Throughout our adoption process when I was getting frustrated with how things were going my mom used to say “You know, God gives you 9 months of pregnancy because he know that’s how long you needed to adjust to such a big change.” She was saying that since we didn’t have 9 months, it’s understandable there were some bumps. I figured since we never planned on have birth children I would never get to test out this theory personally.
Well, I’m here to tell you that she was right. It takes about 9 months for your mind to catch up to the reality of a huge change and to adjust your life around it.
A little over 9 months ago I got a call that will forever change my life. My sister called to say that my mom was dead. I was shocked. My mom wasn’t sick and we had no reason to expect anything like this. She simply went to sleep and didn’t wake up again. My life spun into a chaos I have never experienced. I don’t even remember all of what happened the following weeks as we dealt with moms affairs, planned a funeral, and went through her apartment. I was torn in so many direction. My kids, who has just lost their first grandmother, were back in MN and I needed to be in NE to help my siblings deal with stuff. It was by far the most difficult week of my life.
It’s been 9 months now. And I am continually surprised by how much has changed. How the simple fact of no longer having a mother changes so much, so much more than just the areas of my life she was actively involved in. It changes how I see myself, how I relate to people, how I parent, what I choose to do, basically everything.
Please do not misunderstand, I have so many people that love me and have been supporting me through this. I have an amazing husband, great family, great in-laws, and a great church family. But no matter what they do or say, they will never be my mom.
I naively figured that since I was an adult out living on my own with my own family, maybe losing her would be easier. I mean I had already dealt with moving away from home and her selling the house I grew up in and getting an apartment. Even when she sold the house I never felt like I lost my childhood home, but now I feel like it’s all gone. Like wherever she was was home.
There have been moments (many to be honest) throughout these past 9 months that I was sure I wouldn’t make it. That this was my limit and I would just explode or cease existing or something. I was sure that things would never get better, and I would always feel that bad.
Now, 9 months later I see things differently. Don’t get my wrong, I still get way more crabby and short tempered then before and still take showers somedays for the sole purpose of crying and not bothering anyone. But I also see the joy and happiness, I enjoy experiences with my kids, I enjoy crafting bc it reminds me of my mom. I enjoy learning new things and doing things I didn’t think I could do before. I know that I had to re-establish who exactly I was after loosing her. I had to find “Katie” again and figure out who she was and what she wanted. That was hard enough! But there were also my kids that were struggling and missing her and dealing with the birth family abandonment issues that this brought up.
Basically I just wanted to say, to write it down so I can look back when I need to, that it does get better. Because I’m sure there will be days where it feels like it won’t.
I also realized throughout all this how blessed I am. Not only did I get to have a mother who taught me what it means to be strong , how to ask for help, and how to be independent and just do things if you want to, but I also have an amazingly supportive family. Upon hearing the news, my in laws offered to drive me to NE, my dad (who was divorced from my mom for 10+ years) paid for a plane ticket and dropped everything in case I needed him. My grandmother opened her house to be our home base and feed us amazing food and loved on us when we needed it. And my aunts and uncles, people that live hours away and I only see once every couple of years, dropped everything and came to NE and offered anything my siblings and I needed. They were gracious in letting us kids plan things but were able to step in and help when we needed (like that so bad it was almost funny meeting with the priest for the funeral). I was in awe, and still am, at how my family come together and supports each other no questions asked. I am so blessed to have them and to raise my children in that environment. So they can see first hand what family means. That family means forever, and no matter what, and no matter where.
So 9 months ago my life changed in a horrible gut wrenching way, but I am slowly learning to find myself again and enjoy my days. I have come to find out that my mom was right, it does take about 9 months to begin to get adjusted!