Wednesday, February 9, 2011

it's not so different

I have fears. A lot of them.

I have fears that I'll be a bad mom. Or I won't be ready in time for my baby to come home. I have fears that someone is going to tell us we can't adopt or we would make horrible parents. I constantly have to fend off the "what ifs." It's why we are working on the nursery six months before we are submitting the paperwork. Because it's the only thing that's keeping me sane with this wait. And sometimes, when I think, "Six months is a long time," it hits me. No it's not. We need physicals done. We still have a lot of money to save. We have to buy fire extinguishers. We need to get living wills made. We need to get the crack in the garage floor sealed, and we need to gather letters of recommendation.

With this, I'm starting to realize that waiting to adopt a baby is not much different than pregnancy - always wondering when/if something will happen. Will the car break down this month, setting us back another month from saving money? Will the roof of our house cave in, then we'll have to move into an apartment, and SURELY no one will think we are fit parents then. And even more stupid/obscure/self conscious things, like:

I want to do an adoption raffle. Will people even want to donate items? Will people just think I'm being greedy by asking for money?

Will people come to my baby shower and take it seriously when I'm not pregnant, and when there is no guarantee when we get to take our baby home?

Will I get awkward stares at the store when I'm registering for baby items? Will people wonder if I'm crazy/mad/insane for registering with no obvious bump to show?

They are never ending. They circle my mind at night repeatedly until I'm so exhausted, my eyes force themselves to close. And they are not just "before" fears. They are after, too. What if my baby doesn't bond with me? Or with Joey? What if he or she grows up and resents me because I don't look like him/her - we don't have the same hair or skin color or eye color or facial features? What if people say stupid things? Will I get angry? Will I get upset? How will I react the first time my child is bullied on the playground?

What if, all along, infertility was just God's way of telling me that I'm not supposed to be a mom?

Our fears are different at the surface, but they come from the same place. Because we are all the same. Scarred deeply from where we've been. And scared shitless of where we are headed.


Stefanie Blakely said...

I KNOW that you're going to be a fantastic mother, Katie. And while I can't calm all of your fears, I can tell you this:

- I was buying baby stuff long before Liam was conceived. Like you, it was how I stayed sane. Planning for WHEN I would have a baby, not IF.

- I think an adoption raffle/auction is a fantastic idea! l'd love to donate some baby items (monogrammed burp cloths, baby shoes, appliqued onesies, etc) if you want them!

- If I were there, I'd come to your babyshower in a heartbeat.

Love to you, sweet girl... xoxo!

Stephanie Nichole said...

Please know that all of your worries are all what adoptive mothers go threw! I can totally feel exactly felt what your feeling!


I know dealing with people's stairs and questions while your preparing can be difficult! But know Im here if you ever need ANYTHING!<3 Lots of love!!

serenity said...

Managing the fear is hard. I had NO IDEA how hard it would be when I finally DID get pregnant with O. I spent most of my time telling myself "there's no indication that this won't work out." Which is sad, really - such a passive statement, and it was all I could believe in.

Honestly, I think the underlying issue is that, when you've been struggling with IF for so long, somehow you've started to believe that IF is someone's way of saying that you're not supposed to be a parent.

I felt that way. Still do, if I'm being honest. Maybe we can't get pregnant with a sibling for O now because I wasn't meant to be a mom in the first place.

It's BS thinking, but it's hard NOT to think that way.

You're going to be a great parents, Katie. You and Joey WILL love your son or daughter with the intensity of people who have wondered if they'll EVER be parents. It's hard to put into words, but your long journey to bring home your son or daughter WILL make you the best parent you can be.

Hugs. You're going to be awesome.

(And btw? I'd totally donate to your adoption raffle.)

erika said...

You guys have sooo much love to give, Katie! you will be wonderful parents. You two already make a beautiful family, which is about to grow. That is wonderful, and that is the only thing, which counts. Let go off the worries! your happiness & excitement will be (is already) incredibly sticky, and people around you will celebrate with you, and nothing else will matter!

