Saturday, June 27, 2009

Reflections from a new mama

Reflections from a new & sick mama.  Going on day 6 of feeling in the dumps and it's given me a lot of time to stop and think.  It's hard to be a single mama and bed bound especially in the summer but it gives me the opportunity to check in with myself and feelings.  Sure there's been 7 weeks of fun and transition and Kodak moments but more than anything these 7 weeks have offered the most powerful reflections which can be described in 3 themes: gratitude, inspiration and "how do I"?

Gratitude:  As my little home gets packed with more toys, leggings, sippy cups, building blocks, dolls, books etc..I see my little girl get excited and stimulated.  As she plays and entertains herself - I just stop and say thank you.  Thank you for Liv Tunsitu and the world she has brought me.  She's patient and flexible yet determined and spirited.  She's curious and loving and trusting and strong.  I learn from her.  She gets me out of my head and I relate to everything in a new way.  I catch myself pause so many times throughout the day saying thank you because I'm overcome by the magic.

Inspiration:  The only other time I have felt so inspired was my first year at UCLA.  Like then, I'm entering a new world and being flipped upside down into a experience that redefines my existence and how I approach the world.  I feel so inspired by being turned upside down and shaken from my core.    I daydream, I fantasize, I make plans for a life that continues to transform who I am and how I choose to be.  I really understand that great things are in our future.  I am aware that routine, logistics and life can sometimes stifle inspiration.  I want to can this feeling and use it as a reference to motivate me to follow my dreams.

Motherhood is foreign yet familiar and international adoptive, transracial, single parenting is an ocean of delicate intersections of love, education and communication.  All of it has left me frequently questioning myself:

make her PROUD to BE -  Ethiopian, adopted, a girl and uniquely her

let her know it's healthy to show her emotion

make decisions that are right for her & us

teach her respect to people, animals and the planet

believe in her beauty inside and out

communicate with her about her history & culture

emphasize her strengths & help her with obstacles

make her know how loved she is, by her birthparents and relatives and all the community around us

instill values and teach her the appropriate value of material goods

encourage her to dream, to be, to experience

be the role model I want to be (insert tear)

teach her to believe 

be aware and connected to her needs

create & maintain strong male role models in her life

not push her into something she's not into but push her when she needs it

balance work with quality time with her

grow her to be strong and responsible and kind

keep her connected and inspired by her heritage and culture

let her blossom in the way that best serves her

My conclusion:
I listen really hard to her and my gut, I reflect, I question, I educate myself, I get support from my amazing friends, I focus and I love and love and love and love and love and love.  And most of all, take what life gives you and soak every little lesson out of it.  I'm so in love with this journey.

What an awesome job.  What an awesome seven weeks.  What an awesome little girl.


Julie said...

Oh Amy, this is just lovely. I am sorry that you have been so sick. You are doing such a great job as LT's Mama. She has flourished since you brought her home. Love to you both.

Little Ethiopia(n) said...

what a lovely post to wake up to this morning. I worry/wonder about all the same things about MYSELF... can't imagine how intense those feelings/thoughts will be when I'm a 3-d mom! I know it's not enough...but I do believe simply asking the questions goes a long long way.

You're doing great mama. xoxo-kat

msl said...

Amy such a beautiful post. Anyone who can ask questions of themselves like that, think so deeply and richly about parenting well.... how could you not be a great mom?!!

Hope you both are finally starting to feel like your old selves!!

Nicole said...

What an awesome Mama! I'm so proud of you- well, for just too many reasons to list. A perfect mama for LT. Love to you both!

Julie said...

When you find the answers to those questions, will you tell me? :)
Thanks for the nice post and the really good reminders that are included. - Julie O.

♪~Jenn~♪ said...

such a beautiful post...I swear these are THE questions...the ones every single parent goes through no matter how their children come into their lives.

If you are these things (the things you want so deeply for her)...if you will she. It really is such an amazing, humbling journey. I really think that if we are open, full of love/respect and patience (with ourselves and our children) our relationships with our children will grow and flourish in ways we can't even imagine!

sending you thoughts of healing~~♥

Zora said...

I am choking up right now. What a BEAUTIFUL post and list of questions. It makes you an automatic amazing mother, in my opinion, that you even ask yourself these heartfelt questions. They are all such important aspects...and as a teacher who sees so many children whose parents don't consider these issues...and a woman who hopes to be blessed to one day have multi-racial children, so many of those issues are deep in my heart. Thank you for your blog posts!

Rebecca said...

Thank you for your reflections ... these are words that I cherish, that help me to grow, that make me feel understood. Thank you!