Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Adoption Is Scary

I'm linking this post to Adoption Magazine's Adoption Blog Hop... If you don't know this blog, make sure you have a look, they have a lot of high quality posts!

Adoption is scary.
I mean, sure, having a child is always a scary adventure.
But adoption is different. It's more complicated, doesn't provide you with a timeline and, in most cases, isn't something that your Mom can advise you on.
Where a pregnant woman worries about miscarriage, birth defects and labor, a waiting parent worries about failed adoptions, pre-natal malnutrition and a long, emotionally painful process.
But there is so much more fears in adoption... Family acceptance, racial issues, attachment problems, difficult discussions with a growing child, alcohol or drug exposure, openness and dealing with this other family, finances...

In all honesty, I have been terrified every step of the way, ever since we decided to jump onboard this roallercoaster.
But the one biggest fear I have is the only thing that I can't say for sure will turn out fine. Are we doing what's best for our children? Are our kids going to resent us for taking them to this country where they look different? Will they feel like we have stripped them of the culture they should have grown up in? How do we instill enough pride and self confidence in our children to make them feel good about their stories?
What do we know? We haven't been in this situation. How can we fully sympathise with the challenges, the pains our kids will endure?

So while we wait, I try to prepare. I learn about Sri Lanka, I read about adoption, I spend time with kids, I talk with other parents... But the fears are always there. They are part of the journey. And though I'm scared silly every step of the way, I'm not turning back!

What fears do you have, as you wait for adoption?

10 comments:

  1. Gen, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am terrified too. I'm scared of the heartbreak I know Christine will feel one day when she is old enough to mourn the loss of her birth parents and country. I'm scared I won't know how to properly address ignorant comments and questions. I'm scared that we won't be able to provide a strong enough connection to her culture. Oh this list goes on and on!

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  2. I'm not as far along in the adoption process as you ladies, but I have a lot of the same fears. I am sure as the time gets closer to bringing your child home the fears will get stronger.

    Like you said, I worry that we will never fully understand our children's experience as adoptees because we don't have first hand knowledge of that. In some ways, this is not a worry that is unique to adoptive parents. Parents with biological kids who have disabilities or other challenges probably have a lot of the same fears. Will my child feel isolated? Will he find friends who look like him? Will he be a confident, proud person? How will they feel when people (even strangers) ask them personal questions.

    It is hard for us Prospective Adoptive Mamas because we have so much time to sit and think and worry. When a Mom has a baby who turns out to be blind (like my friend did) she just deals with the situation and worries as she goes, but there isn't a long build up of waiting.

    So I guess my point is, I worry a lot too about what our future child will have to face, but worrying is a part of being a Mom, and some Moms just have more to worry about. Sorry for the super long comment!

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  3. I would be worried if at this stage you didn't have fears, so it's healthy and good that you do and that you are able to express them and articulate what they are. It sound like you are also being proactive by learning all that you can ahead of time.

    Thanks so much for sharing and for linking to Adoption Blog Hop!

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  4. Hi, I am Srilankan adoptee brought to England 33 years ago,I am also a mother to three children, including one with special needs. The difference in my situation was that my adoptive parents were Srilankan so I still had links to some of my culture etc...
    Your fears are healthy and its good to see prospetcive adoptive parents think of such issues and want to educate themselves better around it.
    Though I had links to my culture, nothing still changes in terms of the emotions an adoptee go through and that I have found resonates amongst the majority of adoptees globally. As a prospective adoptive parent I would advise you read The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier,if you havent already. It will greatly broaden your understanding of understanding an adopted child.

    My advise would be to be yourself, understand from now that challenges will arise, maybe take him/her back to Srilanka often ....

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    Replies
    1. Dear Anonymous,
      Thank you for your comment, this is very valuable to us. We try to gain some perspective on how adoptees view adoption. We are following blogs by adoptees and trying to keep an open mind. Thank you for sharing you experience... Gen

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    2. My pleasure and thank you for reading. I do think that adoption is a great thing as long as the adoptive parents are doing it for the right reasons. Unfortunately my adopotive parents, as good as they could be and were, were not supportive and I think not fully prepared for the experience. I admire adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents who take time like yourself who read other blogs and try to understand the adoption triad

      i also blog if you are interested (inmyownwordsandsearching.wordpress)

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    3. and wishing you all the best in your journey and hoping it all works out for you and soon, (Srilankans can be a tad slow :) lol)

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  5. Hi Gina,
    It's been a crazy week at school and my middle name is "Worry". Like you and Gina, I have many worries and fears. As my child will be a little bit older, most likely, will she accept me? What memories will she hold of her past life? Will she run back to her country as a teenager to find her birthmother? Can I afford this? Am I doing the right thing? I think because we have so much time to wait, our minds do wander.
    Hang in there, although you have some worries your post sounds like you no longer have doubts.
    Can't wait to hear some good news from you,
    Elizabeth

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  6. Thank you all for your comments! They remind me that we are not alone :)
    Gen

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  7. Hi all- I just wanted to say that I think that adoptive kids are as varied as any other kids, whether they be kids whose parents are divorced, kids who are multicultural, whatever. I have had am amazing experience being adopted, I never think of my parents as adoptive parents, they are just my mum and dad. I think it depends on the adopted person, just like any other aspect of identity and also on their relationship with their parents. Anyway I just wanted to say this as I feel sometimes adopted children are classed as one big group, and we aren't. Until recently I had very little interest in my 'original' culture - even though my parents have tried to get me interested over the years, I wasn't. I was mainly interested in the culture I live in. I don't mourn the loss of my biological parents or culture because I am so grateful to have had the life I have had in a wealthy country, with great family and friends, lots of eduction, excellent health care and lots of freedom. If I hadn't been adopted, i would have had a hard life, may not even have lived to see 1 year old. I am grateful for the life I have led. I am 30 and only now just at a place where I would like to meet my birth mother. It doesn't mean I love my mum and dad any less. But i am curious and i want to tell her i am ok and to give her peace that i am fine and well. Not because I am mourning losing her or upset. We are all different and I just wanted to share this view with potential parents. Please don't let anyone make you think all adopted kids are like this or like that. We aren't! When you meet your child, I'm sure you'll get to know them and work out what their personality is like, (and how they feel about being adopted), just like a mum would with any aspect of their child's personality, biological child, step child, adopted child or otherwise:-)

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