Rebecca said...

It is stressful and it really isn't so different. The ideas of becoming a parent is overwhelming -- especially when you're also waiting for someone else to tell you it's OK or that you're "ready."

I would totally come to your shower if I could and I would definitely participate in a fundraiser!!

And, in no way shape or form is infertility G-d's way of telling you that you weren't meant to be a mom. I will never believe that about you. Besides, G-d has made some pretty foolish choices about who should and shouldn't be a mom if that was really the case. And, that seems kind of unlikely.

manymanymoons said...

I'm right there with ya on ALL of these. I think adopting brings with it such different/specific fears that really can't be answered until we actually have the experience.

Just know you aren't alone and everything you are feeling is totally normal (or at least I hope it is because I'm feeling it too)! :)

Courtney said...

Oh those darn "What if's" they drive me crazy too.

You are going to be a wonderful mommy.

If I lived closer, I would SO attend your baby shower and I would so donate to your adoption raffle if you decided to do it.


A said...

AMAZING post. especially the last paragraph. it sums up the root of my fears exactly!!!

you will be a great mom. we all we be great moms :)

JC said...

I have much of the same fears. But I know both of us will overcome them and in the end be great moms. ((hugs))

christine said...

I think those fears are SOOO natural!! BUT, I also think you are going to be an absolutely FANTASTIC mother! I think that having an adoption raffle is a great idea. And my sister had a HUGE baby shower before she brought my nephews home (from Rwanda). She and her husband both wore shirts that said something like "Adoption is the new black". And you will bond with your child. It may not be immediate, but it will happen.

I think adoption is SOOO amazing and I am so excited for this new part of your journey.

The Baby Race said...

You are going to be the best mom EVER.

And, dammit, if I lived in Florida, I'd throw your shower myself. You deserve one, you're going to be a first-time mom! And no one will look at you funny because of it.

Browniris said...

I had a lot of your same fears when we first decided to pursue adoption. I was so afraid that I wouldn't be good enough...either for the agency or for a birth mom. I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to bond with a baby that wasn't biologically mine. Fortunately, my fears started to subside more and more as time went on. It really helped me to go to our agency's adoption classes and to talk to other people who had adopted. I also found that our families and friends were very excited and supportive of us...they couldn't wait to give us a shower and the store we registered with was great. I know that it seems SUPER overwhelming now, but just keep taking it one day at a time, and you will be amazed at how things start to fall into place. Good luck!!!

Katie said...

I may not know much, but I know ONE thing:

Infertility is NOT God's way of telling you that you wouldn't be a good mother.

This may not be what you want to hear, or, more likely, I'm probably not the person you want to hear it from, but I truly believe that God knows our path in life and that He has a plan for us that no one else on earth could fulfill. Your child (or children..??) will be yours because he/she is MEANT to be yours. It doesn't matter how he/she gets to you, just that you fulfill your place in life as his/her mother! Because, NO ONE else could be that person!


Danielle said...

When I was in High School we had a sermon at church about being single for life and how it was a blessing to be chosen to be single. From that point forward I was TERRIFIED that I was "the chosen one" and would never be married.

Then, my current pastor gave a sermon on the same subject, except he included some extra words of wisdom.

"If you are terrified of being single for life you are not one of the ones chosen to be single. You will not bring grace and glory to God if you're a scared little duckling instead of proud of your position."

I think the same general idea can be applied here. If infertility was God's way of telling you that you weren't mean to be a mother then you would be at peace with it. You wouldn't be terrified you'd never get to experience life as a mom, you'd be sad you weren't going to be a mom but at peace with the fact that it didn't happen.

Infertility was not God's message to you that you shouldn't be a mother, infertility is God's message to you that you are STRONG and you can overcome and that, if you keep your faith and believe, he will eventually fulfill your prayers.

