Release the Apprehension
For some families, adoption was not their first choice. Fertility issues may have led to some guilt and frustration. If this sounds like you, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone—many parents say that feelings of guilt are common in the beginning of the adoption process.
“I think that for many people adoption is a second choice, but it’s never second best,” says Joyce Maguire Pavao, author of The Family of Adoption. “A child that enters your family will be your child forever. It will be different than having a child by birth, but it will be wonderful.”
She believes that people should mourn not having their own child; hiding emotions just triggers more stress. Conversely, that same feeling happens to adopted children, who need to mourn not knowing their birth families or not being raised by their birthparents. “It’s important to acknowledge the sadness that underlies adoption and to know that they are just one part of the multi-faceted family of adoption,” Pavao says.
Pavao suggests talking with a veteran adoptive parent about these issues. It’s also important to make sure your spouse or partner understands your feelings. You must both accept that this is a new stage in your life. Embrace it with enthusiasm and begin to focus on sharing your life with a child who needs your love.