Open Adoption Round Table Question #31
Fear. If I said I didn't feel some sort of it surrounding adoption everyday I'd be lying.
Adoption fears fall under several categories in my life: Fear of the Process, Fear of Openness, Fear of Infertility, Fear of Jack Being Hurt, Fear of the Future, Fear of Doing It Wrong.
The Fear of the Process is actually first. Logically Fear of Infertility would be first, but no, not in my head. I wanted to adopt before I found out I "had" to. But the process seemed mysterious, daunting and downright scary. Even contemplating our second adoption after successful travels last time, is scary.
Fear of openness, this is something that began as "I am afraid the birthfamily will want to be involved." It morphs into a fear of "What if they never want to be involved?" How does this happen? You meet them, you are given an amazing blessing and then you watch that blessing turn into a person, and you WANT the birthfamily to see it. How fantastic this little life is. Sure, there are exceptions to this, some birthfamilies are really not safe, but then you are afraid they never will be, and won't ever be able to see their child again. To see how awesome and wonderful they are.
When I was 16 I was told I had PCOS, and the Dr. was pretty stupid and said, "You'll want to have children early." I began to cry. I was ALREADY 16. She felt dumb and said, "I meant before 30."
"oh." Then I got to feel stupid. As my marriage began at 21 I figured I had time. We were SOOOO careful in those first years. Looking back, they may have been my most fertile. When our lives finally got to a point where we thought we could manage a child, I was 25 and we began "not blocking nature" That was when I got really scared, what if I couldn't do it. Did that mean I was a failure? What did that mean in regard to my LOVE of children and my DESIRE to be a mom? Was God going to withhold my dreams? I look at Jack and KNOW He was just making them come true His way. Nothing I could put together in my womb would have been him. I still get anxious about infertility. I still feel sort of defective, and people don't understand why having Jack doesn't make me healed. And I don't know how to really effectively explain it, nor do I wish to, except here on my blog I try to sometimes.
As a mom, I am fearful that someone will tell Jack that I am not his "REAL" mom. People say it often, he has no idea what that means, but when I ask people to never say that in his presence again, they get all huffy. "You said you were going to tell him about the adoption, did you change your mind?" This kills me. I did not decide to lie to my child. That does not mean I want you to tell him your version of the truth.
I am the only mother he knows, how is that not real? I am not pretending to be his mom, I didn't steal him. I worry that people will get to him before I can. Which leads to Fear of the Future and Doing it wrong.
Even though I tell him about his story all the time, I worry that he'll believe someone else. That he will think I lied to him. That he won't love me as much if I have to explain to him that I've always been his mother, that that is what is real. That it is other people who just don't get it. That if I've not done this right he will not love me in the future. And that is my deepest darkest most terrible fear.
My friend who is a biological mom, says she fears the same thing, that if she's not done her mothering right that her daughter will not love her. So maybe we mothers are all the same.