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Conflicted Emotions
Posted: 27 January 2010 06:08 PM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  40

I hope you don’t mind me chiming in…I am not where you are right now, but I remember feeling many of the feelings you described so well in your post. After I miscarried, it seemed everyone was pregnant, everywhere. Today I have two daughters, one who was adopted from China. Back when I miscarried and failed repeatedly to get pregnant, my first daughter was a four-year-old “mini-me,” as people called her. We had the same blue eyes, blond hair, the same features and mannerisms. When I was pregnant—or hoping I was—I envisioned my second child would look much like the first. As we began the adoption process, it did seem sorrowful that our child would not look like my husband and me, would not share our DNA. I, too, grieved in a way for the birth-related things I would not get to do again.

But you know what, when I read your post, I realized none of that mattered once I met my child. Really. I got to do all kinds of adopted-related things that were special in their own ways. And, I had this beautiful child in my arms I could not love more if I had birthed her myself. (See A Question of Love on The Yin and the Yang.) Yes, sometimes I wished I had been there for her from birth, not missed those first months, but I wouldn’t trade my child or our relationship for anything.

I think grieving is a necessary part of miscarrying a child—one I think is often too downplayed—and I hope you don’t hear this as if you should not have any of the feelings you are. I think you should. And bless the people in your life that understand and give you grace and compassion. What I mean to do is add to that uplifting sense you had about things turning out better than imagined.

Adopting a child holds a lot of secret suprises, I’ve found. I have met the neatest people in Target, at the Dentist, the coffee shop, people with whom I share an instant connection out of our common link of adopting a child. I love the smiles that pass between me and another parent in the grocery aisle when we see each other’s children and know. Or, I often get a kick out of being somewhere and watching a stranger gush over my daughter, then look around for her parents until they finally look at me and I smile. “It’s me. I’m her mom.” And, though the difference in our looks is something we cherish, parents eyes are funny things, they get all clouded up with love. My daughter has my mannerisms and expressions, I have hers, and my sister swears our family is all beginning to look a little Asian. Honestly, sometimes I’ll catch a glimpse of my daughter across the room and be startled to see she looks Chinese.

Another thing I just noticed this weekend watching my daughters in a performance, I am slightly more relaxed about what my daughter who was adopted does or doesn’t do. I have more stress around my other daughter. For example, if my biological daughter trips, I have that tiny pang of guilt—oh no did I give her the clumsy gene?!

Posted: 18 March 2010 03:45 AM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  1

Hello J Mac,

I am new to AdoptiveFamilies and received my first magazine a few days ago.  One of the articles had your post about “Conflicted Emotions” and I have to say I think you were reading my mind.  I have a very similar situation at work where one of the girls is pregnant and continually talks about her aching back, sleepless nights, etc.  She knows that my husband and I can not concieve and we have talked about how hard it is when you are trying and everyone around you is getting pregnant (of course that was only for 1 month because month 2 she conceived) so she knows how I feel about it and continues to complain about her pregnancy.  I try and tell her to count her blessings, but it doesn’t seem like she is getting the hint.  She is a very nice person and I want so much to be happy for her, but it is a very big struggle for me.

My husband and I are finishing up our homestudy (we have our home visit this Friday) and I feel like we are just going through a process. I have many friends who are pregnant and people are constantly offering them baby “stuff”, but not thinking of calling us. It doesn’t seem real that a baby will be here ( hopefully sooner than later).  We feel very much like this is just a process that we are going through. 

Thank you so much for your post and I would love to hear an update on how you are doing now and how the process is going for you.


Posted: 19 March 2010 03:22 AM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  9

It can be really hard to be around pregnant woman when you can’t be pregnant with them.  Before we decided to adopt, I was in a similar situation in which 3 of the 7 members of my teaching team were pregnant, while I was not.  (One of these being my best friend.)  It was just painful sometimes to be around them, and often I would just have leave the conversation at the end of a team meeting or in the hall between classes.  People really don’t know how hard it is to be in that situation unless they’ve lived it.

However, I now have 2 Ethiopian princesses, and I’m so glad that our family has grown that way.  I do sometimes think about the fact that my children are not connected to me biologically, but in the end, it doesn’t matter.  They’re my girls regardless of the fact that I didn’t carry them for 9 months. 

I know, too, that the waiting part of the adoption process is so very painful.  The time between referral and travel to bring home my girls was probably the most difficult time of my life.  My heart ached for my children. 

They are now home, and that ache is gone.  Those of you who are waiting, hang in there.  It is so worth it in the end!

