Your baby is new to the world, or maybe he is a few months old, but new to your family. Or maybe she is eight and has had 12 foster homes in her short life. However, or whenever you become a new mom, we all have the same fears, inadequacies and feelings of powerlessness.
No matter what you do as a new parent, you will question yourself. You may question whether you deserve to parent this child? Can you love this child the way he deserves to be loved? Can you manage the expectations of an open adoption? Can you manage the birth families grief and possibly anger?
When your newborn cries, you will question if she is crying for the loss of her birth mother, the scents and sounds she knew for nine months. You child will look at you with those eyes that aren’t shaped the same as yours or your spouses, and you will wonder if you will be enough for this new child. You will wonder what those 8-year-old eyes saw that maybe no 8-year-old should have seen, and will your love be enough to make up for that trauma. Will you know how to help them?
Here’s the thing. You are enough and you can do this. I won’t tell you it will be easy, that your heart won’t feel like it breaks a million times, that every decision you make will be right. And I know it will feel like everything you do is wrong. But it isn’t. And to this child, your child, no matter how much he or she may fight you, they will know that too. It may not happen overnight, but it will happen.
The path you will walk as an adoptive mom is not an easy one. We often take on the grief of our child and their birth families. We often feel we need to be an even better mom to prove that we are worthy of raising our child. We seek the approval of birth families and other adoptive parents to assure ourselves we are doing the right thing.
But I can tell you, nine years into this parenting thing, it will be worth it. The fears, the tears, the worry and stress. It is all worth it. You won’t be the “perfect” parent. You will say or do things you regret. But your child, they don’t want you to be “perfect”. They just want you to be their mom. They want you to be in their corner and know that you will love them, no matter what they throw at you. And you will. Because no matter how you became a mom, the moment you did, you promised to lay down your life for your child.
So while you feel overwhelmed, terrified and inadequate now, know that it will get easier. You will look back on these first few days and weeks and much of it will be a blur. And chances are you will laugh at yourself and how you worried about every little thing.
You were meant to be your child’s mother. You’ve got this, and you will do great.