Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Thursday, February 23, 2012

But you CHOSE this!

So you decided to have children. You experience your first pregnancy; the morning sickness, the aches and pains, the swelling. You might even have days where you complain about some of the uncomfortable parts of being pregnant. And those last days, when you're feeling as big as a house? Well you might complain to your spouse that you can't see your feet, much less tie your shoes. You WANTED to get pregnant, and you might even complain, but other women sympathize with your pregnancy woes.

The baby arrives and you learn about sleepless nights, sucking boogers out of stuffy noses, poopy diaper blowouts, and all the other things that come along with having babies. You WANTED this baby, and you might even complain, but other parents sympathize with your parental woes.

Your baby eventually starts school. You learn about parent teacher conferences, the reams of paper that come home in the form of permission slips, classroom notices, and all those other things school finds necessary to send home. (and thats for a child without special needs!) You WANTED this child, and you might even complain, but other parents sympathize with your parental woes.

And then you decide to adopt a child.

When you go through the paper part of the process, often referred to as the "paper pregnancy", you experience the millions of forms, the deadlines, the money. You WANTED this adoption, but for some reason, if you let even one breath of an expression of frustration out of your mouth, people will say, "But you WANTED this adoption. What did you expect?"

If you adopt internationally you travel to the other country to get your child. This is the "labor and delivery" part of the experience. You learn about eating in foreign places without anyone to help you read a menu. You learn about getting around, and the "Groundhog Day" effect that happens when you have to say for several weeks. However, don't let even one breath of frustration out of your mouth, because people will say, "But you WANTED this adoption, what did you expect?"

You get your new child home, and you learn about the sleepless nights, the endless poopy diaper blowouts, the sucking of boogers out of stuffed up noses, Whatever you do, NOW is not the time to complain, because it is going to be thrown back in your face that "you WANTED this adoption. What did you expect?"

I don't understand it. I don't get it at all. Time and again newly adoptive parents say to me, "I get NO support from friends and family..." because those friends and family have the belief that because the family WANTED the adoption, they are never allowed to feel frustrated, scared, or...God forbid...exhausted.

People! Being a parent is just that. Parenting. It doesn't matter how your child came to you; by birth, remarriage, or adoption. All those things we parents go through when we birth a baby are the same things we go through when we adopt. We are exhausted caring for a newborn with a wonky sleep schedule, and we're exhausted bringing home a child who's entire biological system is functioning on the clock from a different part of the world. We clean up poopy diaper blowouts from our toddler, and we do the same for our newly adopted child who came home with God.knows.what bacteria, or just travel tummy.

This morning I read THREE different blogs in which the writers, all newly adoptive moms, have NO support from family, and very little from friends. Stop treating them this way! Just because they CHOSE to adopt doesn't mean they should never get tired. Doesn't mean every single day of their lives will be all roses. In fact, they might have that child home a full year before they feel like a single rose has bloomed! Get over yourselves. Get off your high and mighty horses. You would destroy your family ties because if it were you, YOU would not have chosen to adopt so that makes it wrong for your family member to do so?

If your family member was called by God to adopt, they should instead listen to YOU and disobey His call on their life????

And there's my rant for today.


Anna said...

tears streaming down my face. sobbing. This really hasnt looked like I thought it would. But it has changed me, it is beautiful and I shudder at the thoughts of not having our little one home with us. thank you for ranting for us...... the ones in the trenches. Your words are a comfort.

Patrice said...

I'm sad to say this has been our experience as well. Some days I feel so alone in my journey I can barely stand it. I am so so soo thankful for all the wonderful friends I've met through the online adoption community! We *all* need encouragement from time to time, no matter how our children came to us.

Amy said...

LOVE this. We are in the thick of the paper process right now with court in a few weeks. So many times I would love to vent here or there, but people think we were crazy going into this process so we often get the eye rolls and the "I told you so"'s. I'm sure when it's all said and done we'd do it all over in a heartbeat too.

one_plustwins said...

Great post Leah...I've lost what little biological parent I had left in bringing OUR SON home. Friends? I have them. Love? I have it. My mother is dead. My father might as well be...there is NOTHING there. No support, nothing. My stepmom helped pave that path and it sucks.

Stephanie said...

All I can say is you hit the nail on the head. Well said. Well said. Stephanie. said...

Thank you for posting this. We actually had family tell us we'd be sorry for adopting a child from an institution - and sure enough - yes, children from that life have damage and baggage that is very difficult to deal with on a daily basis - but it doesn't mean our child deserves to be back there withering away in a corner hidden away from the world. Our child deserves a loving family like any other child. Very few friends or family understand that this is HARD and if they do understand how hard or gasp - hear a complaint - they have very little sympathy, if any. Oh, how I wish more people would back up adoptive parents, especially when times are tough.

abby said...

Amen, sister friend.

I'm a mom. Doesn't matter how or when my kids showed up in my home. They are here, they are mine and I have every right to brag about them, complain about them, giggle with other moms about the crazy things they do or commiserate with other moms about the crazy things they do.

Difference2This1 said...

That's why bloggy adoptive mama friends are so, so important. 'Cause they will still like you when you adopt more kids even when the friends in front of you no longer do. :)

Linnea said...

Its even worse when you choose to do it a second, 3rd or fourth time. We lost a lot of friends the first time around. I pray it doesnt happen this time around. I think sometimes its worse too when you choose special needs. We got a lot of "Why would you do that to your real kids?" If I were pregnant would you say that to me?

I heart you Leah!

Be blessed


My Girls R Angels said...

YOU GO GIRL! Rant away, people need to listen and change their attitudes! Thank you for putting it out there. :)

Hope Anne said...

We lost some real support the second time around. More severe special needs, tough economic times--people just eased away. I'm thankful though beyond words that God has been raising up new support and new friends through our daughter's situation, and that some people are coming alongside us in amazing ways. It still isn't easy and we are exhausted in probably every area of our lives--but we are making it, and Katya is living and growing and our family hasn't collapsed yet. Thank you, Thank you, Leah, for highlighting this problem. . . I'm sad for those who have chosen to ease out of our lives or put us up on a pedestal that makes them feel able to walk away thinking we are "fine" because we are "such amazing people--I could never do that!" It's their loss to miss out on the joys that our Katya brings us.