Few things in life are more scary than bringing home a new baby. The first weeks with a new baby are always hard, but when you add in emotions that adoption brings up they can feel overwhelming. Here are 4 common fears adoptive parents feel.
1. What if I can’t/don’t bond with my child?
You will. But it won’t necessarily happen overnight, and it is very common to feel like a babysitter for the first few weeks. Chances are you didn’t fall in love with your parter right when you met him or her. It takes time to fall in love with someone, even if it feels like it should happen right away.
2. What if the birth family has a change of heart?
Birth families do so sometimes have a change of heart and choose to parent. Depending on what state you reside in determines how long the revocation period is and it can feel very scary. Especially if you are out of state and don’t have the support of family and friends. There is no right or wrong way to deal with the fear. It is always a possibility until parental rights are terminated, but you also don’t want to miss out on enjoying your first few days with a new baby.
3. What if my child hates me some day?
It is pretty much a guarantee that during the teen years every child will not like their parents. But adoption adds to that because in adoption the child doesn’t have a choice. They didn’t get to choose to stay with their birth parents or to be adopted. Having had no say in the how they grew up can be hard for kids. And often they will take it out on their parents. And in all honesty, that is a good thing. We tend to hurt the ones we love the most. And it will hurt when your child tells you they wish you weren’t their parents, but remember that you are the person in their life who they know will love them no matter how awful they are to you.
4. What if my child’s birth family wants more openness or distance than we do?
Setting boundaries can be hard. A very wise friend once told me to sit down with the birth parents and figure out how closed and open you both feel you can be and meet somewhere in the middle. Be open and honest with yourself and your child’s birth parents. Never promise more than you are willing to give, as it will only lead to heartache and problems with the relationship. Openness requires a lot of communication and flexibility. Don’t be afraid to say what you feel and discuss it openly.