Metaphysics in Adoption

By which I mean….in the processing of adoption and the trauma that comes with it.  Always, big or small, young or old, domestic or international.  There are metaphysical questions and pondering all the way through.

See, you all didn’t know you were immersed in such big thoughts now, did ya?

Nope, neither did I.

I’ve been an adoptive mama for almost fourteen years.  I’ve grown along the continuum of thoughts and ideas about adoption.  I’ve ranged from the not totally naive and ignorant (my mom was adopted; I had some exposure within my own family, but still, you dont’ know until you know…ya know?) to the much more experienced, sometimes jaded, but older and hopefully wiser zones.   I’ve adopted, as most of you know, newborn, infant, toddler, older, domestic, international, transracial, special needs, gifted, known trauma, virtual twins, singles,…the list is a long one.  But every now and then I still am just gobsmacked regarding the depths of what this is all about.  I’ve written so many words on adoption.  All of those words are still true for me, even as they sometimes conflict and even as I might be in a different place now, or then.

Today it occurred to me that really, adoption has a very metaphysical layer to it.  Seriously.  And when you’re homeschooling because you’re working on some of those adoption and attachment issues (while not wanting to blow off the whole educating your kid concept), the metaphysics might just rise up and smack you right in the face.

Once again, today was a rough day with the school stuff and my son.  He was just kind of amped and antsy and tough on the connection angle.  I was working the steps of connecting and redirecting and having moderate, sporadic success with his attention, focus and engagement.  I quickly braced for a ‘working day.’  And so we did.  We took breaks from our activities, we redirected, he got his energy out with big physical activity like basketball and whatnot.  It all helped.  But, there, just under the surface, it was bubbling.  Those BIG feelings.  The ones that are just too big and too hard to contain.  The ones that usually come out with just a few small extra wrong nudges, or one ill timed angry tone or sharp sentence.  These big feelings came out as anger, again:  uncontainable, billowing, loud, physical, pushy, mouthy anger.  They were spoiling for a fight.  Nothing was gonna stop ’em, they were like a freight train.  So, thats when, if you’re smart and on you’re game, you step out of the way.  And if you’re tired and not totally on point, you make worse by not disengaging quietly and waiting it out even as you stay present.  These are the ones that rumble and roll, loud and jangly.  It’s kind of like a slam dance.  And yeah, it’s not elegant and it’s loud and can hurt toes and feelings sometimes.  T

This time, his dad talked to him on speakerphone, helping redirect with that dad voice and words.  After he hung up, we started over…but quietly and with a measured distance.  Still too raw, those BIG feelings.  Needing space.  Not a few minutes later they billowed out again.  Rage.  Shouting at me, hard angry words about the reality of me as mom.  Meaning, the accusations of me questioning my reality as mom.  Then, heartbreakingly, the wide eyed words of the deepest hurt lost little boy.  And the wracking tears.   My own heart split in two, again,  I held him and rocked him, sitting there on the step in the afternoon sun.

But now, the rage was gone.  The cracked open space had room to talk. Directly, we talked about how that feels and how it’s a hard hurting thing. Those deep feelings, they are real and ok to have and ok to talk about.  We shuffled through some of those hard places, brushing against them.  The leaves brustled around our feet as the words sank in and the time, I swear, stilled for a few moments.

I felt beyond time and place, I felt our hearts beat together again in this hurt spot.  As my southern sister put it, “All that time brings the safety to make the unconscious, conscious.”  That’s what we have here.  It’s the opening up of space and time and hearts and hurts.  It’s a metaphysical equation.  It’s the beauty in homeschool, for this young boy.  It’s the hard work of adoptive parenting.  It’s the growing and healing of a broken heart in a beautiful boy.  My son.

Some might fault me for writing about this, that someday he might read this.  But, it’s not just about him.  This stuff, the hurt, the BIG feelings, the time and emotions billowing and stilling, ebbing and flowing…it’s all our kids.  It’s adoption.  It’s not considered much, not enough.  But it’s a key component of adoption: metaphysics. Metaphysics studies the essence, the deeps, the origins, the why’s, the hows.

We are called into the deep of it, to see and hear and feel these things, each of us. For our kid’s sake.  Consider the metaphysics of adoption. The essence…..indeed, the heart.

