Welcome to Motherhood

Welcome to Motherhood

It’s been nearly one year since I left the U.S. to adopt my daughter, Antara, in Nepal. It’s been a tremendous year as we’ve bonded and grown to love each other more and more each day. I’ve seen my baby girl grow into this independent, confident, happy toddler who defnitely knows what she wants.  She insists on “walking” after I finally got motivated to get the jogging stroller out, and when she peeks at herself in the mirror, she flips her hair back, lifts the bottom of her dress up and says “cute”. 

People continue to ask me if motherhood is what I thought it would be.  My gut is to say of course, it’s a fabulous feeling that warms my heart and I love being a mother.  I’d absolutely be telling the truth, but I’d be leaving out the fact that it is much more difficult than I ever imagined.   Friends keep asking how we are doing, and I keep telling them that we are still adjusting.  I feel like I am pulled in so many directions and I don’t get a break.  Mothers just stare at me with a smile and say…Welcome to motherhood.

For those who aren’t familiar, we, along with about 60 families, adopted children from Nepal. The program is now closed. The families who are back in the U.S. are adjusting in their own ways. Many of the adopted children have new siblings, others are struggling with memories of their past. All are happy and healthy. Here are a few stories from some of the adoptive parents.

A family in sunny California

We have been home for more than three months now and the transition for Karuna has gone really well. She has gone from being a very quiet, shy, somewhat shut down little girl at the orphanage to a smiling, precocious, chatty, social little girl who loves getting out and about and who adores her big brother Julian. We had a significant challenge at first because she was distrustful of Daddy at first after all the visits he made to the orphanage when he couldn’t take her home. It was understandable but made for a tough first few months with lots of tears and determination from us all to show her that Daddy would be in her life always! Now their bonding is going great and she loves greeting him with open arms, hugs and kisses when he gets home from work.  We recently took a family cruise together with her grandparents – she is a great little traveler and enjoyed everything about it except perhaps swimming pools with cool water. However a couple of the pools were very shallow and warm and she loved getting into these. But she thought they were a bath – she would get in and wash herself and Mommy and any other kids that joined in. She would even “shampoo” their hair and more than one kid lined up to get a “head massage” from the cute little Nepalese girl with the big smile. 

All in all we are happier than we could ever imagine and having her join the family is a dream come true. And we have to give a special shout out to her big brother Julian who at 6 years of age has been doting, loving and very protective of his little sister – we couldn’t be prouder of him.

A  family in Colorado

The first few weeks were really rough with Cassidy and adjusting to the sibling, adjusting to not fighting for food and toys, but now they are truly enjoying each other and really only want to be together.

One of our funny stories- when he first came home- he was not so keen on meats but liked chicken nuggets.. so made a lot of them! Now when we look through books and he points out animals, he says Cow, Pig, Snake, and when he sees a Chicken.. he says Chicken Nuggets!! So sweet.. 

 A Windy City family

Karina talks about life in Nepal and the “old house” (our apartment in Mitra Park, Kathmandu) fairly often.  When she sees a taxi here in Chicago, she’ll sometimes mention Basu’s name.  Basu was our main cabby in Nepal.  She also talks pretty often about “Chingka Auntie” – her Didi at the orphanage.  We are happy that she has such fond memories of Nepal.  Talking about it is her way of processing all the change.  She doesn’t seem sad or upset, but she does talk regularly about Nepal.

Last weekend we went to the restaurant Mt. Everest in Evanston.  The wait staff went ga ga over Karina.  They spoke to her in Nepali, but she spoke back in English.  However when our food order came, her eyes lit up.  Momos, dal bhat, aloo gobi, etc.  She began eating with her right hand, no utensel, as is customary in Nepal.  She was so happy.  Daddy joined her, too.  They were both just having a great time.  The wait staff were so pleased and not offended one bit.  They brought us several desserts on the house.  They were genuinely so happy for us.

Leave a comment