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.
~ 1 Samuel 1:27 from NIV

Keep your head up. I honestly believe you will be a mom sometime in the future...a great mom.

Do I Have to Be a D.I.N.K.? said...

I think we all have these fears but I think being IF will make us all better moms! I love when you post - you are such a creative writer!

Melissa said...

I have a friend who adopted a boy from Russia, he is now 3. They have bonded so great. The adoption went so great my friend and her hubby are heading back to Russia this Saturday to bring home their new baby girl. They have nothing but the best to say about adoption. And as for your baby shower worry...I hosted a baby shower for my friend. All of our friends came and we all celebrated this new little girl that will be here soon. You are going to be a Mom and that is what is celebrated. Some sweet child is going to look at you and see Mommy. All of us girls don't look at our friend and think differently that she is bringing home a baby that she didn't carry...we know she is bringing home her daughter and we couldn't be more happy and excited for her.

Arlyne said...

There isn't the slightest doubt in my mind that the child you adopt will be sooo lucky to have you & Joey as parents! I think we all have that same fear of not being a good mom & dad.

I will absolutely donate to your adoption raffle, & if I lived in florida I'd love to attend your baby shower! A bump does not make you more fit to be a mommy, but your special heart does! xoxo

Kim said...

It's all 100 percent legitimate fears Katie, and you are so right, doesn't matter which way it happens, we all have the fears. thank you for putting yours out there, so we can all see, we are not so different and in the same boat, to some extent. I hope you do have a fundraiser, it's a lovely idea!!! Xoxoxox

someday-soon said...

So well written! I think we all share that fear, or at least anxiety, about the future. The unknown is hard. You're going to do great though, just try to take it one step at a time =)

Kelly said...

It's ironic that you posted this becauase I was thinking about all of this just the other day when I asked you about your classes. You're exactly's not so different at all.

Jin said...

Ok, so I haven't finished your post, but I'd totally donate items or money for your adoption fund.

And send you something ridiculously cute for your baby shower.

Ok, guess I should finish up your post now.

Amber said...

This is all so normal!!! Don't be hard on yourself. If you set out believing you are (or will be) less of a "real" Mommy than one who gave birth, you're doing yourself a great disservice! A pregnant woman is expecting, and YOU are expecting! Try really hard to put all of that out of your mind and enjoy this time, because you'll look back on it fondly after your baby is in your arms.

I did want to mention one other thing - as far as the roof caving in and moving into an apartment and that illustrating that you would be bad parents, I say not true! An agency would look at that and know that you did what you needed to do! You might be considered less-than-ideal if you insisted on living in a house with a caved in roof. But you can't control such things, so they would look at whether you were able and willing to roll with the punches, IE move into an apartment until your roof was fixed. :)

Don't be so hard on yourself! You're going to rock this. And you don't have to be perfect to adopt. No one's looking for perfection. They're looking for good people who want a baby to love. You've already got that box checked.

I'm here if you need to vent or have any questions!

Amber said...

Oh - and we had a baby shower (which wasn't my idea and I actually resisted at first) and it was just like every other one I've ever been to. Your friends and family love you and they don't see this being nearly so 'weird' as you're afraid they are. They want to support you!

amiracle4us said...

I know you are going to be a great mom and you should too. Listen to your worries-bullies on the playground...only a mom would worry about that! Any child you have will realize how special and loved they are..promise :) The raffle is a GREAT idea and i'll help in any way I can :)

Jessica said...

I have many of the same fears. But things will be great once you have your baby in your arms!!

CS said...

No way, IF is God's way of telling you he wants you to care for a very special baby that doesn't have a Mommy. I truly believe. Cuz if everyone was fertile, who would care for orphans? There needs to be us IF gals to come along. Good Luck! I think you'll be a great Mom!

PCOSChick said...

You will me an AMAZING mom!! Everything you are thinking/dealing with, etc is very normal. My best advice is go to at a pace you feel is right. Buy what you want, do what you want, etc!!

