For Adoptive Parents Into Their First Weeks of Post-Adoption

My blog isn’t about adoption and it certainly isn’t a font of adoption resources. Regardless, I have adopted and I have experiences that someone, somewhere out there may find of value. Especially, if that someone is like me and having a hard time. Let’s be honest, an awful time.

It has only been 8 days since we came home. 12 days since we had Peanut. If you have read enough and heard enough stories and if you’re just a sensible person, you know intellectually that 1 – 2 weeks is not nearly enough time for things to be easy. You know this in your head.

BUT.

Nothing prepares you for the reality. Which is that you are a perfect stranger to your new baby. Not only you, but her surroundings. The very smell of things are different. Foreign. So, what do babies do, except cry their confusion, sorrow, and fears? Some like Peanut may very well cry a lot. About every little thing. Sometimes, to us, without any rhyme or reason.

You’ve been building up to this moment for 1 year or more. You have had all this pent-up love just waiting to burst forth. As much as you thought you were ready to deal with this difficult transition, the tears, the rejections, you realize you’re not. Plus, you’re tired. Bone weary in fact.

SO.

You lose it. You yell. You cry. You think you made a mistake. You worry about the baby not liking you. Now you worry that you don’t like the baby. You say you can’t do this anymore. You feel depressed. You feel hopeless. You feel utterly lost.

WELL.

You’re normal. Let’s make that perfectly clear. How do I know this, only a 1.5 week into this myself, still going through these feelings? Because enough adoptive parents, plus my social worker has told me so. I must have faith in them and their experiences and wisdom.

And it is okay to feel this way. These are just feelings of the moment, based on fatigue, frustration and fears. As long as you are not continuing to scream, cry ceaselessly yourself or about to actually hurt the baby, it is okay. Forgive yourself for the feelings. Acknowledge them, but move on.

As my social worker said to me, fake it until you make it. Keep on trying, smiling, engaging, playing, just keep on doing the things you need to do and eventually, little threads of bonds will start forming. I will write of my own progress as I fake my way into making it.

NOW.

If you are having serious feelings of wanting to hurt the baby or yourself, if your emotions can’t be checked, go to a doctor immediately! RUN! Even if you say, you won’t really do it, ignoring those feelings will eventually hurt you in the end. Post adoption depression is as real as postpartum blues.

Even if this doesn’t help anyone, I think it was good for me to write it down for myself.

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One thought on “For Adoptive Parents Into Their First Weeks of Post-Adoption

  1. Something I found very helpful and soothing was a visit with a friend of mine who does reiki. She told me how to soothe him (he had a bit of reflux) and how to centre on his chakra so that he would feel attached to me. I know, it sounds a little weird, but if you’re into that kind of thing, it really worked for us. I would chant with him (I’m a Buddhist) and then meditate with my hand over his middle section and let him know that I would always be there for him.

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