The Weight of the Wait

2014-05-03 16.45.45Every day my 16 year-old son asks, “How was your day? What did you do?”

Hes the deeply empathetic type, and his eyes search mine for the truth behind my short answer of “Fine.” He lets it go while I have a twinge of self-loathing for not being able to put on a more convincingly happy façade.

 The wait to bring our daughter home is hard on everyone in our family.

A couple weeks ago I realized that I was not the same mother I was before we adopted a child we are separated from. I used to appreciate the little moments of family life much more. But I had become distracted, always thinking about what more I could be doing to advocate for our youngest daughter. Home-cooked meals and gardening had become afterthoughts, not celebrations of family time together. I became emotionally flat, rarely crying or angry. The heaviness rarely lifted.

I just want to get back to normal. But normal may not return for a long, long time.

Facebook abounds with groups of stuck families, analyzing rumors and debating courses of action. But whatever is being discussed at any given moment, you can feel the angst. It is almost tangible.

So I dont participate in these boards full of people blaming each other, affirming each other. The whole thing is a distraction, and I don’t like to just sit with my feelings. Not when I could be getting something done.

Nevertheless, I booked a 2 hour massage. It felt like the ultimate luxury–not my usual focus– but it was going to be my escape from the heaviness for just a little while. I was going to close my eyes, not think of anything, and remember how it feels to be carefree.

That is not what happened. Instead, my thoughts swirled around and around obsessively over what is happening in my life. I was so frustrated that the massage was not working. But then, an hour into the massage I started crying. And I couldnt stop crying, but for once, I didnt care.  Afterward, I felt the lightest I had in a very long time.

Tending to myself in this way reminded me that the little things—the little moments and distractions—arent that little after all. Since that reminder, I have been able to give more to the rest of my family.

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2 thoughts on “The Weight of the Wait

  1. I’m not surprised. When we carry/hide/bury our stress and emotions, they often get stored in the body. A massage is a way to release that and the combination of the physical soothing and the emotional expression was probably pretty healing. I should have done more massages during my adoption process.

  2. Katie, massage can release so many “emotions”. With my daughter’s case, I tried to get a massage 1x month. It was my safe place to let the tears fall. My thoughts are with you …

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