoption is not the easy way.

  9. Jenni says: Reply

    I can’t imagine. Sorry you had to deal with an insensitive comment today as well.

  10. Tricia says: Reply

    I can’t believe it’s been two years, but re-reading your post I remember that day like yesterday. One of the most emotional days during my (now) 2.5 years with adoption in my life. Through you, and your posts, he seems like – and will always be – your son to me. Thinking of you guys…

  11. mom says: Reply

    A moment in time, etched forever in your heart…but the clock ticks on and moving forward has brought you to beautiful things. We grow from heartache and learn more about compassion. I love you, Leese MaGeese.

  12. Jenny says: Reply

    Lots of love to you, sweetheart. We are all finding gluten free things to eat with you tomorrow.

  13. Ann says: Reply

    oh my, when will people start thinking?? a few weeks ago our Pastor said “you as mothers know whats it’s like to give birth”(he went to make his point but my mind stopped & kept replaying those words & I wanted to scream down from the balcony.. ” NOT ALL of us mothers do” grrrrr. Hugs to you.

  14. Sending hugs your way.

  15. Kris says: Reply

    I found your blog shortly before this happened to you, and I remember the hurt in my heart I felt for you at your loss.

    Its a shame people are so insensitive, I am sorry you had to experience it.

  16. kim says: Reply


    tough day, insensative comments, I’m sorry for your bad feelings today.

    I lost one of my identical twins just prior to birth (the other one is 7 yrs old and healthy), and though it’s a different type of loss, I feel for you. I remember thinking my heart could not hurt so much and not be having a heart attack.

    Birthday Day is a tough one for me….really celebratory for the one I have been given, by the grace of God, and such empty loss for the one that now resides in Heaven (I have to believe this).

    I don’t know if that helped, but I want you to know, having children, in my mind, has nothing with the giving birth part.


  17. Lauri says: Reply


  18. Martha says: Reply

    I can relate. We got Jamie at 4 mos (after years of trying to concieve) and just today at someone at work said when referring to her upcoming birth …’ well you know because you had her as a newborn’…Ummm, no I didn’t. But she came to me when she was meant to. I wouldn’t change a thing. (but sometimes it still hurts)

  19. Jenny says: Reply

    F-ck Elle, I remember this, emailing back and fourth weeks later and being devastated for you. I wish you peace on this day. And hoping for peace for that little boy….much love-Jenny

  20. Ani says: Reply

    Hugs to you.

  21. Lena says: Reply

    Another hug for you!

  22. Hugs from me as well. I also remember it, and here it in your voice when we chatted on the phone. I know you are an awesome mom, and D is an awesome dad; focus on the positive, and remember that you will always have people there for you.

    Being a mom has nothing to do with giving birth, but everything to do with being kind, loving, and raising your child to be the best person he can be. You will do it with flair and style! (Maybe a new pair of shoes to celebrate your extraordinary “momabilities”? *wink, wink*)

  23. Wendy says: Reply

    Birth is totally over-rated. Now adoption, adoption is the true labor of love. We have been at it since Oct. 2005. I have given birth, had miscarriages, a c-section, the whole spectrum, but adoption has by far been my true test. Only those with extraordinary strength can make it. You are one of the elite, the most respected, most loved for the struggles that you endured.

    People say things without thinking. They aren’t malicious, just thoughtless. I am just as guilty as the next person of opening my mouth and inserting my foot/feet. On behalf of all stupid people out there, I apolgize!!!


  24. I am much more cautious with what I say about such things since I have started blogging and met so many people who have struggled with infertility. I may not be perfect, but I am try to be more aware of other people’s feelings in that area. I am grateful to have met you and read your journey. You are inspirational in your strength and your child is amazing. I don’t think it was an that you guys were brought together. I am still sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine losing my first child. Alexander will always be in your heart and that love is never wasted.

  25. That was supposed to say I don’t think it was an accident that you guys were brought together. Stupid Cybersitter blocks out words it deems inappropriate and I hate it!

  26. Gaye says: Reply

    Elle…although we have never “met” in person, only on the phone, blog or email…I truly feel that you gave me a lot of the strength that I needed to persevere through our adoption of Roman. I am so sorry for your loss of little A…but you are an amazing Mommy to O and he is so lucky to have you and D in his life!! BIG HUG!!!

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