Friday, October 1, 2010

The Power of Fear

I just wanted to list some of the fears that I experienced through out this whole process, in case there are people out there who think they are the only ones who feel this way. I ended up facing some of these fears and some of them, luckily, I never had to deal with:

* We'd never get chosen. (What if birth parents thought, er, realized we were too boring, dorky, churchy or "old"?)
* We'd be chosen or "matched," but we would experience a failed placement.
* I would jinx myself somehow if I bought any baby items before being chosen.
* Having to return baby stuff to the store after a failed placement.
* The people in our lives (either publicly or privately) would not support our decision to adopt or our decision to have an open adoption.
* We didn't bond with this child or our extended family didn't accept him/her.
* Our child wouldn't accept or recognize me as his/her mother.
* The birth father would not support the adoption.
* People would mistreat our birthmom because of her choice to place the baby for adoption.
* Misunderstandings between us and our birthmom.
* The baby dies. (!!)  And, what if the baby died between the time of placement and finalization?
* Other birthfamily members would take out their frustrations with the adoption on us.
* By mistake, we would somehow offend our birthmom.
* Our birthmom would be upset by a parenting choice we made or would be otherwise annoyed by us.
* Our birthmom would regret choosing us, or choosing adoption itself.
* Our birthmom would completely cut off contact and disappear after placement.
* The post-placement grief would get in the way of me being a good parent.
* The post-placement grief would never go away.
* Being stalked by unhappy birthfamily members, and then having to move or go into hiding.
* The birthfamily would take for granted our willingness to be open, and try to take advantage of us.
* Our birthmom would return to her "old ways."
* Letting bad experiences from this adoption negatively affect how we conduct our next adoption.
* Our next adoption will be much more difficult.
* People will say hurtful and inappropriate things about adoption to, or in front of, my child[ren].

And even though some of those fears were realized, I now understand that I'm strong enough to live through them. I've also learned that some of my worries (like us not bonding with our son, our son not recognizing me as his mother or the grief never going away) were unfounded time-wasters. But I also learned that some of those fears were necessary to experience, in order for me to become a better parent.

Also, writing them down somehow took away some of the "power" they had over me. I sure wasted a lot of time thinking about these things. Writing this post also helped me realize that I needed to practice exercising more faith, which is the opposite of fear. Hopefully next time we will be much more prepared for all of the complicated feelings that come with an adoption.

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
~2 Timothy 1:7

Once I held my son for the first time, a lot of my fears dissolved (but then new ones cropped up). What were your adoption fears, and how did you overcome the power that they can have over you?

An Open Adoption Documentary

Adoption Isn't Selfish

Straight from a Birthmom...

The Open Adoption Project via The R House