Dear First-Time Adoptive Mother,
Congratulations!!! You are a MOM!
All the years of hoping and dreaming have finally become a reality. You are holding the baby of your dreams in your arms. Your empty, aching arms are now full…and still aching, but for a much more pleasant reason :)
You are met with smiles everywhere you go. Who doesn’t love the sight of a tiny human snuggled in a stroller?
Even doing laundry is a little more fun now. Isn’t it great to pull those tiny little clothes from the warm dryer, fold, and put them away in the cute nursery?
Amidst the joy and excitement, you may be feeling other things as well…feelings that you didn’t expect:
In all the time you spent hoping for a baby, you may not have given much thought to the reality of life after a baby. You didn’t think about the sleep deprivation, the backaches, and the feelings of inadequacy. All you could think about was the cuteness of baby clothes, the joy of baby giggles, and the satisfaction that motherhood brings.
You may be thinking: “What is wrong with me? I have wanted this all my life. I have been desperately trying everything in my power to bring a child into our family. Why am I feeling bad? Shouldn’t I feel ecstatic all the time?”
You know what? It’s ok. I am here to tell you that YOU ARE NORMAL! Of course you are exhausted! You are now responsible for another human being. Of course you are overwhelmed! Your life has been turned upside down. And quite possibly, you did not have the typical 9 months to prepare for this huge change. Adoption is such an emotional experience!
And sadness. You may feel sad for the birth mom who carried your child in her belly for 9 months. You wonder how she is doing. How must she feel after placing her baby in your arms?
I grieved for the birth mom because I could not imagine how difficult it must have been for her to choose adoption. I felt guilty (false guilt) sometimes because I was so happy. I felt like I was depriving her of the joy that this child was bringing me.
It will take time to process everything. Give yourself time. Give yourself permission to feel the vast array of emotions that are flooding your heart. You will not always feel tired and overwhelmed. Pray for the birth mom when she comes to your mind. You have a unique opportunity to be a part of what God wants to do in this woman’s life. Pray daily for the strength to get through the sleep deprivation and backaches. God will give you everything that you need.
He is faithful!