Saturday, May 17, 2008

Adoption #2

I was not planning on doing a post on Post Adoption Blues, but since I mentioned it in the last post I will address it. When we were going through all of our classes they made us read a book on this. We read it and kind of laughed it off. We were thinking here they go again trying to make a problem out of everything. Well, ladies I was slammed in the face with this. This is very personal and I have debated sharing it, but believe it is something most people do not even know exists. The silly thing with me is that I experienced it with Isaac, but made up excuses so I did not expect it with Micah. But it happened. There are many theories as to what causes it, but I will just tell you my theory. With an adoption it is very rare that you bring the baby home and everything is just peachy. If you do an international adoption, it is usually final before you leave the country, but you have a whole host of other issues. The babies do not automatically know you are their parents, therefore they may not come to you with open arms. It can be stressful to go through days, weeks, or months of trying to bond with a child. Things like this cause the bubble to burst sometimes. In our case we adopted domestically each time. Isaac was two and full of personality. He called us mom and dad the first day he lived with us. I held Micah 2 hours after he was born. I then stayed in the hospital with him most of the time and he was released to me from the hospital. We had no bonding or attachment issues. So, what's my problem? With domestic adoptions it is very often the case that you are at risk to lose the child for some time after getting them. You can go the foster home route to protect yourselves and some states do not have waiting periods. But, for both of our adoptions that has not been the case. We could have lost Isaac for almost 1 year after getting him. With Micah we are still waiting. Chances are very slim, but to a new mother who is operating on little sleep, even the slightest chance is hard to deal with. You love these children so much and want to make plans and dream about future holidays and things. But, there is always this cloud hanging over you wondering if your future holidays include this child or not. On good days you realize nothing is a guarantee and you function as normal. On bad days it consumes you. Thankfully, I am having more good than bad days lately. I mentioned lack of sleep. Isaac had night terrors for the first 6 months of living with us. No one slept. We know now that was probably the way his grieving presented itself. Hear me on this. Just because there was no labor for me, does not mean Micah automatically slept through the night. People forget I have a newborn. I get comments like, "You look so tired. Is everything okay?" I am not asking for sympathy or playing the martyr, but come on! Common sense here people, I have a baby. Some people will say we did this the easy way. At least I started out rested, right? NOT!! I am going to go through a little bit of the time line here. I arrived in Hawaii at midnight, birth mother was induced early the next morning, she labored until after midnight and then had a C-section. I was with her a lot of this time. After the C-section she called me and I immediately went to the hospital and was there most of the time until she and Micah were released. All of this while having major jet-lag and going through the emotional ups and downs with the birth mother without my husband being there to lean on.(He joined me later.) One of the most difficult and exhausting things about this adoption was bonding with a young woman in such a beautiful way, but at the same time knowing my joy was causing her pain. Micah then decided he really did not want to sleep at night so, for most of our time in Hawaii I rested during the day while he slept. If you were wondering, that is why we did not come back with a tan.:) The one day at the beach did not go well for Micah so we did not try it again. Then, we flew all night to come home to more jet-lag and 4 very excited children. So, no, I did not start out rested. Anyway, this is a very long way to say that I believe these blues come from the reality of how emotional and exhausting the adoption process is. I do not know, but it is my theory. I did not go through all of this to get pity. We chose this way and may do it again one day. I only mean to clue you in a little as to the reality of what goes on. It is hard. It is exhausting and sometimes yes, it is depressing. In the end though, just like with a biological child, you forget it all and get lost in the joy of falling head over heals in love with the child. Just know sometimes it is difficult and adoptive mothers can sometimes use a little encouragement too. By the way, don't tell my husband that I said we may do this again one day. I have almost convinced him that I am done, but every once in a while I think maybe one more.:)

I know this post does not flow very well. But, I have an excuse, I have 5 children and have not had a full nights sleep for almost 3 months now.:)

1 comment:

Malia said...

Facinating! I have really enjoyed both of your posts on adoption. I am a friend of some of your Hawaii friends and found your blog through them. I really did not know how to truly serve those who are going through or have just gone through an adoption. My husband and I spent some time talking about the call for all of us to care for the orphans and the widows. Thank you for opening our eyes to this truth!