Thursday, January 13, 2011

More Adoption Thoughts

Can I just say that I have the best readers?  You guys really left me some very thoughtful, encouraging and wonderful remarks on my last post.  And to my dear reader that e-mailed her comment (I'm not posting it because I don't want any negative commenters traveling over to your blog) thank you so very much.  You all gave me so much to think about and let me know that the situation might not be as scary as I'm making it out to be.  One commenter, heartincharge (go congratulate her on her great news!) left me a very interesting remark.  She hit the nail on the head.  I think part of my fear of adopting comes from the fact that I already share a child with another (bio)mother.  It sucks to share.  It sucks to always be 2nd or 3rd in line with the Little Guy.  It's not his fault and I lay no blame to him.  It's just the way it is.

My adopted child would know from day 1 that he/she was adopted.  Therefore, I'd be "adopted mom" while the child's "real" mom was out in the world somewhere.  I know that adopted children love their adoptive parents dearly...but the fact remains that many (most?) want to know their real mother.  Even if it's just to meet out of pure curiosity, it would still be me sharing my child with someone else.  I was raised by my step-mother and my real father.  When I was little I remember wondering what my real mom was doing at her house.  Was she missing me?  Would I not be getting in trouble for my C on my report card if I was living with my real mom?  Would my real mom let me stay up and watch a show on TV?  Would I have more in common with my real mom?  As a kid, those are examples of things that went through my mind.  It didn't mean that I loved my step-mom any less, it just wasn't the same with me knowing that my bio-mom was out there.  It stopped me from getting as close to my step-mom as I should have.  She is the one that took care of me when I was sick, she was the one that taught me how to do laundry and dishes and grocery shopping.  She was the one that baked me birthday cakes and told me about the birds and the bees.  She's the one that I have really great memories of.  My mom didn't do much for me but give birth.  And yet, as a child I held her up on a pedestal.  I jumped at the chance to talk to her on the phone.  If she sent me a birthday card I tore into it immediately.  She was the greatest thing since sliced bread as far as I was concerned.  I know that those things hurt my step-mom.  I didn't get it until I became a step-mom.  I know so much more now about what she went through.  The Little Guy loves me but his mother is the greatest thing since sliced bread in his world.  And that's ok.  He's a kid.  At least his mother is in his life to warrant that comparison.

I fear that my adopted child would regard me as a step-mom.  That probably sounds crazy because I would have the child from its infancy and be the only mother it ever knew since birth, but it's still a fear I have.  I don't want to be a step-mother to my own child.  I don't know how I would handle that.  Yes the child would call me Mommy, but as soon as he/she was old enough to start asking questions about his/her birth parents, I think I would be crushed.  I think I would be bitter and resentful that I had to be open and honest about it.  I don't think I would handle it very well.  It wouldn't be fair to the child to not handle it well.  The child has every right to know where he/she came from and how the adoption came about.  I just know myself.  And I know how much it would hurt and I would not be able to hide that hurt.  It's hard enough to hide my hurt from the Little Guy sometimes.  As he gets older I think it will be harder to hide from him.  He's a smart cookie.  The last thing I want is for him to feel torn between two moms so I (with as much grace as I can muster) step aside.  All the while my heart breaks a little more because I will always be 2nd choice.

Anyway, I think I've pretty much exhausted my feelings about the possibility of BJ and I adopting.  I don't think it's right for me.  At least not now, not with all of this uncertainty hanging over my head about it.  We looked at a couple of agency sites last night.  I was shocked to learn that one agency has a sliding scale of placement fees based on income.  I don't get how they can do that to people.  If they can charge a $9,000 placement fee then why do they need to charge a $19,000 placement fee for couples that earn more money?  What a scam that place was.  I have made friends with a woman that rides the bus with me in the afternoons.  Her husband is a family lawyer.  I conjured up the bravery to ask her to ask her husband what his fees would be to represent us in an adoption.  That brought up a slew of other things that I'll have to get into on another post.  She said she'd ask him and then get back to me next week.

I guess I haven't fully nixed the idea of adoption, but I think I need to give it more time to settle in.  I think the fear of the unknown is overwhelming me right now.  I will continue to think about it and will gladly read more comments.  Like I said, you all have been really helpful and I appreciate every bit of input I can gather.  I am probably making this much more emotionally complicated than it needs to be so having you guys set me straight is very helpful.

Oh yeah, I'm 8dpo right now and we did our thing the night before I ovulated.  FF says I'm only 7dpo because of my slow rising temps, but I felt my ovary expelling an egg last Wednesday.  Man that hurts.  Maybe since I'm thinking so much about adoption, I'll actually end up pregnant.  Yeah, right.  That only works in the movies and on TV.  But a girl can hope, right?

3 comments:

Alex said...

Keep up that hope, my dear! And I wouldn't completely write off adoption yet either. Just keep exploring it, and keep exploring your feelings. It's a lot to take in, but think about it for awhile and I think you'll figure out your answer.

My real parents are the ones that raised me...

Jenn said...

I've had your post from Tuesday up on my screen since then, since there is so much I want to tell you. I even read it to my husband, and we have similar thoughts... so you won't have a forever long comment, will you email me at lovemarriagecarriage (at) gmail.com so that I can send it to you! :)

callmemama said...

When we started thinking about adoption, I had a lot of the same worries about always feeling like I was sharing my child with another woman.
It's not that those worries have disappeared, but more that they've sort of changed focus since we actually are in the middle of an adoption, as opposed to just imagining it. It's strange - before, the focus was on US, how will WE feel, etc. Now, it's almost as if all we can think about it how he or she will feel - what information can we gather now to fill these holes for our child. How do we make sure the adoption story is part of their lives from the moment of birth, in bedtime routines, or whatever, so that as they grow older and start having questions they feel comfortable asking. Focusing on making sure there is no mystery or shame around the adoption story, but letting the child feel whatever they need to feel. And offering love and support the whole time.
I'm sure there will be many times in this journey where it will be hard for us as parents...knowing that our child has experienced great loss, and wanting to make it all better.
Don't be too hard on yourself - these are all completely normal thoughts you're having, and hopefully you will reach a point where you are comfortable with whatever decision you end up making. I need to get better about blogging about the process, too. There are so many thoughts that I've had, which I haven't written about. And I know as we go through the next few months, I should really document it better. It really helped me to be able to read about other people's worries, feelings, and then the reality of having the child home at last.