My favorite blogs are the honest ones. Not necessarily the messily honest ones that are so raw that you want to look away but the ones that present with clarity the hard truths about life, specifically about adoption. I'm never inspired by the "oh, isn't my life just peachy" blogs.
Here is some honesty. It may be messy. Look away if you need to. This is not an inspiring post but it is an honest one.
I am afraid of not having what it takes as a mother. I feel like I am a decent mom to our first child. We have a rhythm to our days. We have rituals with each other. Life feels comfortable. Our relationship is easy. We know each other. Abe checks in with me all day long, even if he's busy playing. We are connected. We've known each other since he was nine months old.
This morning in the middle of an argument with my husband (yes, we argue sometimes), all my fears about being mother to our next child came spilling out. What if I can't handle the language barrier? What if she won't bond to us? What if we don't bond to her? What if she and Abe don't bond as siblings? What if that connecting thread of love never forms? What if I don't know what to do when she's having tantrums? What if I can't comfort her when she's grieving? What if I haven't done enough reading or at least haven't read the right books yet? What if she sees every area where I'm lacking, meets our Ethiopian friends and decides she would rather live with them? What if she hates us? What if I fail?
I'm sitting right now in the big purple chair that is in Abe's room. When this next child comes home, this is probably where her bed will be, at least in the beginning. I'm physically filling the space that she will occupy perhaps later this year. I want to be able to look back at this day and remember these fears.
Ted has no fears about this next adoption. He has the utmost faith that it's all going to work out. He is nothing but excited, saying that he wishes we had traveled back to Ethiopia yesterday. He is so ready to parent a daughter. Ted is a fantastic father, but sometimes I wonder if he's stupidly optimistic or just plain stupid. When I opened up this morning about all of this, his eyes filled with tears, and he told me that he knows that I'm not going to fail. He said, "I know you. You won't be able to do anything but love this child."
Please don't get me wrong: I want another child (funny how writing "another child" feels easier than "a daughter"). I want Abe to have a sister. Abe wants Abe to have a sister. Somewhere deep inside of me, I know that it's all going to be okay, even better than okay. But I also know that the first six months (or longer) can be a trial of fire, and I worry that I won't have what it takes. As a teacher, I've never liked the first couple of weeks of the semester. I always want to fast forward to half-way through the semester when we're comfortable with each other and have our inside jokes and rapport all set. I'm an introvert and have never been comfortable in the process of getting to know a new person. If you are my friend, I probably didn't enjoy getting to know you; I just like knowing you now. It feels similar with this next child, just intensified by a hundred thousand.
So these are my fears. While I know it's probably going to be fine eventually, I'm afraid of the nitty-gritty messiness and unknown of what our next year is going to look like. It freaks my shit out, and I break down crying about it sometimes, which makes me feel selfish which then makes me feel guilty.
I can only hope that my stupid husband is right. He has faith in me and in us as a team. If only I could borrow some of that faith.