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Waiting to Adopt

Super emotional during this pre-adoption phase. Anyone else?


I am a 30 year old woman adopting a baby with my husband and I have found myself so emotional over this entire process. We are almost done with the paperwork side of things and are going to begin the big wait (for a domestic infant-open adoption from a private agency) and we have told our families. I’m finding that I’m overly sensitive to everything everyone says.
I have been confident about my choice to adopt for many years, but I thought people would be just as excited for us, as though I announced I was pregnant and it has not been the case. We have been met with positivity, but like, caustic positivity. My step sister in law went to far as to say “I think the baby needs to be with the biological mother by any means possible” the day we announced our adoption. No congrats, etc. I know she didn’t mean it offensively, and of course a baby being with a biological parent that was capable and ready to care for them would be ideal, but it really stung. Anyone else have these kinds of feelings?

Replies

I am so sorry to hear about those incredibly painful words from your step sister in law.  I’m flabberghasted myself, and as a single waiting adoptive mom, I thought I’d heard all the criticism.  Age continues to show me all the ignorance that stills runs rampant in our world.

Fear of criticism and less than helpful opinions is one of the reasons I have been very quiet about my adoptive plans.  Also, with a couple failed adoptions in the past, I have really found the “Any news yet?” inquiry, even when excited and wanting to be helpful sooooo frustrating to deal with.  Unlike a pregnancy, you can’t put an estimated due date on this adventure.  Sometimes it is safer to hold things in close if only because yes, it is a roller coaster of emotions.

I found blogging and journaling to really help me during the waiting time, and plan to use that journal as the start of the story I plan to tell my child when s/he arrives.  I have a foster daughter I was supposed to adopt and I would journal my/our experience as letters to her and I love looking back at that, and even still continue to add to it as I venture to meet her sibling to be (that my ‘first’ daughter will be turning 8 this month is just mind-boggling!).

It is so hard when you do so much work on this journey, and want to share your excitement, and yet cannot even plan a shower that would allow you to share it with others.  I think you need to find the right supportive circle who understands this journey and the emotions of it and stick to sharing your experience to those who get it.  And know that there is always a community here!


kek

~~~
Still missing Wee Bean, who joined me at 5 days old and was taken from me at 17 months, and who will be my daughter always
~~~
adventures in becoming a single mom…
http://knockedupbyatesttube.blogspot.com

Posted by kek.smc on May 06, 2019 at 7:54pm

So sorry you are going through this. 

It kind of stinks, because you just want everyone to say “congratulations” and “that’s wonderful”, and instead you will hear stuff like “can’t the real mother just take the baby back?” or “aren’t you afraid of all the drugs?”.  >Sigh<

Remember that you have been thinking/dreaming/researching for a long time, your friends and family have not.  No matter how supportive they are (and some will be very supportive) you will have to educate them.  It isn’t that you don’t want to educate people, it is just that you wish people would be happy for you and trust that you have made a conscious, well thought out decision.  And it isn’t that those supportive people are not happy for you, many of them are scared for you because they have only heard horror stories.

I was a mess during the wait for each of our children.  We had two failed matches and a lot of false starts along the way.  It is hard to believe that our first adoption was ten years ago, because that time is so fresh in my memory.  You don’t really forget all the pain and worry, it is just that when you become a mom you realize it was worth all of the bad stuff.  You will also find that the horrible comments only get worse after you adopt, so consider this training.  You will be called horrible and entitled for “taking someone’s child”, or an angel for “saving a child”, when all you wanted was to be a mom.  People will insult your child’s birth parents, when they made a selfless decision that put their child’s needs first, and you will be treated as if your child, your family and your love for each other are somehow “less than” biological children and families. 

You will have to decide each time someone asks or comments about adoption whether you want to explain, educate, or change the subject.  When you decide you need to change the subject, or walk away, you need a pat answer ready.  Our phrase was “this is the best option for our family.” 

Best of luck on your adoption journey!!

