Do you know that, according to expert Emily Foltz-Holland, anywhere from 32-65% of new adoptive mothers experience Post Adoption Depression Syndrome (PADS)? — No? Neither did I . . . until I lived it.
I never seriously considered that adoption could be anything but sweet, warm, and fuzzy, but boy, was I wrong. Nothing—no adoption class, no consultation with our adoption agency nor our assigned counselor, no book—had prepared me for what was about to happen . . .
I had thought about adoption for years, specifically international adoption. I don’t know why it seemed right for me, but it did.
When I had a stillbirth in 1999, it became more and more apparent to me that I should give a child already in the world a home. It’s a deeply personal decision that seemed a good fit for me. A second pregnancy would’ve been very risky. Just as my husband and I decided to try for another baby, he left me for another woman, and the marriage promptly ended in divorce. I put hopes of having a child of my own on a back burner until I met David (not his real name).
I brought up the idea of international adoption to David one evening over dinner at Red Lobster, of all places to propose having a child. He was reluctant to agree, not because he didn’t want one, but because of our personal circumstances. At that time, we weren’t in the best financial situations and had both been previously divorced, among other seemingly problematic issues. In short, we just didn’t look very good on paper. Plus, international adoption is so expensive that it appeared financially unattainable for us.
So we were not exactly the poster children for the Perfect Adoptive Family. Still, we decided to try. We went to a seminar on international adoption to gather more information. We listened carefully to the pros and cons of different ages and genders, and soon realized that a girl in the 2-6 age range would be an excellent match.
We attended adoption classes religiously, but absolutely nothing prepared us for what we were actually embarking upon.
Read Part II of this series: My Descent into Post-Adoption Depression Began on Placement Day