A network of adoptive families, birth families, and adoption professionals which exists to improve the lives of children and others touched by adoption through support and education. UFA is actively engaged in community outreach and advocacy to raise awareness of adoption as a loving option.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Roller Coaster

image by anat_tikker
An adoption journey is equivalent to a super fast, twisty, upside down roller coaster ride in the dark -thrilling, scary, and oh so exciting! And the emotions that go along with it are no less twisty and up and down. So in the midst of my personal thrill ride, when my daughter had just been born and we were staying in a “bonding home” in another state with a family I had just met and I was wading through the paperwork and processes, you can imagine how grateful I was to see my parents! They made the 16-hour journey to meet their precious new granddaughter as soon as they could, which was such a relief to me because sometimes a girl just needs her mom! After all, who could understand me and my emotional roller coaster better than my mom? I know Diana, my bonding home mother, was trying so hard, bless her. More honestly, I didn’t want to admit to all of them in fear that voicing them might make me a bad person, or it might make the birthmother change her mind.

Along with the sheer love, joy, and adoration I felt for this perfect, precious little person, there were other things, too, that crept in on me occasionally. Fear was an ugly emotion that could bring me to tears. I was afraid the birthmother would change her mind. I was terrified my baby girl would feel detached, abandoned, or unwanted, even though I could not have loved her more if she were biologically delivered to me. I feared I would not be a good enough parent for her, for I knew she deserved only the best!

Another ugly emotion I buried deep down and shared with no one was sadness. Strange as it sounds, I did also have a bit of sadness, for the birthmother of this sweet baby girl. While I was incredibly grateful she chose an adoption plan, my heart ached for her and what she must be feeling. I knew the birthmother’s story and her background, which I will not share out of respect for my daughter, and I knew she was comfortable with her decision and with me being Bella’s mom, so I knew this really was the best situation for my little girl and her birthmother as well. I had no doubt about that. But this woman is still a human with very real emotions, so I grieved for her.

Guilt overcame me at one point as well. Another odd sounding one I’m sure, and one that I totally brought upon myself. I felt guilty for being able to provide for this baby what her birthmother could not.  I felt guilty for being so happy as she was facing such turmoil. Again, the guilt was purely my own because I knew she was truly at peace with her choice, and she had so much support from her family. There are so many situations that can bring a birthmother to choose an adoption plan, and in this case adoption really was the only option.

So what on earth would make me share all these “negative” emotions with the world? I have been reading social media posts and blogs from hopeful adoptive parents and from birthmothers alike, and I feel like both sides of the story need to know the full truth, that there may be emotions you were not expecting. And that’s ok. At the time, I laughed with my mom as we decided that my hormones were just as out of whack as though I had given birth myself. But it’s true. All of a sudden you are overcome with love like you’ve never known, and your brain is turning on those parental instincts, and God is preparing your whole being for doing the job intended to raise this little miracle He created just for you.

By Andrea Ceely

We want to hear from you: Did you go through a similar range of emotions? Are there any that you would add? Tell us about your highs & lows, your twists & turns at different points in your adoption journey.  
Please leave your comments below, or submit your own guest post.

1 comment:

  1. Betsy Bethel-McFarlandApril 11, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Wow, thanks for the insight into how you were feeling when you adopted Bella. Fascinating all the emotions -- like you and your mom said, as if your hormones were out of whack! So glad you are able to share this journey with others through your beautiful writings!


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