A little while ago I wrote a piece called The Hardest Part About Being A Waiting Adoptive Parent.
It listed some of the challenges that hopeful parents face on the path to building a family through adoption, and many of the points were drawn from my own experiences when we were waiting.
As an adoptive parent, I’ve never placed a baby for adoption so I can’t pretend to know what it’s like.
However, I do know from the birthparents I’ve met or interviewed over the past 17+ years that expectant parents face their own unique set of challenges in their journey through adoption.
Here are some of those challenges, in no particular order, based on our discussions.
It’s explaining that you’re not “giving up” or “giving away” or “don’t want” your baby.
It’s the assumption that you must be a drug addict, a whore or a horrible person.
It’s the guilt, the shame, the anger, the sadness, and the regret.
It’s trying to make sense of all of the “what-ifs.”
It’s not knowing whether to listen to your heart or your head.
It’s the mental, physical and emotional exhaustion.
It’s seeing the disappointment in your loved ones’ eyes.
It’s wondering whether you’ll find adoptive parents who will love your child as much as you do.
It’s worrying whether they’ll keep their promises.
It’s the fear that your child won’t understand your decision and will grow up resenting you for it.
It’s the realization that you would make be a great parent if only your circumstances had been different.
It’s the unsolicited advice.
It’s seeing other parents and wondering “Why me? Why now?”
It’s the perception that you’re taking the “easy way out” and making your decision based on what’s best for you, not your child.
It’s the awkward silences, and the whispers behind your back.
It’s being called a “hero,” “brave,” and “courageous,” when you don’t feel like you’re any of them.
It’s the fear that you’ll be forgotten.
It’s the loneliness and isolation.
It’s wanting to go back in time but knowing you can’t.
It’s the constant confusion and endless stress.
It’s being judged by others.
It’s judging yourself.
It’s remembering the person you were before the pregnancy.
It’s letting go of your dreams.
It’s trying to do the right thing.
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