Love for a lifetime
As an adoptive Mom myself, I can state unequivocally that this has been the most joyous and fulfilling thing I have ever done in my entire life. However, it has not been without challenges. I adopted my oldest daughters as infants, one who was very ill upon our return home. Her life in the orphanage was traumatic and life threatening, each and every day that she passed there. My middle daughter was loved and cared for by a foster family and came to us clean and bright and fully engaged, but it took her the longest to bond, rejecting me and my touch for what felt like an eternity. My youngest daughter was three and a half when I picked her up, with needs for medical treatments and attention. She was old enough to be leaving behind heartfelt bonds that she had developed with others. When we met she was far more nervous than I was, and significantly more terrified. It nearly broke me, when I had to physically tear her away from the Orphanage Director, and the life she clung to with every fiber of her little being. I knew it was the right thing and that she would get over it, but that didn’t make that moment much easier.
Making the Decision
Choosing adoption is a major decision for a couple or an individual, and the biggest step you may take in your life. Sometimes the process to adopt can feel overwhelming, raising doubts about your commitment to proceed or your conviction that this is the right decision for you. Doubt is just a part of it. The many choices to adopt are also hard to absorb: domestic adoption, fost-adopt, court supervised adoption, agency adoption, foreign adoption, long-term foster parenting…knowing the birth mother, not knowing the birth mother, not knowing anything at all about the child that will soon be yours… And then there is the waiting…and the hoops…and the expense…
So, do all couples who choose adoption do so with romantic notions in their heads and increased intimacy within their relationship, just from the glow of prospective parenthood? Hardly! It is normal for couples to react to the stress and the overwhelm of the situation with some discord. And sometimes, new parents and old must deal with unknown or unpredicted aspects of your adoptive child. Then there are the stages an adoptive child goes through, including the dreaded, “You’re not my REAL mother!”
I have worked at a fertility clinic, coordinated with public and private adoption agencies; counseled adults who were adopted, and have myself endured the process of foreign adoptions—three times—adopting both infants and an older child. It does get easier and it is all worth it. But if you could use it, let me help.