When we first started the adoption process, the one disappointment I felt was that my child would miss out on the benefits of breast milk, as I will not be breastfeeding. Will he or she be unhealthy and get sick all of the time? Is formula bad for a baby? Will it take longer for us to bond?
Breastfeeding is the gold standard these days and both the medical and mommy community tout it as the very best thing you can do for your child. That’s all you ever hear about it. Breast is best, yada yada. Like everyone else, I simply accepted that as fact because, well, it makes sense that the best thing for a baby would be milk from the most natural source. I’m from the organic generation and I have a healthy mistrust of processed food. But, I’ve been reading more and more studies and articles that claim to prove that the benefits of breastfeeding are majorly over-rated.
Some people might think it’s a little odd to have a baby shower when you have no idea when you’ll be having a baby. But, that didn’t stop me from celebrating the eventual arrival of Charlie yesterday. A friend of mine threw a baby shower brunch for me at her farmhouse and it was such a great time.
As I drove the winding country road out to the farm, I had time to reflect on our journey up to this point. I was on the way to a baby shower–and it wasn’t for one of my friends or family. It was for me. Even though we don’t have a due date yet, we know our baby is coming at some point (hopefully in the near future) and yesterday made it all feel very real. This is happening. I don’t know when. But it’s happening.
The New York Times parenting blog published an interesting piece the other day titled An Adoption: Six Months Later. The author writes about her difficult bonding experience with her biological sons versus her immediate attachment to her adopted daughter.
Now, maybe that has to do with the fact that her bio sons were newborns and her daughter was older when she was adopted–maybe the author just didn’t take to the newborn stage. (It sounds like she had a bit of a Grumpy Baby.) Or maybe she truly just bonded more naturally with her adopted daughter and would have no matter what age she was when adopted. Either way, it speaks to the truth that attachment and bonding does not rely or depend on biological ties.
Just because you give birth to a baby does not mean you will become immediately attached. And just because you adopt a baby doesn’t mean you immediately won’t.
I was in a baby consignment store the other day, checking out all the parenting books. I had four or five in my hand and was skimming them, trying to get an idea of which one or two would be best (ended up buying all of them) when a lady walked past me and said to her friend, loud enough that I could hear, “I never read any of the baby books I bought.”
I think she was trying to tell me not to waste my time. But I didn’t listen. I feel like I need to learn as much as I can. Because as much as I love babies and kids, I have never cared for one full-time. Will I know what to do when she cries? What about when he gets sick or has a fever? How will I set a sleep schedule? And maybe because we’re adopting, I’m wondering if I will just “know” what to do like so many women say they do. Will my maternal instincts kick in even though I haven’t given birth?
I wasn’t feeling so hot last week. Stressed out, I was feeling anxious and discouraged about our adoption. Up until this point, the wait has been pretty good for me–I’ve been positive and excited. We’re in our fifth month of waiting now, though, and I think I’ve been growing weary of the uncertainty and wondering if anyone will ever choose us. And I let it get to me.
I wrote a really whiny post on Friday–basically threw myself a big old pity party. Writing it down and getting it all out of my system was a release and made me feel so much better, but I’m so glad I didn’t publish it because that is not the person I want to be or the attitude I want to have. I forgot that for a couple days, but thanks to Jamie and a great weekend, I’m feeling a lot stronger today.
Ever since we opened up to transracial adoption, I’ve had a heightened awareness of racism. And hearing about this Michael Dunn guy, who shot at a car full of teenagers, killing Jordan Davis and injuring four of his friends because their music was too loud, has really affected and upset me.
It would have upset me anyway–what is wrong with people?!–but now I’m also seeing this through the eyes of a (potential) transracial adoptive parent. Jordan Davis did not have a gun. He was just hanging out with his friends, listening to music and having fun. Who hasn’t done that? He was just a kid.
Oh, Reality. Sometimes you are just no fun at all.
Last week, we discovered we will be getting a tax bill this year instead of a refund. That’s never good news. But it also made us realize that there’s no way we will comfortably have a down payment for a house this year with everything else that’s going on. So, we’ve decided to officially put our house search on hold until after the adoption.
We had a good laugh at ourselves because we actually thought we could do all of this–buy a house AND adopt a baby–in the same year. Only the two biggest expenses of our entire lives! Who do we think we are? The Rockefellers?
I don’t know, I guess I thought we had to have the forever house before we had the forever baby. And since I work from home, I was hoping to have more space. Or maybe I was hoping there was one major thing in our lives that we could have control over. Some action we could take.