crying in public

I'm not a big "cryer". I usually manage to be pretty stoic, in fact . . . a trait that often belies the junk lying just under the surface. But right now I am insanely sleep deprived, and have a lingering case of The Postpartum Crazy that is, to be blunt, kinda kicking my ass. These two factors have converged today and had me on the brink of tears several times.

I managed not to cry when I picked the kids up from preschool, and Jafta tried to help push Karis's snap-and-go stroller, upended it, and Karis landed upside-down on the ground, hanging from the straps of her carseat. I managed not to cry when I thought about how, had she not been strapped in with the handle up to act as a bumper, I might have had a newborn with a cracked skull on my hands.

I managed not to cry when I ran to the store on our way home because I realized, just before naptime, that I had no milk, and it was just as disastrous as my previous attempts to buy groceries with the kids. I managed not to cry when Karis and India had simultaneous, ear-piercing meltdowns in aisle 7, while I tried to stifle a suffocating realization that I am overwhelmed by the simplest of tasks right now, and do not feel qualified to leave my house.

And then in aisle 11, out of the blue, Jafta asks me why Keanan is taking so long to come home. I don't know, I tell him. To which he says: "I think the president in Haiti said no."

Cue tears.

Cleanup on aisle 11. We've got an ugly cry.

I've been trying really hard to keep it together about our ever-delayed adoption. I seem to vacillate between total hopelessness, total denial, and total depression about the whole thing. I can remember reading someone's blog, years ago, who had to wait a few years to bring their child home from Haiti. I remember thinking that the situation was one of the worst things I could imagine someone going through. It is surreal to now be experiencing it. We continue to have no updates and no idea of what is happening with our files in Haiti. I just know that he's not coming home any time soon, and my feelings about that are deep and complicated and overwhelming at times. Like in the grocery store.

I don't know where Jafta came up with what he said. I've never talked to him about the process, or that fact that we really are getting hung up by presidential approval, but I guess he understands that there are some powers-that-be who aren't cooperating.

Oh, and if you are reading this and thinking that maybe you could console me by saying something like, "Well, maybe Keanan not being home right now is a mixed blessing, since you are struggling with three . . ." PLEASE do not say that to me. It's already been said, several times, and clearly I am a hormonal woman on the edge of sanity and may just smack the next person who says it. I would never tell a friend who is having a hard time with their kids to ship one off to an orphanage for a while and call it a blessing. Keanan not being home is one of the very reasons I am overwhelmed. It's exhausting trying to keep that grief down all day.

Blech. This post has taken a turn for the worst and I am depressing even myself. If you are still reading, you should go do a google search for funny pictures of cats in toilets or something,

Okay, in better news:

My sister had a baby today!!

And so did my friend Amy!!!

And India finally put a poop in the potty and got to wear the Tinkerbell costume we've been dangling in front of her for three weeks (photo forthcoming)!!!!

And So You Think You Can Dance is a really good show!!! And exclamation points will cancel out all the wallowing drivel I just wrote!!!!

Oh, and India's grocery store meltdown? Over my refusal to buy her this:

High School Musical cereal. Strategically placed at her eye level, and chock full of red dye, high-fructose corn syrup, and photos of Troy Bolton. Someone at Kellog's hates me.


  1. I know I am talking to the baby-wearingist Mama on the planet, but have you thought about tucking Karis into some kind of front pack at the grocery store? (Maybe it is too hot. Or maybe she doesn't like it, I don't know.. just a thought.) I'm just thinking it would strap her to your body so that you have two hands free in the parking lot, and then in the store, opens up an extra spot in the carriage.

    Re: Keanan. There are no words, baby. I feel your pain, every bit of it. I wish I had the right words to say to make it better, to take that away for you (or at least to make the ignorant people shut up), but really the only thing that will do it is when Beth calls and says, "time to come get him!" Waiting for my babies was one of the hardest, longest times of my life. Be gentle with yourself.

    Love you.

  2. Random comments about milk.

    1. My in-laws live three hours from a grocery store. Yes, you read that correctly. They freeze milk, it tastes fine, but it does take a full day to defrost in the sink.

    2. My husband generally gets a call from me once a week about groceries. Yesterday it was milk, coffee, creamer, bread. He can stop on his way home which is only a ten minute stop, but it would take me about 40 minutes with the kids, and it's better for the environment since he drives right past it.

    3. When we are running low, I show the gallon container to the kids and tell them that's it until we get to the store. That was a big deal a few months ago when I grounded my 2 and 4 year old from going to the store with Mommy. They were so devastated by me walking out the door the second my husband got home (on purpose to prove a point) that they have been tantrum free at the store for a few months now. I even heard a parent telling her kid that they should act like mine! Now that's funny.

