how i feel

My sister-in-law announced at Christmas that she and her husband are expecting a baby on July 4th. That was wonderful news and I even had a hunch that they would be pregnant when they came because I had 2 dreams the night before they arrived where Anna walked off the plane carrying a baby. Cool huh? They will be great parents!

For me, the news brought a wave of emotions that seemed to hit me out of nowhere. It felt like a tsunami and I was grasping for anything to gain control of myself. It took me a few days to sort through my emotions and really get an understanding of what I was feeling. I think I now have a good grasp on why the news hit me so hard.

The fact that someone is pregnant is not what brings on my sadness. I feel like I am pregnant and I feel like I’ve been that way for 4 months now. It doesn’t show on the outside but my heart gets bigger everyday as I think about the two children that I will get to hold in my arms. I guess in a way it is something akin to experiencing the joys and pains of actual pregnancy. It is a blessing that Zach and I are able to have a family this way, but it’s hard to wait so long.

I believe the real reason this news hit me so hard is because I see how different the reactions are when someone announces they are pregnant as opposed to when we announced we were adopting, especially since we can’t have biological children.  From my experience, when someone announces they are pregnant for the first time, people get soooo excited. They want to start doing things like run to the book store and buy books about “What to expect when you’re expecting,” shop for diapers and baby clothes right away, help you think of names, ask about how you’re going to decorate the nursery, give you a keepsake of a mother and child, etc.

When we announced we were adopting the reactions were so much different. “Why? Why adopt? Why not do In Vitro? Why international adoption? Why Colombia? Why two children? Why not a baby?” and then the questions we can’t answer on how long is the wait from now? . . . from now?  . . . and now? All questions which I now crave, but at first were hard to answer.

Last week when I was working through all of this I felt very selfish for having any of these feelings. I wanted to just be happy for Anna and Kurt and not feel sad at all. I seek the Lord in these times because I think he still has a lot of work to complete in me. To see life through his eyes, speak as he would speak, walk in his footsteps.

I recognize that adoption is a unique experience, so unique that people often don’t know how to react, including me. I’m still working through that with God’s help. I hope you understand.

7 replies on “how i feel”

Your post touched my heart. I experienced the same thing . . . not from family, but from others. We adopted three (twins ages 2 1/2 years and an 8 3/4 y.o.) and we were always getting comments, some very hurtful, about their ages, background, etc. It actually wasn’t that long ago that I was out with some girlfriends and they were talking about IF they “had” to adopt, they would adopt babies, they would adopt domestically, etc. These are friends who love my kids and who walked the adoption path with us, but still said some hurtful things without really thinking.

We have been home for almost two years now. I can tell you that I feel such a bond with other people who have adopted internationally, specifically Colombia. They have helped me get through some tough times. People still say dumb things to us, but our children are ours, are absolutely amazing, and somehow, it lessens the hurt, knowing how happy we are to have found these three perfect kids FOR US. In my mind, I think some people will really never “get it.”

I admit that I feel an awkwardness around pregnant people sometimes . . . as if they must be thinking I don’t *really* know what it’s like to be a mom. I don’t know. I never went through the baby stage (happily). I didn’t go through the birth process. I just feel weird sometimes.

I am praying for you . . . for peace, that God will teach you through these times, and for your children. When that day comes when you see them and hold them for the first time, I believe it is no less special that giving birth to them. Adoption is a miracle in itself, a wonder, and it is a privilege to be a part of a family created through adoption.


Picture, if you will:

“We are adopting two more children (taking us up to 5). They are 12 & 9. They are Haitian. They both have severe attachment disorders. We’re so excited!”

We had all SORTS of reactions, but outside of my parents and more distant friends, none of them included joy or excitement.

It really, really sucks when you share something so unbelievably huge and someone asks you “Why?” … as if you just said that you plan on robbing a bank and beating up a puppy.

I can only hope and pray that with adoption becoming much more widespread and understood, that the true celebration will follow.

Hi Renee,

Eric and I were thinking about you guys, so I decided to read up on your blog and see what’s new. I had your old blog site and followed it to this site. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes, aching for you and the other women who have shared their stories. You will be a blessing to your children and I’m praying that either the three years pass quickly for you, or that you are surprised with a shorter wait. We miss you guys and wish we could be there to support you in person. But we’re sending prayers and electronic hugs your way.

I love your heart and honesty that you share in this journey. It truly helps me try to see into your shoes and of other friends going through the same experiences. I’m excited that your wait is even shorter than you originally thought and I’m certain it will all be worth it when you look in the eyes of your children! All that love building up in your heart is going to just pour out into your children! I’m so excited for you!

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