Do I Want Another Tattoo?

Do I Want Another Tattoo?

You know how mothers get pregnant with a second or third or fifth child and in the midst of the postpartum healing period someone asks them, “When are you going to have another?” And their eyes bug out of their heads as they shout, “NEVER!”

I’m in that spot with tattoo healing right now.

I got a new tattoo on the night of April 16, which is celebrated as Project Semicolon Day. I had participated the previous two years by drawing a semicolon on my wrist to signify the fact that my story is not over yet; I could have ended it, but I choose to keep going. I decided to make it permanent, because semicolons are the best punctuation. Plus, I’m an editor. Plus, you know, meaning and feelings and stuff.

Semicolon Project Tattoo

My previous tattoo takes up my whole forearm and really only hurt when the tattoo artist crossed the vein at the center of the top of my wrist. It’s also on my left arm. I don’t do much with my left arm.

Turns out I do a lot with my right wrist.

My semicolon is turned to face the side so that both I and my audience can see it properly. It’s also off-set a little so it does a little wrap-around thing because I know what I like and I like off-set things.

It’s also exactly where my wrist rests when I’m typing on the laptop. Or writing with a pen on paper. Or doing absolutely anything. I have bumped it on doors, on drawers, in the car and in the shower. I have accidentally scratched it with a fingernail and with a cardboard box.

This little puppy didn’t hurt much when I got it. The outline doesn’t go over the center of my wrist (smart off-set thing there, you see) and the filling in, as usual, just felt hot. Now it’s scabby, like it’s supposed to be, feels like a equator-formed sunburn, and if I bump it off one more freaking thing, I swear I’m going to scream my head off.

So no, today I do not want another tattoo.

Ask me again in about one week when it’s done sloughing off the scabs and skin. The answer will be yes: Sweet peas on my left outer shoulder. Note the left. I think all tattoos will now be relegated to the left arm. My right arm does too much.

But no, I don’t want any more babies, thankyouverymuch.

 

Fitbit Flex Activity + Sleep Wristband

Got Adopted

Forever -stopdropandblog.com

This week a friend of mine finalized the adoption of a gorgeous little boy she’s fostered since he was only a few weeks old. You don’t need to know the intimate details of his story. You only need to know that this was a case in which the system worked. A little boy needed a family. He now has one. Forever. It was truly a happy day, and as the pictures popped up on Facebook, I cried happy tears, sent congratulations, and generally felt a sense of peace.

Later that night, my four person family unit sat around the dinner table. We talked our normal dinner table talk. Who did you sit with at lunch? What did you do at recess? Did you learn anything new? Was everyone kind today? And so on.

Knowing that LittleBrother’s best friend was absent, due to being the Big Brother of the Little Boy who was just adopted, I asked if his best friend was there. Yes, I ask leading questions. All good parents do.

“No, he wasn’t there. Baby B got adopted today.”
“I know! Isn’t that great.”

BigBrother looked at me like I had twelve heads.

“He got adopted today?”
“Yes.”
“So, like, he’s gone?”

And that’s when I realized that the children of birth parents don’t automatically associated adoption with staying put. Instead “got adopted” means that the child in question went away to be with a different family.

I instantly felt nauseated. I wondered if I could have avoided this conversation by talking more about what foster care means over the past year we’ve hung out with Baby B and family. But then that confuses things a little more for them, doesn’t it? If foster adoption means that a birth mother isn’t able to care for a child because of something she has done, does that mean that all birth mothers are poor parents? As adults, we can see the holes in that line of thinking—or most of us can—but at ten, the world is a little harder to understand.

So far my sons have associated adoption as a good thing that has bad sides. Their sister lives in a loving, permanent home with parents who welcome them as extended family. They know that they miss her, but that she is definitely part of their family as they are part of hers. It’s hard sometimes, but we all work through it together.

They don’t know that people judge me, their everyday mother, when I say that I’m a birth mother. They don’t know about the association to drugs, alcohol, or addiction in peoples’ minds. They don’t know that people, mostly of the pro-life camp, tell me I shouldn’t be sad because I “chose this” and “should have closed my legs.” They don’t think that I’m a bad mom, unworthy of parenting any children. They don’t view me as a danger. They don’t yet understand the unethical Baby Scoop Era or the ethical problems that still exist within adoption.

They just know that adoption took their sister and sometimes that sucks.

After I choked on my food for awhile, I began to explain.

“No, he didn’t go anywhere. Baby B will now stay with their family forever. Baby B’s birth mother couldn’t parent him for whatever reason, just like Mommy couldn’t parent Munchkin because I was so sick at the time, so Baby B’s mom took care of him until they could get all the papers in order and adopt him today. Now he will be there forever.”

More discussion went down. More processing happened. And not just for the kids, but for me, too. We’ve talked a lot about what adoption means in terms of their sister living with another family. But we haven’t talked a lot about their other friends who are adopted, and there are a number of them. I need to be more proactive at discussing the other side of things, if only so they don’t look devastated over dinner.

BigBrother got to make faces at Baby B while we were waiting for LittleBrother and his best friend to get baseball photographs taken this evening. In the car later, he spoke up.

“I’m glad that Baby B was adopted. I’m glad he’ll be here forever. He will just be part of our friend group, too, even though he’s younger.”

Yep. Forever.