Friday, March 10, 2006
International Adoption :Worries
Maybe we can all write to Oprah and so she would invite us to do a Russian Adoption Blogger show. Let’s see what could the show be about? “The Oprah Fan Club for Russian Adoption Bloggers” Or maybe “Russian Adoption Bloggy Book Club Suggestions” or “Russian Adoption Assvice”.

What they really need to do is a show entitled "What to do about all of the Adoption Worries and What Ifs". I usually feel really optimistic and good about the adoption. I have all of these excited feelings about shopping for girl stuff together and having girl talk and seeing the kids play with her and just having this great feeling that our family is complete, but other times I start thinking about all of the what ifs

Which include worries like…

What if we don’t bond/attach like we should?
What if I don't feel the instant "love" I am expecting to feel?
What if I start to feel chronic anxiety due to insecurities or inadequacies to care for her specific needs?
What if people ask insensitive questions about the adoption or in front of my child?
What if I have unresolved feelings about the birth mother or worry how to discuss this with my child?
What if the costs turn out to be way more than expected and put us into a money crisis?
What if I can’t handle the additional responsibility?
What if she doesn’t get along with her new siblings?
What if she keeps us up all night?
What if she never wants to leave my side for months?
What if she doesn’t ever like us?
What if she has serious medical, neurological and/or emotional problems we didn’t catch at first and now feel we can’t handle?
What if our whole lives are altered and turned upside down?
What if we don’t understand the child’s behavior and how to respond to it?
What if I have all these expectations of what I want in a girl and she turns out to be a tomboy or have a personality opposite to what I expected?
What if I feel the child is just totally different from me and I can’t relate at all?
What if all of my dreams of what it is going to be like are unrealized or totally different?
What if I am just not capable of effectively parenting an adopted, or post-institutionalized child?
What if our lives are totally disrupted and we aren't able to do the things we used to enjoy doing?
What if her medical or other issues turn into a long-term monetary commitment that we can't handle?
What if I can't emotionally handle her behavior or specific issues?
What if I become totally overwhelmed?
What if my child grows up resenting that I am not her birth mom?
What if she someday wants to find her birth parents?
What if she rejects me as a parent someday?
What if she develops depressive feelings about being adopted and I don't know what to say or do?
What if she never feels totally like a true member of our family?
What if...

Any other worriers out there? OR is it just me?


Blogger Rhonda said...
Ahhhh, you found my HIDDEN 100 list! You get a prize.

Yes, I do adore Oprah. I was delighted when I saw that on Catherine's site. However, Elle does NOT like Oprah. You won't believe how much that breaks my heart, as I ADORE Elle. But we will always have this between us now.

As far as the What Ifs, I think I could have written those myself. Your worries are all of my worries too. I just keep thinking that its all going to be OK, and all of these worries will fade away when our child is home.

Blogger jeneflower said...
Elle said that she wasn't a devoted Oprah fan, but enough of one to actually write to her show. (According to her comment on Caroline's blog). So I think we can still include her in the Oprah Russian Adoption Fan Club. Unless she protests of course.

Blogger Elle said...
For the record I never said I hated Oprah. I am just not a faithful viewer. You will all certainly kill me for admitting that I DO adore Martha though. I think Oprah does wonderful things for some people. My downfall with Oprah is her introduction of Suzie Ormon (Moron) and Dr. You Need to Grow a Spine. Those 2 are hacks.

Jen your What ifs are totally valid. I think we all experience those as parents in general. They type of what ifs just happens to be a little bit different when you are an adoptive parent. It is natural.

My mom keeps telling me that yes, all those worries will fade away when my child is home. She was right on the love thing so she must be right on this. The love thing: you will feel no greater love in your life than the day you hold your child for the first time. She was right. I will remember that moment forever.

Anonymous sandra flynn said...
Jen, I absolutely love your blog. It's always so intersting and entertaining! I couldn't help but think how nice it would be if everyone that was pregnant put this much excitement, energy, and research into the baby they were having. I am so excited to meet her!

Blogger Margaret said...
I think worrying about these things only proves how wonderful you will be to your daughter. You're already thinking of her particular needs, your expectations, etc.

Anonymous Leggy said...
Fellow Oprah fan, although I don't watch that much.

Your list is right on and I think totally normal, from all I've heard and from what I feel myself. I obsess about all those things, except maybe "can I parent an adopted child" (although post-institutionalized does scare the hell out of me) and "what if she resents that I'm not her birth mom." One thing I like about international adoption vs. domestic adoption is that the decision to place with us as parents was 100% separate from birth parents' decision not to parent. It wasn't an either/or as can be with domestic adoption. What I hope my future child will understand was that we took them away from an orphanage (vs. a birth family) and brought them into a family. As for wanting to find birth parents, I think I'd be supportive, if there's anyway to do it. Have you ever read Lisa @ Vindauga? She's got 2 children from open domestic adoptions and the adoption section of her blog is fantastic.

I obsess a lot about what kind of issues my son will have with me (and future children) and yet the things I worry about probably won't be his hang-ups- he'll come up with other stuff that never even occurred to me. :)

Anonymous Mary said...
Perfectly normal worries. I have most of the same ones too. Just remember Jen you are already a great mom with three beautiful boys...everything is going to be great!

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