Saturday, March 24, 2007

Quiet Fears

We all have those quiet fears we don't share openly with others. I am lucky enough to have a few very close friends with whom I can share some of them. But as a woman who believes quite fervently that God has a plan for my life, and that adopting "T" is part of that plan, how do I admit to those fears? Isn't that a sign of a lack of faith if I express that I am scared at moments of the unknown? If I feel so strongly that "T" is my son and was meant to be in my life, how can I possibly have any concerns? I have struggled at moments with this very question, and as the time draws nearer for him to legally become our child, I have given voice to certain doubts , most of which are fleeting thoughts but they exist none the less.

Fear #1- What if he doesn't like me/us? What if he wishes he were adopted by a different family? I am quite aware of my short comings...I am not an attractive or educated woman, I am not special in any way. I wish I could offer him the kind of mommy that is beautiful and perfect and "Martha Stewart-ish", but I am not any of those things. I think Kazakh and Kyrgyz woman are so incredibly beautiful and I wonder if he will be disappointed once we meet.

Fear #2 - What if he has Attachment Disorder? Having been down that extremely painful road once before with Josh, I can't imagine going through it a second time and complicating matters by it being with an older child whose behaviors could be extreme and perhaps beyond my ability to handle. Of course I realize there is a higher probability of this occuring with an older child, and you may ask "Well, if you feel that way, why do it??". I guess I combat it with telling myself that just because we are afraid of something doesn't mean we still shouldn't do it. But I sure wouldn't look forward to it.

Fear #3 - What if I am not the mom he needs me to be? What if I am not intuitive enough to "get it" when that is what is most needed?

Fear #4 - I quite readily understand that this will not be at all like our infant adoptions, and I wonder how long it will take for us all to settle in with one another? How long before it stops feeling like there is a stranger wandering around our house? Will it be days, weeks, months or heaven forbid years???

Fear #5 - What if I don't have the patience to deal with all the educational and developmental issues that might arise?

Fear #6 - How long does love take to grow?

Fear #7 - What might I miss in working with him and trying to fill in the gaps of his experiences that I won't ever know about? What important things that will form his character is it already too late to try and impress upon him?

Fear #8 - What if I mess this all up?

Fear #9 - Will he ever look at me and see and feel in his heart that I am his mommy? Or will I just be relegated to the same position of all the other women who have been in and out of his life to take care of him, but never elevated to the status of "Mommy"?

Fear #10 - What if he comes to me one day and says "I want to go back..." because he is unhappy.

These are just a few of the things that have run through my head the past several weeks. The logical part of me knows that some of this is irrational. The logical part of me also knows that not all of these fears are irrational, and that is the scary part. I have never seen myself as particularly courageous or a risk taker. I usually like my life well charted out. But I am jumping into unknown waters here, and fear can cause you to quickly sink, so I am fighting off these doubts and hopefully will be able to remain afloat.

When I narrow it all down though, it comes down to one thing and one thing only: I want him to love me, and I want to feel deep love for him. No matter what else is involved, if we have that at the core we will make it.

12 comments:

Kim and Jeff said...

Wow! I cannot tell you how familiar your fears are to me! We recently came home with our new 6 year old daughter from Taraz, Kaz, and I remember not sleeping for a few weeks before we traveled while I wrestled with God about my fears. My fears remained even while in country and for a few weeks once we were home. It is definitely a different adjustment from bringing an infant home, but the great part is that you will get instant gratification as soon as everyone settles in. Love came slowly for me this time around, but now it is as strong for my new daughter as it was for my other three. I was very afraid that she would not like me, and she was very afraid of being hurt and abandoned again. Once we both got over our fears, we were able to see that God really did plan this perfectly and we were meant to be together in our family. Good luck!
Kim Werkmeister

LaJoy Family said...

Kim,

Thanks so much for validating what I am feeling right now. It is a real mix of emotions at the moment, and knowing I am not the only one who feels/felt this way helps a lot. I know in the long run all will be ok, but there are those times when you second guess yourself, when you let the doubt creep in. I am SO certain he is ours, and yet... :-) Well, you know...

Cindy

tina said...

Oh Cindy,

My heart goes out to you in all of your fears. I am a worrier and people are always trying to talk me out of my feelings. I know that I have to detail them to myself and then I can knock them down one at a time. So, I wouldn't ever try to dissuade your feelings. It's just that I had to tell you how I want you to know that I see you as special. (In response to what you wrote about NOT being special.) It is clear that you are a special person for who you are. You are an incredible mother. You have a special sensitivity for your children that not all women innately possess. I know that if we knew each other 'in real life' I would be able to go on and on about many other qualities that you have. I just wanted you to know that I very much see you as special.

Tina

LaJoy Family said...

Tina,

As I have followed along with your adoption journey I feel that you too are a very special woman, and one that I could easily sit down over a cup of coffee with...no, that's not really me...how about a Coke Lite? I am humbled by your comments and can only hope that you are indeed right. Thank you for your support throughout the past few months.

Cindy

imtina said...

OH yes....coke lite anyday!!! LOL!!!

LaJoy Family said...

Oh yea, Baby, I can live on horsemeat and cabbage if I can only have my Coke Lite!!!!!!

Cyndi :) said...

Hi Cindy,
Although I am mearly a "BIO" Mom (hahaha), I can tell you that many of your fears are natural for any Mom. Nobody knows where there path will lead, or if they will do whats best for their children, but if you have faith I believe that God will take care of you and give you the tools you need to be exactly what "T" needs in his life. You are giving him a chance at life that he would never have had, and opportunities that he has probably never dreamed possible. You are amazing!!!!

LaJoy Family said...

Cyndi,

"Merely" a bio mom, huh? Sounds pretty amazing to me!! ANY mom is amazing, don't you think? Thanks for reminding me that although the specific, immediate fears may be different, the "big picture" fears are common to all moms, adoptive or bio. And in my moments of clarity, I do realize that God has made it clear that "T" is supposed to be ours, and He will indeed provide us with the tools we need to be effective parents. I guess, frankly, I am most afraid of him not eventually loving us. I don't expect it at first, as we are total strangers, but I hope that we will all eventually feel that deep connection and bond with one another. Thanks again for your kind words and thoughts.

Cindy

Cyndi :) said...

Ive seen the twinkle in that little guys eyes! He's full of love! I'm sure it will be a very scary for him at first, but your family is so eager to fall in love with him that he wont be able to help but love you back! My prayers will be with you and your little "American boy"!

LaJoy Family said...

Cyndi,

From your lips to God's ears!!! You are right, there isn't a person in this household from littlest to biggest who isn't thrilled about this and so looking forward to having our newest "American Boy" finally home with us. And that twinkle...well, I am grinning as I write this because it was that twinkle that made me know in an instant that my expectation of a daughter was flying right out the window!! hahahaha! Thanks again Cyndi!!

Kathy said...

Cyndi,
We are about to leave for Kaz in 1 1/2 weeks to adopt a 13 yr old girl, something I thought we would never do. We believe God chose this child for our family. I was struck by your fears, ours are almost identical. I don't think they are anything but normal. I have enjoyed reading your blog these last few months.
Kathy

LaJoy Family said...

Kathy,

Best of luck to you!! It really is overwhelming if we let ourselves get bogged down in it, isn't it? Hopefully within a few weeks we can both report that all is well and many of our fears were unfounded....or we will find ourselves being support to one another through some rough times! I am glad you have enjoyed the blog, it seems to have touched far more people that I ever imagined it doing when I started it.

Warmly,
Cindy