No one ever talks about the guilt. Adoptive parents hear "you are so lucky" so often that maybe we feel we can't occasionally complain about the trials and tribulations of raising children. We all know that sometimes just getting through the day with our little ones is quite a chore, no matter how they joined the family. But if they just happened to have joined through adoption then those trials sometimes get a little harder. Toss in the guilt of being frustrated at this beautiful child that you wanted so badly that you couldn't sleep at night and a little worry that whatever behavior is causing you your current stress might be adoption related and you've got the potential for a major mommy melt down.
My little guy is still so new to us. He is doing so well, especially considering all the changes he has lived through in the past two months alone. The bonding is going well. And I love every minute I spend with him. And when I go back to work I will look back on this time alone with him every day and miss it so much that I will find myself tearing up while on the company's clock. I went through this with my oldest son, the not being able to put him down or walk away without setting off a screaming fit in the baby. I would imagine nearly every adoptive parent goes through this. And, of course, in case you are thinking of sending me a fan letter, I know that biological parents go through the same thing. Of course I know.
But the months of trying to get pregnant. The testing and planning and oh my god, all that money spent on pregnancy tests. The pregnancies that ended much too soon. The invitro fertilizations. The drugs, the shots, the painful egg harvests. The daily blood tests. The waiting. Oh my god, the waiting. The years of wanting to be mommy. And now I am, only to want to hand over this baby to my husband the minute he walks in the door at night. Only I can't, because to do so I would have to also hand over my arm. Or my leg. Or whatever body part he had attached himself to.
And then there is the older son guilt. Am I doing right by my oldest child? Am I spending enough time alone with him? Is he adjusting well to his new brother? Did I do any long term damage by leaving him for a month to finalize his brother's adoption? Why is he so sensitive? Is he worried about something adoption related, like being "given back" or is he just being a typical over dramatic 4 year old?
So we feel we can't mention how hard it sometimes is. My new little guy really learned to survive. This means he will fight for what he wants. And if that means smacking or biting Mommy then so be it. He is getting better with this every day and I know that shortly it will only be a distant memory. The typical response to a 24 month old who hits when upset doesn't really work for my son, not yet. I can't really walk away. He needs to feel safe and to understand that his needs will be met. Eventually we can parent by "typical" means. But not now. And, to be honest, we may never be totally "typical" parents. Because some of that guilt will always be there, lurking behind every decision we make regarding our boys. Welcome to adoptive parenthood, again! Oh guilt, how I have missed you...