In each of my pregnancies I had two major freak-out sessions. Although none of my children were surprises and all were desperately wanted, my first reaction to the extra line on the pee stick was "Oh, no! What have I done!" Once the irrevocable decision had been made and there was no backing out, I panicked.
Then, shortly before the birth of each child, I thought, "Crapola! What have I done?" I second guessed my ability to parent another child. I thought about how perfect I thought things were and that any change might throw the delicate balance of life off. I worried about my lack of sleep, lack of time, lack of patience, lack of super-momness. I felt sorry for this poor child who was going to come into the world stuck with a woefully under-prepared parent.
Each time I got over it by the time the child was in my arms and I knew everything was right with the world.
I hadn't had this freak out with Veronica's adoption. Until now. I believe the initial panic was avoided because there were so many steps that brought us closer to her, but not one irrefutable "no turning back" point. At any stage, we could have placed an adoption on hold (not that we wanted to, but the option was there). But now, as I am waiting on word for our travel approval and know I am in the final stages of this paperwork pregnancy, the panic is setting in.
Please don't misunderstand. I am extraordinarily excited to move forward. I am also slightly terrified. This new experience is similar to looking down at my giant belly at 9 months pregnant and realizing where that baby is going to come out. Logically before pregnancy I knew the mechanics. But when faced with the reality it seemed like a cosmic joke. Only in this adoption I will hop in a plane, travel half way around the world, and be handed a toddler (who will be pretty freaked out herself) and told, "She's yours." What then?
In adoption, especially adoption of a child with some medical quirks, the adage "Hope for the best but expect the worst." is repeated constantly. Seeming like sound advice, I have mentally prepared myself for the worst. At some point, I had myself convinced of the following:
She will be deaf. (some usually mild and correctable hearing issues are fairly common with cleft-affected kids)
She will hate me.
She will hate my husband.
She will hate all our other kids.
She will be allergic to our cats and we will have to get rid of them.
I will not be able to feed her because, although she is a good weight, there must be some magic trick to it.
I will lose her in a China market.
She will flail on the plane and accidentally hit a passenger near us, resulting in a law suit.
She will not smile at us for at least a year.
She will need every potential cleft surgery and they will all fail, every time.
I will get food poisoning in China and be too busy throwing up to hold her.
Our airplane will crash.
I will make a stupid joke (like I often do when nervous) during our consulate appointment and they will determine I am not a fit mother.
I will forget important paperwork in the US
And I will come home to my 4 other children at home and they will hate me, too. (Although I am not sure how this last one works in if there is a plane crash involved.)
It think the advice to expect the worst, but hope for the best has sunk in a little too much!
Since I have mentally faced the worst, I am ready to indulge in thinking about the best: I will have another child to love and watch grow into an amazing person. I will get to help another child to reach their potential and see the world through her eyes. I will get to be a mommy again, and will just deal with whatever comes my way.
I'm more of a glass-half full kind of gal. I think this line of thinking suits me better.