A mom to a newly adopted 6-year-old shared her raw and very real feelings on her journey to parenthood on our Creating a Family Facebook Support Group. With her permission, we share them with you.
I was sitting listening to a song called Blacklist by John Moreland when this lyric hit me like a ton of bricks:
“This sure ain’t how I thought that it would feel – to finally have made it.”
I’ve been feeling lost. Lost from myself, like I don’t recognize this person I am anymore. I’ve been attributing it being a new Mom to a six-year-old overnight, without warning. A process that I thought would take 3 to 4 more years is done; she is here. I am a Mom.
So, if I made it (“you prayed for this,” my husband reminds me when I complain of how tired I am), then how come I don’t feel ecstatic the whole time? How come I still feel lost? How come I don’t feel like myself anymore?
I’ve been finding the answer to that, and it is perplexing. I don’t envy the families enjoying a meal together at a restaurant anymore. I see movies about families, and I don’t have this feeling of not belonging anymore. I listen to those songs that reminded me of everything I did not have, and they don’t make me sad anymore. Nothing. There is nothing of those old familiar feelings I used to have.
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The inability to form a family has been embedded in me, as part of who I am for so long. For 15 long years, I have been this person, a family of 2, childless. My mind and my heart were prepared for losing battle after battle. I was a warrior knowing the odds were against me, and all my strength was being channeled into picking myself up and going at it again. Without a timeframe, without any certainty, with fierce (but certainly, futile) hope.
Fifteen years of watching other people’s new beginnings, bringing children into the family, while I only lost family members.
I realize now that there was some pride in this losing with the dignity of the one that never gives up.
And now I have this miracle sleeping in her bedroom upstairs. This precious life that some force of the universe, God, thought wise to send for me to care for and love.
I am not the proud childless warrior I was only eight months ago. But I find that in joy, there is not the end of a journey or the completion of myself I thought I was looking for.
There is a new me I am finding. An exhausted me. A Mom me. A Miracle was bestowed on me, me. And truthfully, I don’t recognize me like this.
It is so weird. So happily weird.
Is your experience of parenthood what you thought it would be?
Image credit: Theresa Martell; allison
Add Your Comment
I did not not educate myself about adoption. It just kind of happened, BUT it is NOT what I wanted it to be. I saw The Blind Side and thought awww I want to make a differ in someone’s life, but it doesn’t turn out all peachy cream. IT IS HARD. Especially when you don’t know anything else to do to help them over come their trauma.
You are right — adoption and the trauma that often comes with it CAN be so hard. I feel like I’m constantly learning and stretching myself to learn more about meeting the needs and about how to teach them to find their path. We have a fantastic set of resources here at our site. Have you had a chance to listen to this podcast yet? It’s a great overview of trauma-informed parenting, and a show I’ve listened to several times over – Attachment 101.
I’m happy to help you find more resources that can help you if you’d like to reach out by email to me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Seems like a little post adoption depression….and I don’t mean that to be terrible or extreme. It happens. You do not expect it because really, you are happy inside and glad, so glad for what you have in the bed upstairs. Look into it, and learn that this will pass. You may need some help temporarily, that’s all.
From someone who has been working at an adoption agency for many years
That’s a good point – when there is a disparity between reality and expectations it can look and feel like post-adoption depression. I won’t speak for the guest poster about whether it was or was not in this instance.
I will say, educating oneself about post-adoption depression is always a good idea – prior to adopting if you can and certainly if you are struggling with the mis-match of expectations after! We have excellent resources to help you do that at our Post Adoption Depression Resource Page.