What I Mean When I Say “Adoption is Hard”

Adoption is hard. I knew that going in. What I didn't know was HOW it would be hard.

Michelle Barnes March 10, 2016
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Adoption never seemed easy, I was pretty sure I knew what I was getting into. I assumed bonding would be hard, it would be insanely expensive, the wait would be long, and I would have to get over my child looking like someone else. But none of those things were hard.

It started with a failed adoption. I had no idea what emotions would accompany that roller coaster, and I was far from prepared. She told me on Mother’s Day and I couldn’t breathe. I knew if it fell through it wasn’t meant to be, but I was crushed beyond anything I could have imagined.  I truly wasn’t prepared for those emotions because of my attachment to the expectant parents. I wanted to be a part of their life! We had become great friends and it felt like a terrible break-up.

Our journey was devastating when we were scammed by an awful woman who led us on for months and who led us to paint a nursery, name a baby, and purchase clothes for a baby that didn’t exist. She was just a needy girl wanting attention from a very vulnerable couple. She destroyed any trust I needed to have for future matches. I resented her for so many reasons and she forced me to put up an unnecessary guard.

Adoption was hard when I saw my son’s birth mother crying in her hospital bed after going through so much physical trauma and then handing her baby over to me. My pain from my failed adoption was nothing compared to this pain she was feeling. I wished I could take it away from her. I wanted to rush over and put him back in her arms. This beautiful boy was giving me the happiest day of my life and she was experiencing it entirely differently. It was so hard to navigate those emotions. I won’t ever be able to comprehend what she experienced, but watching her hurt was so difficult.

Anger set in when our lawyer made several mistakes with our adoption and caused our birth mother to deal with unnecessary issues. I didn’t realize the mess that he had made until we were about to finalize our adoption and we had to call in a new attorney to fix everything.

Adoption is hard. There is absolutely no doubt about that. But, adoption was the happiest thing I’ve ever experienced. It was a beautiful roller coaster and I’d do it all again for my darling son.

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Michelle Barnes

Michelle is a mom to two beautiful children, one she gave birth to and one who was lovingly placed in her arms. She is an author, entrepreneur, maker, and baker. Adoption is her passion and she speaks at local high schools, attends panels, and does anything she can to share the beauty she's seen and experienced. Adoption gave her hope and gave her a son, she writes more about it at The Copper Collective.


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