Posted: 21 March 2010 04:54 PM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  15

I did not feel bad or feel sad around others with children or celebrating baby showers.  I felt bad I didn’t feel bad.  Coworkers and friends expected me to feel that way and went out of their way to be sensitive.  Which was really just embarassing.  I never wanted to be pregnant.  Never felt the desire to be.  I wanted to be a parent and we made plans to be parents through adoption.  But if I were to really tell coworkers and friends how I felt then they were just disgusted.  One coworker said I was not natural or maternal enough to be a parent just because I was actually okay with never being able to become pregnant (at least without medical intervention - and even then no way to say it would be possible).  What I didn’t like was people assuming I would think and feel a certain way about baby showers and pregnancy.  I didn’t like people thinking it wasn’t normal to not want to crave those things.

Posted: 29 March 2010 07:43 AM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  3

I was so glad to see all of the posts on this topic.  J. Mac, I saw your post printed in the latest Adoptive Families magazine and I immediately felt bonded with you, as I now do with everyone who has posted replies here.  I miscarried in the fall of 2008 after four years of trying to conceive (I have endometriosis).  This was the most devastating thing I’ve ever been through and is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life.  It gets easier with time but I know it’s something that will always be there.  Months later, to make a long story short, a birthmother came to us through a mutual friend and the rest is history.  We have a 6 month old baby boy and he is the joy of our lives.  Having had him since birth, we can’t imagine life without him.  He is and always will be our baby.  I am overwhelmed with love for this baby and I know I couldn’t love my own biological child any more than I love this baby. 

Having said all of that, I totally understand the feelings all of you are having, as I have these feelings myself, and I feel so terribly guilty about it!  I know God had a plan and a reason for allowing me to miscarry, and I know that he was involved in our adoption from start to finish.  I couldn’t be more grateful to Him for what He has given us.  But at the same time I do find myself angry when I see other pregnant mothers and wonder why it couldn’t have been that easy for me.  The most difficult thing for me to see is pregnant teenagers and people who really do not need to have babies and don’t have the sense enough to realize what a blessing a child is.  I wanted very badly to carry and give birth to my biological child with my husband and was hung up on this for quite some time.  I still grieve that we probably will never have a biological child but this does not mean that I don’t love my baby boy more than anything in the world.  It’s really difficult to put into words, isn’t it???  I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love him, but there was another baby that I lost, and one cannot take the place of the other. 

I can say to all of you who have miscarried or are dealing with having to accept the fact that you will never give birth to a child, it does get easier with time.  As I said before, for me it will always be there but it does get easier to deal with.  I am a Christian and I believe that life begins at the moment of conception.  In this I can have peace that I will see my baby in Heaven one day, and I hope that those of you who have miscarried can have this peace also.  I pray that those of you who are not able to conceive will be able to know the joy of adoption as my husband and I have.  It has changed our lives and filled a void in our hearts.  God bless you all and keep writing!

Posted: 29 March 2010 07:56 AM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  3

Another thing I forgot to mention in my earlier post is how we felt during the adoption process.  I can identify with all of you that it doesn’t seem real at the time.  For us, we worried the entire pregnancy that something would happen and our birthmother would change her mind.  It was difficult but we had to constantly remind ourselves that God was in this whole situation and that He had control over it.  Those of you who are in the middle of a pending adoption, be patient with yourselves.  I know it doesn’t feel real right now but when that baby gets here, you will immediately feel like parents.  Even for the first few weeks I still didn’t exactly feel like a real mother but when your baby gets older and gets attached to you, I promise you, it will be real!  You will be the only parents your child will ever know and he or she will love you unconditionally.  During our birthmother’s pregnancy I did feel as many of you feel, as if I was robbed of the experience of being able to have showers and buy maternity clothes and all of that.  I did feel like an outcast in a way also.  Another thing is that we kept the pending adoption a secret and only told a few close friends and immediate family, so it wasn’t something we felt we could shout from the rooftops.  In a way that put a damper on things but it was better to keep the secret in case something went wrong.  However, the joy all of our friends and church family expressed when they found out weeks before our baby was born was worth waiting for.  Those of you waiting to adopt, keep everyone posted on the status!  And don’t be too hard on yourselves for the way you feel, and know that others feel the same way!

Posted: 29 March 2010 07:43 PM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  43

On some other boards, people preface their posts with the term “ments” to warn people that certain things will be mentioned. This way a reader can skip over a post that they don’t want to read and spare themselves bad feelings as well. For instance you could say “m/c ment” so those who find it too painful to read about a m/c can skip the post. Additionally, you can say “religion ment” so those who are not religious can skip your post. Is this something we can start doing? Not meaning to offend anyone’s beliefs.

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