Friday, November 6, 2009

What to Do?

I should preface this by saying that I loved every second I had with my little Roo. I would not trade any of it for anything in the world. Not any of the crying at 4am, or the poopy diapers, or the projectile spit-up. I loved all of it and that time is so precious to me.

But there are times that, purely for practical reasons, I wish I'd placed sooner. Like, at the hospital. Because things would have been a bit simpler. There would be fewer things for me to have to work out, fewer things to do. I wouldn't be in the awkward situation I'm in now, wondering what exactly I should write in the thank-you notes for my baby shower.

I need to write them soon, because the shower was on August 1st, which is three months ago. My mother taught me better than that; I feel guilty that I don't have them sent already. But I had a newborn baby to take care of, and I couldn't seem to find the time to write them. And then when I might have found a moment, I made the decision to place, and I couldn't justify spending time writing notes when my time with Roo was so finite.

And then I placed her, and I was too upset to even think about my baby shower. It's still hard to think about, actually. When I was in Jo-Ann the other day I was looking at cake decorations, and I looked left instead of right to see more, and my eye caught on the decorations and favors for baby showers, and I stood there for about five minutes, crying silently. It hurt to think of it - of the joy and excitement that most women feel at their baby showers. Mine was a little different. I didn't have any friends at the time, so all the women there were my mother's friends, not mine. And some of them weren't even friends, just women from church who know her. It was awkward, because I couldn't imagine why these women I scarcely knew would throw a baby shower for an unwed mother. And people wanted to hold Roo, to pass her around, but she wasn't quite a month old yet, and I was worried about germs and that sort of thing so I said no, and a few people seemed kind of irritated about it.

But I digress. I have about two dozen thank-you notes to write and not a clue as to what I should say in them. I think most if not all of the gift-givers know by now that I placed Roo. But do I mention it? What do I say, and how do I say it?

These are probably going to be the shortest thank-you notes in history, because all I can think to say so far is "Dear ____, thank you so much for the _____, and for coming to my baby shower." Is that enough? Should I mention anything else?

It's going to be hard enough to write the stupid things. I know I'm going to end up crying before I finish even one of them. I wish I could snap my fingers and have them done. I don't want to have to think about the shower, or about all the lovely little gifts I never got to use or put on Roo. Clothes she will never wear, toys she will never play with, baby shampoo that will never touch her head. I want to cry just thinking about it. I still haven't put away any of Roo's things. My room is a mess of baskets and boxes of folded baby clothes. The crib, still assembled, is also full of clothes and blankets and toys. I have plastic storage tubs to put them in, but I haven't had the mental energy to organize them and put them away. I haven't had it in me to pick up the tiny outfits I put on my baby and pack them out of sight. It hurts too much. It's too much of a goodbye for me.

It's ridiculous, really. My room is a mess and I need to put things away. It's not as though having Roo's sleepers and Onesies is the same as having her here with me. Why can't I just put them away? Why can't I just write "Thank you!" and be done with it? I feel that I've made a lot of emotional progress lately and so it's terribly frustrating to me that there are things like this that I can't make myself do yet. If not now, when? I ask myself. I don't know when, though. I only know not yet.


Angie said...

Jill, I know you probably don't (at all) want my advice so please don't be offended but I do have some ideas.
1st: With all of the gifts you could either pass them on to the adoptive parents, who I bet would be incredibly grateful, I was. That way you would know they would be used by cute little Roo and maybe they wouldn't haunt you so much.

Or you could pack them away maybe in special box with a few other special things and have them to pull out on a day you feel like remembering your special time with her. I did this will several things Norma gave to Zad to give him someday. I still pull them out to remind myself what a miracle he is.

#2 With the thank you notes you could simply say, "Thank you, your _____ was really appreciated." After all it was, you did appreciate their thoughtfulness and whether you pack them away or pass them on to Roo they still will be appreciated.

Or, if it simply too painful don't write them at all. Who cares. This is not about them, it's about what you need right now at a very critical time in your life. Like you said most of them probly already know and getting a thank you note may be just as awkward for them. Besides most people just throw thank you notes away and it's not like they are waiting around for one. If they are, they need to get a life.

Anyway, hang in there. I'm sure whatever you do will be great. After all you have made several really great decisions, just look at Roo!

Megan said...

I agree. Don't write those thank you notes. Those women understand, they don't want you to go through any more pain on their behaf because of some social nicety.
Take care of yourself. You have done one of the most unselfish things any human will ever do. Now it is time for some self care and love.

BobandColista said...

My husband and I had three sisters in our home who we had planned on adopting through foster care. They had only been with us for a week when the ladies in my neighborhood threw us a HUGE adoption baby shower. I had begged them to wait until it was finalized but they insisted.

The adoption baby shower that was thrown for me - for the girls - was so huge it was shocking. I've never seen so many gift bags, cutely wrapped packages, and gift cards. White I was sitting at the baby shower I stared off wondering how long it would be before our girls would become our girls, and if they ever would. I knew they missed their previous foster family dearly. My heart was breaking and rejoicing all at the same time.

A couple months passed and a very heart-wrenching long story later we realized that our 3 sweet daughters, our girls, needed to go back to their previous foster family, the family they had grown to love as their own. That was the hardest decision we have ever made and I still miss them, think about them, and cry once in a while even four years later.

My mother had also taught me to write thank you cards. But after all that happened I just couldn't do it. I was grateful for everyone's love and support but I couldn't face my loss. I also wondered what I would say in the cards. "Thank you for the karaoke machine. I'm sure the girls are putting it to good use."

Don't feel obligated. The ladies in my neighborhood knew that I appreciated everything. They also wanted to help me through my difficult time and probably would have scolded me for worrying about sending thank you cards. People don't give gifts in order to be recognized, they do it to be nice.