Do not worry about stares when you register either, I was soooo worried about that. Everyone, even random people in the store got so excited when I said I was registering for our adoption.

I know there are so many unknowns, so many what ifs...I promise you (you know I wouldnt lie to you) it will be ok. It takes time, some adjusting & what not...but it will be ok & one day it will all click *at least it did for me) xoxo

S.I.F. said...

I am loving those last two lines friend... I so feel you there.

And I cannot wait for you to be a mommy, because you are going to be incredible!

*Jelena* said...

Sadly, there are so many people I know who never should've been allowed to parent a child, which can only lead me to believe that there is no mysterious force that determines who should and shouldn't be a mother.

There is a possibility that all your fears will come true, so it's only natural that you should acknowledge them. But, if you can, try not to let fear take over your life. What's more important, try not to think of all these things at once, because they are overwhelming you. Take it one step at a time, girly, and deal with each obstacle as you run into it, not in advance.

Now, as for your baby not bonding with you... well, Katie, knowing what I know about you from reading your blog, I'd say that's impossible. You're such an intuitive person, I'm sure you will not only form a profound connection to your child, but you are bound to pass your emotional intelligence on to him/her. There are many people in my close family who've been adopted the youngest of whom is my aunt. She's only 20, and I know for a fact that she feels grateful to have been adopted and she feels lucky because her life could've been so much different.

Kaitake said...

You are going to be a fantastically caring and living mother. The proof is in the fact that you are thinking about this stuff - you care so much about your child already of course you will be great!

And I think that it's a beautiful and perfectly normal thing to have a baby shower: whether for adoption or ordinary baby!

P. S my hubby and his brother are both adopted, not related to each other. They have a very normal relationship with their parents, and in my BiL's case, with his birth mum too. So the family is huge! :)

anne said...

My husband and I are in the same spot. It is truly an act of faith to be able to say "when" in situations like this--to believe that your desire for children is from God, and to accept infertility as, at least, a first-stepping stone toward adoption.

I'm so glad I've found this blog! I look forward to many more resonating posts from you. Thank you for sharing :)

missohkay said...

Really great post. I've got a bad case of the what-ifs right now, most of which boil down to 1) what if adoption doesn't work either? and 2) what if the impatience drives me crazy in the meantime?

Adele said...

I know how difficult it is to keep those "what if" and "worst case scenarios" at bay. But I actually think the fact that you are thinking them says a lot about the type of person you are: circumspect, thoughtful, deliberate. And THAT is a great recipe for loving motherhood.

Crossed Fingers said...

It's the "moms" who don't fear the unknown, who don't question the "what ifs" that truly need to worry. You're looking out for your childs best interest, you already ARE a great mother. Trust in yourself - things will fall into place just like they were suppose to.

You will have a great auction with loved ones will donate/buy items. You will have a blast registering for items even if it is a little overwhelming to look at the mass amounts of baby bottles. Your shower will be full of happy tears and laughter because your child will be coming into a family that already loves them!

*hugs* You're doing awesome.

Trisha said...

I had and still have some of those fears. I think it comes with the territory. Then after you put together your profile book, you'll question every picture that you put in there wondering if it was the right choice. You'll be great! I think going through all of this makes us stronger and better mothers!

Secret Sloper said...

You're right, Katie, it is the same. Whether we've gone through loss, IF, an adoption journey, IVF, or any combination of the above, the one thing we've all become expert in is how to fear the future. It's overwhelming sometimes, and the specific fears may change with our situations, but the feelings of doubt and insecurity rarely seem to.

That said, I know in my heart that you will be a tremendous mother. Everything about the way you have approached adoption from the beginning shows me that. You and Joey have a beautiful, solid marriage and you will be an incredible team of parents.

Plus, I mean, Britney Spears didn't have any trouble popping out a couple of kids and she's clearly never been in the running for parent of the year. So I don't think you need to worry that this is all some cosmic message ;)

Secret Sloper said...

