Thursday, September 17, 2009

Saving Grace

After writing my last post, I began to reflect on all of my difficult times with Aviana. Each one swirled through my brain. I was thinking of what got me through all of those challenging times. The obvious answer to that question is my mom and Gary.

They love Aviana with everything in their being. She was and is the most perfect individual they have ever known. When they saw each other, I would watch all three of them light up in a way like never before. I called them the “Three Peas in a Pod.” Anytime I was having an exceptionally bad time with Aviana (which was more often than I care to admit), my mom and Gary would round the corner like a bat out of hell. They would excitedly swoop in and scoop her up.

The three of them together would be off on their many adventures. Their love spilled over when she was in the room. When she was not with them, they were constantly buying her things to fill the void of her presence. Aviana would stay at their house at least once a week and in some cases up to three nights a week. During those times, I often wished I could feel one iota the way they felt for her. At the same time, I was so thankful Aviana was being loved the way she deserved to be.

Through two years of struggles, my mom and Gary never once cast judgment on me and were only supportive in every way possible. They saw the absolute worst in me at times. I remember one time I was so incredibly frustrated with Aviana, I slapped her in the face at Costco. You heard me right. I am bawling right now just thinking of that time. I never ever thought I would slap my child and there I was...a fool, putting my hand on my child and in public of all places. I often thought- who am I and what the fuck am I doing? I will never forget the look on my mom’s face. This look will be permenantly etched in my brain for eternity. She was so hurt, it was as if I had slapped her. I can now imagine what she must have felt in that moment.

It just dawned on me the other day, how must my parents feel at home. I have Aviana here with me all day long. They do come and visit all the time, but what must it feel like when they go home? Their entire house is Aviana, every inch from the front sidewalk, through every room and stretched across their entire backyard. She has left her mark everywhere. I hope and pray with all my heart that it is not as though they are walking around in the dark. I hope that bright shining light is not in the off position!

I just wanted to thank my parents for always being there for me and above all for always loving Aviana in the way I simply could not. I love you both and want you to know that we will get through this. We will look back one day and this will become a distant memory. Aviana has shown us what she is made of in one short week home and we should all look forward to what she has in store for us!

I love you both so very much!


  1. Jen,

    It's so nice to hear that Aviana is progressing in her first week home! You're love and being home with your family are the contributors.

    As you know, I'm the only person adopted in my family and myself, brother and sister each got spanked by my Dad if we misbehaved. My mom would say, "just wait until your Dad gets home." I remember the long hours. The buildup until he arrived was more torturous than the spanking.

    However, I pushed my mom's buttons the most. I constantly told her "you're not my real mom." I'm the only child that got impulsively spanked across my face by my mom. Now, I was adopted 1 day after I was born and they told me in a really healthy manner. Introduced the idea to me in a child's book and then told me when they felt I was old enough to handle it. But, I just had anger about not knowing about my birth mom and why she gave me up. I also had the middle syndrome issue and being the only child adopted made me feel different. For all these reasons, I constantly tested my mom's love for me. I even wrote f*** you mama on my bedroom wall with a marker (before I got slapped).

    I hope that you don't feel guilty. Parenting is just one of those things where we surprise ourselves, make mistakes and learn to move on. Eventually, our children follow our lead and learn to do the same.

    As a mom now, I've disappointed myself by yelling at Natalia to shut up! This was when she was 2 months old. I was so resentful of how having a second child affected Joaquin. I have forgiven myself but I was pushed over the edge by our situation of having two babies under two. Natalia's newborn screech really stressed me out.

    Take care of yourself!

    Big hug,

  2. I believe most parents at one time or another have done or said something to their child out of frustration but that doesn't mean you love them any less. Just by reading your posts, I feel your unconditional love for Aviana and you are a wonderful mother. Hang in there and don't be afraid to ask for help.

  3. you are speaking the truth. you have a awesome second chance-grab it and embrace it. we all have things we've said or did to our children out of pure frustration they will haunt us from now and then but the most important is you realize it.

  4. The *SPECIFIC JOB* of the grandparents are to save you from when you're having those moments! =) Sounds like Brenda and Gary have done a great job of it, and they will again, soon, I'm sure!

    I once saw a t-shirt on a toddler that said "What Happens at Grandma's, STAYS at Grandma's." I bet Avi and your mom/Gary have stories and secrets!! =)

    Some memories of moments stick with you forever. Some are good, some not so great, but they all serve a couple of purposes...they teach us lessons and they build character! It's good that they stick.


    Love you cuz!


  5. I forgot to Michelle...thanks for sharing your experience!


  6. I admit to tricking my step brother into drinking dirty dog water and gifted him a milk bone for Christmas. I lost count of how many mouth washings and slaps I got over the years. Most people seem to think I turned out okay. ;)

  7. Thank you for being so honest and open about your entire life, and all your feelings before the blogging world "met" you and your family. And think, all those employees at Costco still love you and your girl!!!

  8. Your honesty is so good to hear, parent to parent. I think we ALL feel that way at some point. Grandparents are a saving grace, you are completely right on the front. Heck, for things they would've spanked us for as children they gladly let their grandbabies get away with!!

  9. Yes, thank God for Grandparents! You are all so very lucky to have each other and Aviana! I am sure that they are thankful to you for letting them be such an intergral part of Aviana's life. Not every family is designed this way.

  10. Your honesty is so nice to hear, and makes me feel just a tiny bit better about one time when I lost my temper with my child. I think it happens to most people once or twice, but that doesn't stop us from feeling guilty, does it?
    All we can do is learn from our mistake and move one.
    Prayers for your daughter's full recovery.