"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born." Isaiah 66:9

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

My Feelings on Adoption and Anxiety

Perhaps this should be written at a later date, but I think I will capitalize on the fact that it’s still so fresh.  I think that adoption is beautiful; I believe it to be an amazing gift to both the child and the families involved.   

Many people enter into it without being fully aware of all of the ramifications, believing that it will be magical.  Years ago I became friends with Rachael through this very blog and I remember telling her that adoption was not for the faint of heart, she’s reminded me of that a few times considering she’s done it 3 times now (seriously amazing), and the process has been rough on her each time!  Why some people have an easy perfect process and why some are a muttle of clustered dog poop is beyond me, but that’s the facts y’all!  The adoption process can be so hard and so ugly.

My son is the most magical little boy on the planet, don’t ask me just ask his MDO teachers, he is seriously amazing and worth every tear, every night of lost sleep, every ounce of anxiety.  The problem is the laws governing adoption and the crap that is allowed that doesn’t focus on the well being of the child.  I’m not in support the old school practice of taking a baby before the mother has ever seen it and treating her like a pariah, but the converse is what we are finding in modern adoption at times.  Adoptive families are looked upon like predators who want to steal babies from poor sad mothers who are struggling.  Neither is the case and neither is right!  (Yes, I am aware that some mothers have actually had children stolen from them and placed for adoption for monetary gain, that is a crime I can’t speak about without seeing red).

I have a friend who has two adopted daughters and has a relationship with both birth mothers that are different but good.  I have another friend who just had her son’s second birthday and his birth mother was at his party.  Theirs is a relationship for the books seriously, she should be writing about the beauty there.  They have a very special relationship with their second son's family also, fully of love and humor, and the kind of support you would not believe. 

There are others whose stories have played out like made for TV dramas for the adoptive parents.  I won’t go into massive detail about our adoption simply because that is my son’s story, and its his to tell in his own time if he chooses.  What I will say is that our legal system failed him, they failed him for 2 years and that started with our original attorney who matched us (for which I will be forever grateful), but his handling of the entire “case” was done poorly and sent us down a road that I do not believe ever should have happened.  We have witnessed miracle after miracle in our case, which I will share over time!  What is truly wrong is that the system is so concerned with reunification even when it is literally not a possibility leaving children in limbo, or returns them to horrific environments that they beg not to go back to.  This is not hypothetical, an acquaintance of mine told me her story of fostering and how no one involved in their case ever once put the children’s well being or best interest first.  They returned them to a home that the children begged not to go back to, where the caseworkers had seen the situations and literally lied under oath.  Personally, I walked into the DCFS office to find the worker half asleep and about as empathetic as a statue.  She failed in her job, literally snapped at me repeatedly, and never once offered any kind of sympathy.  My opinion happens to be if your job entitles handling the welfare of children you should possess at least an ounce of compassion.  

My child wasn’t taken from his mother without her knowledge or consent, but we were treated as if such had happened.  Truth is we had never met her.  She never requested it, so neither did we. It may be that she requested it and we weren’t informed, that’s actually possible considering the circumstances prior to his birth, but I digress.  The fact is that we brought him home from the hospital and raised him exactly how we raised our daughter from day 1, and despite what the laws specifically state we were forced to jump through hoops for two years and thirteen days to be exact. 

What adoption has taught me this time around (search blog for adoption scam to see previous attempt) is how bad true anxiety really is.  I’m not one to smirk at mental health issues I know they’re real.  I can tell you the gamut of feelings of infertility treatment, but I did not realize previously that a lot of my responses were due to anxiety.  I did not understand it or how bad anxiety could truly be day in and day out.  I am going to try and sum up how I felt as it built for two solid years, though it is hard to encompass all of it.

Anxiety starts very slow, it is a minor gnawing that makes you perhaps a little cranky, but you think nothing of it because perhaps its your time of the month or someone in your home irritated the snot out of you.  Then it grows and it’s a constant state of worry, worrying over tiny aspects of things you could never control or predict.  Once it has grown full blown, it can make you never want to leave your house because you are concerned about any myriad of things.  It steals your sleep, your concentration, and your joy (if you let it, and at times I have).  The thing is though, it is under the surface, gnawing beneath your skin and making you crawl on the inside, but on the outside you look like a normal happy human.  Those closest to you will see the difference and they’ll ask you about it and if you know you can trust them, you will share the dark recesses of your mind and they won’t judge you, they will listen with only compassion.  If it’s someone you don’t trust you’ll talk about how you haven’t slept because A, B, and C (all things that anyone would experience), but you will be lying through your teeth.  Energy will be something of the past and you will stop the things you once loved, like running, or working out, or cooking most days.  You will try to sleep anytime you possibly can because you might not sleep tonight.  You’ll find yourself grasping at words that you can see but not say and then you’ll freak out because you’re a speech pathologist and what if you’re having a stroke??  Weight gain will creep on you because of the previously noted lack of energy, which only makes you feel worse and look duller or what some say looks ‘sad’.  When it’s an adoption these things will possibly happen to your husband in tandem, and that will be brutal on your marriage, but it will also be something that binds you together because they are the only human who remotely can sympathize with how you feel.  Anxiety expresses itself in a myriad of ways, depression, anger, lethargy, excessive poorly dispersed energy (that accomplishes very little), and crying to name a few.

I could probably go on and on and I will likely post more about that one day, but plain and simple…. Anxiety is a witch with a capital B!

My experience with the adoption process (note process not adoption as a whole) was brutal, beautiful, unkind, miraculous, hard fought, and not completely uncommon.  I know plenty of people who have had wonderful experiences, more than not, so don’t let this dissuade you, but also know that the ones who have bad experiences rarely talk about it, because like infertility that’s something to ‘keep in your private group or something’.

1 comment:

  1. Such an amazing explanation! I love you. You are not alone.