  3. Last week I added water to our already skim milk ... just so I wouldn't have to take all five kids to the store.

    Has anyone sent you an email with Philippians 4:13 and a bunch of bunnies (or teddy bears)? Oooooo, let me be the first. I want to get punched in the nose. Me! MEEEEE!

  4. I wish I could come over and watch everybody so you could take a nap... ((kristen))

  5. Have you tried Annie's Organic "bunnies" cereal? Considered a summertime treat to my kids (they get to pick "fun" cereals during summer break), but of course lacking the lovely HFCS and dyes (and Troy). They don't know the difference.

    I am just so sorry about your grocery store adventures. I will say I recently spent the entire night at the county fair crying like a baby with 3 kids in tow, wondering how we will make it work in the next few years (big announcement coming soon). So hooray for letting our hormones take over and just letting it all out!!

  6. "Aren't you kind of glad that you've gotten to spend Jaron's first year with just him?" That's what people say to me all the time (he's 14 months and we've had referrals for Justin and Emelyne for 24 months now). Um why of course! I'm soooo glad that my other two children have had to spend the last two years in an institution. That has been absolutely fabulous. WTF!?!?! Come on people!

    Yes, I cherish my time with Jaron but my heart longs for the day when all of my children will sleep in the same home.

  7. I am in agreement with C and G. No matter how incompetent I am as a mother (and I am), I still knew my child--when he was living in a creche in Haiti--would be better off at home with us.
    Keanan IS being sheltered and fed, but the Mommy Worry is intense, palpable. How thoughtless for anyone to suggest Mommy is getting a "break" from the responsibility of an additional child. That's like soothing a new widow by observing "at least you won't have to wash his socks..." A*#holes.
    The wait is an agonizing nightmare-inducing experience. You're not crazy, so cry all you want (and I'll cry with you, because I've been there).

  8. I can't imagine the added stress of the Haiti government when juggling 3 kids and longing for your other one to come home.. I looked into a housekeeper because I can't stay on top of my own now that Liberty is here.. Used diapers, clothes, toys, dishes, etc..Just to make my life simpler and one place charges $285 every other week to come clean! Makes me want to scream. Oh yeah, the other night I had a hot flash (what the heck?!) followed by a mad run to the store to get candy! I HATE POST PREGNANCY HORMONES. And on top of that, Savannah (6) is incredibly dramatic (our fish died and she sobbed and sobbed)and wanting independence, and Jackson (4) has decided to poop in his pants on an almost daily basis (since Liberty was born)..yes, he is potty trained...So all that to say, even though the circumstances are a little different, I feel your pain and when I'm pulling my hair out or sitting on the steps in the garage crying, I'll pray for you! Hope your week gets better!!

  9. I too can feel your pain. We are waiting for our son's presidential approval from Haiti as well. We have been in IBESR for 11 months now, supposedly for the last two waiting on the Prez's signature! It's a pain and stress like no other! I did nothing but fought back tears all the way through the firework's show on the 4th, beyond sad that our little guy is growing up in an orphanage w/o his family. I guess all I can offer is know that you are not alone, there are others that understand this overwhelming fear that comes over you at times. When you allow yourself to entertain the thought of Haitian adoptions being shut down, or USCIS not approving your child's visa, or the list goes on and on! Some days are easier than others of course, but when our kids are home, safe in our arms, that's when we will stop crying!

    I'm thinking of your family and Keenan, and of course our guy Morelson! We'll get them home, we really will!


  10. Well crap Kristen. I love you so much and I wish my hands weren't so full so I could help you more.

    I have seen that very cereal and thought about buying it for India as a treat and I am so glad that I never have.

    This is a fragile time. I have heard someone say to carry a sign that says, "Having a Meltdown, Please look away." and to hold it up when your kid is doing that. Maybe moms need a sigh too.

  11. I'm hoping the forthcoming photo is of the Tinkerbell costume and not of what India did to earn it.


    Hang in there. You're doing great from my view.

    HCP (longtime lurker, fellow adoptive mom)

  12. Anonymous11:35 PM

    When I am rocking my baby at nigh nigh time . . . I am remembering to pray for your baby.

  13. You have just described, so articulately, the plight of mothering young children...

    Let me be the light at the end of the tunnel.

    It gets better! It will not always be this hard! It gets hard in different ways, but absolutely more manageable. Never easy but, easiER.

    Love you, friend!

  14. I think you're an amazing and courageous woman who rocks the house when it comes to motherhood. If I didn't have my own mom (and if I were like 30 years younger), I'd want you as my mom. Keep up the awesome work!



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