Posted by jszmom on May 07, 2019 at 12:17am

Well, to be the thorn in the side again, I think it’s unrealistic to expect people to react to an intent to adopt the same way they would if you were pregnant.
Adoption is an emotion issue for many people in many ways, and not all are positive—and that’s not necessarily because they are ignorant. They might just have a different perspective.
If a family member of mine announced they were going to pursue a domestic infant adoption I would not jump for joy as I would if they said they were pregnant. I wouldn’t say anything cruel, but I wouldn’t be delighted, either. And yes, I would be thinking about family preservation and the many abuses in the DIA system. (Not saying all situations are wrong or abusive at all so no need to point that out.)
I understand this forum is mainly for adoptive parents, but it does say it is open to others, so I just want to point out that there are a lot of conflicting ideas and feelings outside the “adoptive parents community” and no one should be shocked that not everybody is on board, and certainly not everyone is going to treat someone who has completed paperwork for an adoption as if they are announcing a pregnancy.
I do agree with kek that it might be best to share your enthusiasm with those who, in his/her words, “get it” and will share your excitement, and maybe tone it down around others.
Now, if you do wind up adopting and they treat the child differently, or like jzsmom said, once you have the children people make rude comments, that’s a whole different ball of wax.

Posted by NoraT on May 07, 2019 at 4:44am

A lot of it is ignorance. though. Nora, there are a lot of Issues and problems with births as well. But friends congratulate one, on a pregnancy usually anyway, rather than list off all the things that could go wrong or all the reasons why one shouldn’t have a child.

It’s helpful to caution about abuses, and unethical behavior. Especially if you have an informed perspective on adoption.

However don’t confuse moving forward with forming a family or making a home for a child, with the child being forced up for adoption. This CAN be true but is not most of the time (just like folks can decide to have a baby when they are not mature enough to parent but this wouldn’t be one’s first reaction when a friend announced a baby on the way).

Posted by Happy Camper on May 09, 2019 at 6:48pm

And to the poster, I am of the opposite practice. I came over time to talk about all of it, not hide out in shame. (Not suggesting you are doing that, just what it felt like to me to not speak about what was going on in my life.)

You’ll find out who your real friends are. If some are going to be insulting to your child it’s best to know now so you can do something about it,- either educate them, or distance yourself and turn your energies to more supportive friends/family. And then, some grandparents and extended family will change when they too fall in love with the child.

Posted by Happy Camper on May 09, 2019 at 6:53pm

Nora, you make a valid point that adoption is more complex by its very nature, and so reactions may be more complex, as well. 

In my experience most people are ignorant about adoption, so their comments and concern are based on misinformation.  The adult adoptees we knew were very positive and supportive, but, of course, that was just our experience.

Posted by jszmom on May 10, 2019 at 7:00pm

“Nora, there are a lot of Issues and problems with births as well. But friends congratulate one, on a pregnancy usually anyway, rather than list off all the things that could go wrong or all the reasons why one shouldn’t have a child”

Not true. For example, if a 16-year-old announces she is pregnant, or a woman in an abusive marriage announces she is pregnant, or ... in many instances when a woman announces she is pregnant the announcement isn’t met necessarily met with congratulations and glee (if it were, there wouldn’t be DIA).

Plus, adoption is not the same as having a biological child, and wanting to adopt a child is not the same as being pregnant (“paper pregnant” isn’t really a thing). So for those and other reasons (you don’t know the people’s experience with adoption—and yes, when you announce a pregnancy you don’t know if the other person had a bad experience), I still maintain it is unrealistic to expect other people to get all excited when you announce you want to adopt.
And why announce at all? Why not wait until you’ve actually adopted a child to announce it to the world? Aside from maybe having to tell work in case you need to go out of state or something, I can’t think of any reason for such an announcement.
This may seem like nit-picking, but there are a lot of reasons that potential adoptive parents, and actual adoptive parents, should not conflate their situation with that of natural pregnancy and childbirth. Adopted children are not “as born to.” They just aren’t. IMO it is bad for both the HAPs and any child they might wind up adopting to conflate the two.
Just one point of view.

Posted by NoraT on May 18, 2019 at 9:25pm

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