Sharing recipes, crafts and frugal living, the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. Yoga Instructor said goodbye to her nightly glass of Chardonnay to give up habits that were not serving her purpose in life! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.


Adoption from Foster Care- Numbing Emotions with Food

Photo by: Igor Ovsyannykov
2016 has been a rollercoaster of a ride for our family as we embarked on the journey of adoption from the foster care system. We began this journey in January of 2016. First item to cross off our to-do list was the required 27 hours of classes and training, which took place over several Saturdays. Then came the paperwork; background checks- criminal, driving records and financial. Homestudy visits at our house from a social worker interviewing my wife and I together, then separate and then the children each by themselves. Fire inspection of our house from a fire marshall, reference letters and interviews with our friends and finally when all of that was completed we sat down with our adoption agency to talk about marketing ourselves. Yes, that's ourselves as awesome parents. Creating fliers with images of our family and what our interests and hobbies are, describing where we live and what services, both therapeutic and recreational, that are close to our house. The idea is to market our family to social workers so that they would read more about us and possibly know of a child on their caseload that would be a perfect match.

When you are going through the paperwork stage of adoption all you can think about is the matching stage. Often I would say to my wife with excitement in my eyes, "I can't wait to get to the matching!" And then when you are in the matching stage you don't think your heart can hold any more hurt and pain that you are hearing on a daily basis. Reading stories of abuse both physical and sexual, neglect because of addiction and poverty and that energy needs to go somewhere. Otherwise it takes up residence in your body in some fashion. Whether that is building a wall around your heart by becoming jaded and cynical or those emotions live as chronic pain in a region of your body for example back or hip pain.

For me I chose to numb those emotions of heartbreak with food. I'm a yoga teacher and life coach, I knew better than to do this. But there I was every night eating cookies, eating my emotions and loosing sight of any physical exercise program except a slow flow, stretchy yoga practice. I was numbing with food and damn did it feel good in the moment. We all deal with hard emotions differently and oftentimes we numb those feelings when we can't take any more in. Food, drugs, alcohol, gambling and even Facebook/social media are the top choices for most people to numb themselves from feeling.

During the matching phase of adoption there are a lot of rejections. We wondered if it was because we are two women but oftentimes it was because we are already parents, which we thought was a benefit for us. But unfortunately so many children in the foster care system have been abused and social workers think it best for them to live in a house without other children. With each rejection the Ben and Jerry's would be cracked open. I am a highly sensitive person and numbing this heartbreak, felt like all I could do. Everyday hearing stories of abuse to innocent children left me in tears on my kitchen floor. I was feeling too much. In order to survive I needed to numb. And food was my numbing escape of choice. 
With any bad habit there are consequences and as you might have already guessed weight gain was the consequence that I had to deal with. In 2016 I gained 16 pounds! I am 5'3 and have weighed the same amount since I was in high school (except during pregnancies, of course). These 16 pounds came on easy and tasted delicious but now in 2017 it's time for them to go! My wife and I decided to do a personal challenge, for 45 days we are going to be mindful of the food that we eat. Choosing to eat healthy rather than convenient and we have given up (refined) sugar. Changing our diet as well as exercising 6 days a week will jump start us into 2017.

Week one felt impossible without the sweet treat after lunch and dinner. But now embarking on week two, I'm feeling better. I've already noticed that I have more energy and a positive mindset. The cravings for sweets are still there but rather than giving into that craving with cookies or ice cream I'm allowing myself a small bowl of berries. Doing this with my wife has been momentous! It's easier to resist sweets and exercise when you have a partner being supportive and on the journey with you. Keep tuning in to the CocktailMom blog to learn about the changes we are making to be healthier and happier in 2017!


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