Congratulations to me on my 3rd blogoversary!
I went back and read a few posts. I had so many questions back then about what my life would be like after we had adopted. I wondered if I would be “sharing” a child, I wondered how my life would change, if a child would bring me happiness.
It took longer than I thought, I was challenged in more ways than I thought, but here I am on the other side. At some point, I realized (just like I did with marriage) that my life wouldn’t miraculously become happier with a child. It simply isn’t the child’s purpose in life to make me happy. You would think that this was obvious, but in reality, it’s not always apparent. I remember coming to the conclusion that baby or not I had better learn to be happy with the life I had. The me I had become.
I also came across this:
Faith enables us to receive the eternal joy derived from the Law. So let us engrave in our hearts this point: We ourselves receive this joy. Because we receive it ourselves, our happiness does not depend on others. No one else can make us happy. Only by our own efforts can we become happy.
Therefore, there is no need to feel envious of others. There is no need to bear a grudge against someone or depend on another person for our happiness. Everything comes down to our state of life. It is within our power to take our lives in any direction we wish.
To be dragged around by other people or the environment is not the way
of life the Lotus Sutra teaches. True happiness is not feeling happiness one moment and misery the next. Rather, overcoming the tendency to blame our sufferings on others or on the environment enables us to greatly expand our state of life.
I know this is Buddhist guidance, but I think the message is universal.
So no, I don’t think this child made me happy. He did bring me a huge amount of joy. No mistake about that. I smiled for weeks. Part of it is being needed, I admit in a way that is enormously satisfying to me. I’ve described how special those early morning feedings were to me. When it was just me and him and no paperwork, no lawyers, nothing between his gaze and mine. I try not to linger on the sadness of loss. I try not to imagine how he will have to sort out his feelings about his biological mother and father and us. I will answer his questions as best as I can and I will serve as a bridge that he may choose to cross. I made a vow. For now, I have to stay in the present.
Part of this new motherhood is being able to share the experience of parenthood with my husband. That was the whole point, wasn’t it? To do this together. He’s made it easier for me in so many ways. I was able to see a whole other side of him and for that I am grateful.