Parents are all too familiar with the phenomena called Mommy Wars. I was watching a Disney movie called Zapped with my older son the other day, and the main character accused her boy crush of pretending to be competitive with other boys in order to be friends with them. He turned the tables on her and said that girls pretend to be friends in order to be competitive. How many of us are guilty of that? We have the choices between organic or regular, formula or breast milk, stay-at-home or working mom, public or private school, and the list goes on and on. Every day people compete with one another in so many areas of life. Parenting is no exception. How far can we take it?
In the adoption community, just like anywhere else, people are often in competition. How can we support one another and learn to not compare our adoption to the adoptions other people have? Click here to continue reading the article at adoption.com.
It is really easy to get caught up in our own pity party when we face infertility or have set backs in adoption. We see women getting pregnant on accident, we stop watching the news because we can’t handle watching stories about abused children, we lash out at family members who are expecting a baby or complain about their kids being bad, and we cry at the sight of pregnant strangers in the grocery store. Experiencing that grief makes us desperate and sometimes with desperation we lack reasoning skills.
Adoption is an emotional roller coaster all on it’s own, but then factor in the reasons you may have come to adoption; infertility, health, relationship status, sexuality, etc, and you may have extra emotions tied to the adoption journey. While I have seen this many times lately in the adoption forums I go to, I am not going to claim I too wasn’t guilty of all the emotions that this entry is about.
Adoption isn’t easy for the expecting mother who made an adoption plan to place her child. She is doing it for her own reasons. She may struggle every day with her decision. She may feel guilt that she cannot provide her child with the life she wants. She may change her mind every day in the things she wants her child to have. She may waiver on what she wants out of the adoption relationship. But, let’s face it, it is her child. It is her decision. We have to just be willing recipients of the child with open arms. And we need to know when it’s time to walk away from a match that is not going to work.
I know it’s really hard to do, but keep in mind this isn’t about what you are or are not deserving of… but it is about her and HER child. (Of course you deserve a child, it just might not be her child!) This is a super stressful situation for you when she begins questioning things in her adoption plan or her match with you. I experienced a disrupted match because the expecting mom second guessed all her choices when it came to us. We were matched very early on and as our friendship grew, so did her need to know things about me on a personal level and on a parenting level. When an expecting mom chooses and adoptive family, she often romanticizes a life she envisions for her child as well as her future in your and her child’s life. I could not live up to her expectations and the match dissolved. It was devastating. The expecting mother may be freaking out and the emotions she is going through are no less valid than yours. Even if she is second guessing some of the choices. She may have people in her other ear telling her she should have picked a stay at home mom or someone that lives closer or in a bigger house. It my experience, the earlier in the pregnancy that she makes decisions, it seems the closer the time gets those decision start to waiver. (Obviously this isn’t the case for every early match.) I would much rather have a woman come to me with adoption as her choice and feel fully at peace, than trying to make the match happen because she thinks she’ll eventually be OK with it.
It’s really scary for us adoptive parents to go through, but we just have to accept what God gives us and remember that it isn’t another woman’s job to make us mothers. She is giving us to her child… not her child to us.