Oh, and ps: I would SO contribute to your adoption raffle and if I were invited to a baby shower for an adoptive parent, I'd be psyched to celebrate. Probably more so than the usual baby showers I'm invited to!

AL said...

It's really not so different, the fear is so deep rooted, I have so many of them right now.

Would love, love to help you with an adoption raffle (however I can!) and would be thrilled to celebrate at any shower of yours.

You and Joey will be amazing parents. I think IF makes us that much better at being parents because we've waited so long and overcome so much to get there.

~C~ said...

I'm sorry you've had to move on from the IF fears to the adoption fears, all welling from the same place. I think we've all thought before that maybe this is the universe's/God's/whatever's way of telling us we're not meant to be parents. But then you look at who the unvierse *does* deem fit, and well, there goes that fear.

I hope that soon these fears are replaced by unadulterated, fearless joy when you are about to bring your child home.

Logical Libby said...

You are now eight and half months pregnant. It could happen at any time. Do everything you need to.

Adoption is expensive, ask for help.

Put the nursery together, it will be hell if you don't.

Oh, and just know, you wouldn't be a good Mom unless you feared being a bad one.

jennifer @ what would jen do said...

one day when i was at a baby shower i turned to my BFF and said, when you adopt do people think you deserve a shower? and she said that i deserved to be a mom more than half of the people giving birth so yes, and she'd throw me the best shower ever. I always feel a little guilty, like i put no work into HAVING a baby. plus you can drink at your own shower if you adopt.

I also think that when you aren't pregnant and can't anticipate the baby coming that way, it's got to be hard to one day be handed a child. here you go, this one is for you. now go home and love it.

joythat'scoming said...

I've enjoyed following your blog for a while..I can certainly relate to it all!

Kakunaa said...

I understand all those fears. I have been freaking out. Even with the not looking like us ones. Well, not like Hubby. It's terrifying. And new mom fears? Understandable. Books only tell you so much. It's a scary proposition, being responsible for a tiny human. HUGS. You are going to be fantastic.

Pix said...

Yep, I have those freak out fears too. And I panicked about them, thinking they were a *sign* that perhaps motherhood wasn't for me. But a wise friend shared that this is part of the change we go through to BECOME mothers. Most moms think of these things no matter how they become parents. That helped me calm down. Bottom line is--it's scary. It's hard to put your whole future out there and not have any control over it. But isn't that the challenge of parenthood? You can do this! And the fact that you worry over all these were cut out to be a mother!! Be strong girl.

BTW--I'd be happy to contribute to a raffle. A hand-knitted snuggly?

Dawn said...

The future is a scary place, but I do know that you will be a WONDERFUL mother. Someone with as much love as you can only do and exceptional job!

I would be tempted to fly to Florida just to attend your baby shower!

Carli said...

I completely understand your fear. When you get to the stage that you give up on biological children, I think it is normal to wonder if there really is something to "natural selection" and if there is a reason why you couldn't/shouldn't be a mother. I really don't think that is the case at all. I think you were just meant to be a mother to a different child - one chosen especially for you.

I hope that our children - even if they don't have our eyes or our noses - will love us because we love them. The relationship has to grow out of that love, not out of who the sperm and the egg belonged to, right? (Please say yes because I don't want to contemplate the NO)

I think an adoption raffle is a great idea. Everyone loves good hand me downs. Also, just so you know - I would also come to your baby shower if I lived closer. No questions asked. With gift in hand and big smile on face.

Waiting Lisa said...

As I was reading this, I was thinking about blog posts I have written. For every paragraph in this post, you can search through my blog and find a post where I felt the same way. So, at least you know all those feelings are normal, haha. (Well, as normal as I am at least :P)

One thing I can say for sure is that you will be an amazing mother.

And enjoy this time preparing for your baby. Remind yourself it will happen and you deserve to enjoy this time as much as a pregnant woman would.