>Eek…..well, you get the idea….

>

Yeah, a mouse!
EEEK! A mouse!
In MY house!!!!!!

And, where is my cat??
Obviously, she has slid into retirement.
Which means, apparently, we have a mouse…but you know that means plural (shudder) mice.
For the first time in the FIFTEEN years of living in this old crazy house, we have mice. Okay, for the first time that I’m aware of it.  But still.

And, while I didn’t really realize this (Bringing to life the old adage: “You learn something new every day”) I HATE mice.
By which I mean, they kind of freak me out.
Or, as my daughter Hannah put it after seeing me yelp and sort of leap into the kitchen and up onto the counter after finding said mouse as I cleaned my pantry (due to mouse)…”Mom! You’re such a girl!
Well.  Yeah.  Seems so.
So I handed her the trash bag and scooted her backside in to finish cleaning the pantry.
No. I didn’t, but I should have!
I did threw the cat in there though as I went to Lowe’s to get supplies.
Yeah….now we’re talking.
I didn’t even think I’d need the supplies after throwing the cat in there.
She’s a hunter! She’s brought me all sorts of disgusting trophies over the years: birds snakes rabbits mice squirrels even.
So. I knew, that mouse was toast.
And sure enough, upon arriving home from the store, loaded for bear..erm, mouse…the girls told me with urgency how they heard a clatter and even maybe significant dying mouse noise.
As I opened the door ever so carefully, bracing myself for the awful sight….my old cat sauntered out and I peeked gingerly in. 
Nothing.
Let me repeat that: NOTHING!
Now, my pantry is not a big place. It’s a glorified closet.  It was empty because all of it’s prior contents were at this point either in trash bags or sitting on my kitchen counter and floors.
Let me repeat that: EMPTY!
No holes that a mouse can run out, nowhere to hide.
What gives?

Well, at this point, we could only figure that somehow this cartoon ninja mouse somehow scampered past my slacker cat and under the pantry door…..wait for it….into my HOUSE!

So. Now the mouse is in my house.
But I kind of put it aside, trying to not worry, finished cleaning and waited for the uber mouse traps that Tom had ordered (knowing my freaked out status)  to arrive. 

Until this morning.
I was up early, starting the laundry.
My laundry room is UPSTAIRS.
And as I pulled a rolling bin of laundry toward me, out runs THE MOUSE!!!
It’s not even seven a.m., people!!!
This is far far too early for mouse sighting!
This is my laundry room, one could argue, the cleanest place in the house.
Nowhere near food or any good mousy treats.
EXCEPT MY INNOCENTLY SLEEPING CHILDREN.

That’s it.
Game on.
I may have ninja cartoon mice. 
My sweet, grounded forever (he’s 20, I know, but still, he’s grounded, I can still do that, right?) son Chris sent me this link on facebook :

Because his sick twisted sense of humor {Yeah, I know, he seems like such a nice boy too…Now you know}is getting a kick out of his mom’s new war and her underlying horror at all this, um…mouse business.

So,  back to this morning: I immediately swept sweet toddling waking Gabey up in my arms and took him, pj’s and all back to Lowes, right then, before seven this morning. 
And we loaded up on mouse traps and every single mouse deterrent that won’t poison my kids (and/or let the nasty rodent crawl off and die to stink up my house forever) that Lowe’s had.  Yeah, I got a raised eyebrow from the checkout lady.  Yeah, I said, “I know.”  She just nodded. Because she gets it (no Chris not because I scared her, and  you’re still grounded).
NO mouse is welcome in my house.
They are not cute little cuddly fluffs.
They are disease ridden vermin and don’t flame me  you PETA folks but they are NOT welcome in my house with my kids who like to have sib sleepovers on their floors. 
So, yeah,  I’m on the warpath and I’m not gonna be happy until I win.

And Tom may not realize it yet, but we are this close to getting a new kitten (Em’s already making plans); we need new troops as our current cat has obviously gone into retirement and her own personal feline Boca Raton.

Tom’s order arrived today. It improved my mood a bit.
I know, I know…I look scary.  Good.  I’ll show my Hannah how to be a girl.  Here’s my new motto: “Don’t get scared, get tough.”
Bring it.
I hate mice.