December Mom Crush Monday
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You’ve heard the term “MCM” before, right? Well, on my blog, I give that term a different meaning.
On the first Monday of every month, I feature a fellow mom as my Mom Crush Monday, and allow them to share their own journey through motherhood.
Meet my November MCM: Adriana H.
This month, I’m featuring a mama who is amazing in every way. She is loving, selfless, and so strong. I truly see her as a hero and I’m so happy to be able to share her story with all of you!
How old were you when you became a mom?
- I was 25 when Alice came to live with us as a foster child and 26 when the adoption was finalized.
How many kids do you have & what are their ages?
- One beautiful 2 year old girl.
How was your pregnancy with each child? Birth experience?
- This question doesn’t pertain to me exactly. We fostered and adopted Alice, so I was never pregnant with or gave birth to her. But I can tell you about our journey. Alice’s birth parents were members of my husband’s family. One day in April of 2015, we got a call from a family member. They told us that Alice had been born and was in the NICU. She had tested positive for exposure to opiates and showed signs of being addicted to heroin. On top of that, she also tested positive for the cystic fibrosis gene. I was in shock. My husband because he was deployed for training in another country, so I couldn’t even tell him until a few days later. We were both scared for this baby and worried about what would happen next. When he returned home a few months later, we found out that the baby had been taken into foster care. In all honesty, we went back and forth about whether we should submit paperwork to foster or adopt her. We hadn’t planned on having children yet. But in the end, we decided that we should try to help this baby in any way we could. So, we submitted our application, did multiple interviews in person and over the phone, took classes and got a license to foster. We started buying baby items and found her foster parents, so that we could Skype with her, get pictures and updates. Then, we waited and waited. This was our “pregnancy.” Waiting and not knowing if or when she would be able to come home to us. We did everything possible to keep connected with her even though she was over 2500 miles away. We watched her grow through pictures and crawl through Skype video calls. One day, we got a call that everything had finally been approved. In March of 2016, she was sent with a social worker on a flight to Hawaii. My husband and I waited anxiously at the airport, pacing around the baggage claim carousels. As soon as she saw my husband, her face lit up. She was all smiles when I picked her up out of her car seat, and we all knew she was always meant to be our baby. It was so strange to just take her from the social worker, put her in our car and go home. I felt like I was stealing a baby, but at the same time was so overjoyed and felt as though I had always had her. This was our “birth” experience. Hawaii law requires foster parents to have fostered a child for 6 months before an adoption could be finalized. It actually took a bit longer than that for us, due to some paperwork and red tape from California to terminate the birth parents parental rights so that they could be given to us. But in January 2017, Alice was officially adopted and my husband and I became her legal parents.
Did you have any misconceptions about motherhood before you became a mom? How did your view of motherhood change after becoming a mom?
- I think my biggest misconception of motherhood was that there is such a thing as “being ready.” My husband and I had been together for 5 years before Alice came along. At that time, we did go back and forth with submitting our application to foster and adopt her because we questioned if we were ready. We didn’t have a huge savings, didn’t own a house, etc. If we were “ready” we would have started trying for our own, but as stated above, we decided if we can provide for her and love her, why would we not? Once we decided we were going to adopt her, a misconception I had was how I was going to be as a parent. I was going to only feed her organic and healthy. Only fruits and veggies. I was going to discipline her a certain way, and I was only going to dress her in stylish clothing. Once she was here, that all kind of changed. Life happens and I realized that perfection is not realistic.
What is your favorite piece of advice you’ve received about motherhood?
- “Take it one day at a time.”
What challenges did you face during your first years as a mom?
- Jumping into parenthood head on was the biggest challenge, aside from all the paperwork and red tape we had to cut through. It can be difficult to just jump into someone’s life, let alone a scared baby. To learn all her likes and dislikes, and try to establish a bond that wasn’t given to us naturally.
How has parenthood changed your relationship with your spouse?
- It has helped us become better communicators. With Alice’s adoption, we had a lot of stress and what if’s. There was a lot paperwork and things to get done in a certain time frame, which is hard when your hands are figuratively tied behind your back because you aren’t legally the child’s parent yet. We had to learn to work together to get things done, and let each other know when we needed attention or anything else. And as Alice gets older, communication is still important to make sure we are on the same page with things such as discipline.
How have YOU changed since becoming a mom?
- I have become more outgoing. I have anxiety about way too many things. Being a mother now, with someone looking to me for strength, I have to force myself out of my comfort zone at times.
What are your lifesavers as a mom?
- Wine! (just kidding). My husband’s and mom’s support; telling me I am doing a good job when I am sleep deprived and feeling down.
Top 3 baby products/brands you’d recommend?
How do you spend your time when you’re not busy being “mom”? (Hobbies, Interests, etc.)
- I am working on starting a business with my mom that personalizes gifts like t-shirts, signs and cups. I’m specializing in creating custom glittered or decorated tumblers like Yeti cups. I love crafting and doing anything that allows me to be creative in general. I like to practice photography, build furniture, and do makeup in any spare time I may have.
What is one thing you wish you had done BEFORE becoming a mom?
- I wish that I would have completed college first.
Favorite part about being a mom?
- When she learns something new. She gets so excited and proud of herself. Also that she is so proud of me and tells people that I’m her mom.
Most memorable “mom moment”?
- We were at Target, and she ended up throwing up all over me. Of course, I had no extra change of clothes for either of us. I called my husband crying in the store and he was like “sorry you have our only car, I don’t know what you want me to do.” I get us in the bathroom and clean us up; I put napkins over my shirt, and she is naked except for a diaper. Then we ran through Target trying to buy new clothes to change into. Everyone just starred. The entire thing was a mess! Later that day, I told a mommy friend of mine about it. She said “you are officially inducted into mom world. It’s not official until your baby pukes on you!” Funny now, but at the time it was a nightmare.
Any advice for new moms?
- No one is perfect. You are going to make mistakes and have bad days, but that does not make you a bad mom. And when you’re feeling like you can’t do it anymore, just remember that you will never be this loved or needed again. So soak it all up.
Who is your Mom Crush?
- Sophia Bolton. She is strong, beautiful and so funny! Her kids are the same and I truly admire her and her family.
Do you have a “Mom Crush”? Ask them a few of these questions. It can really put into perspective just how different every woman’s journey through motherhood is!