Saturday, July 28, 2012

Confession #11 - I was afraid I couldn't love her.

Our struggle to have a child was not too unlike most infertile couples.  We tried for years without success then turned to a fertility specialist for rigorous testing, prodding, poking and emotional turmoil.  I wanted a child of my own so badly it consumed my thoughts every waking moment and haunted my dreams every single night.  I would cry out to God every day praying for our miracle child.  Finally after 5 rounds of IUI I had had enough.  I was so distraught; after having stimulated my body to produce eight eggs on our last round of IUI and not conceiving - I knew it was time to get off the roller coaster of disappointment.  After a short but emotional discussion my husband and I decided that we would pursue adoption.

In Jan of 2005 we went to a seminar at a christian adoption agency and were very dawn to China.  It took us almost 6 months but we compiled all the paperwork for our dossier and submitted it to the Chinese consulate.  Our agency told us that it should be anywhere from 3 to 6 months until we got a referral.  (A referral is when the Chinese consulate approves your application and chooses a child for you then sends you the picture and any background and health information they may have and shortly after you board a plane to China.)  We were extremely excited, this was it  - finally our baby is was coming, a precious little China doll.  Three months passed, then six then a year then 18 months and we had to renew our paperwork.  No problem Jadyn Dawn (the name we picked for her) was worth the wait.  Two years and still no word.  By year three the summer Olympics came to China.  Suddenly our future with Jadyn Dawn was looking bleak.  The agency had been informed that those waiting for children would likely be waiting another five to seven years.  China decided that with the eyes of the world focused on their country they did not wish to be seen as the worlds largest exporter of girls, so the referral process had nearly come to a standstill.  We were crushed.  We quickly decided to pursue other options. 

On Thanksgiving of 2007 my husband and I were visiting his family in central Florida when I received call from my mom and dad.  It turns out that my Aunt and Uncle knew of a child, a little girl only 17months old that may soon be available for adoption.  Fast track almost exactly a year to the date later and she was officially our daughter.  Alysabeth Felice.  We call her Lexi.  But the story doesn't end there. 

They talk a lot about bonding when you're looking to adopt.  Frankly, I never for a second paid any attention. I figured this would never be an issue for us.  We wanted parenthood so bad and were offering a wonderful, and loving life for our child so when it came to bonding, no sweat!  And it was no sweat, Lexi bonded to both of us, especially myself, immediately!  But here's the problem, I couldn't handle it.  I couldn't seem to bond to her.  Suddenly my greatest fear had come to fruition, the fear that I couldn't love her.  I tried so hard.  I thought I could force the emotion, so I would hold her in my arms and rock her and sing to her, but it wasn't coming. 

Lexi like most two year olds was a very attention hungry child.  She wanted my attention every second of the day.  The problem was that I am a very independent person.  I had 12 years of marriage with no children.  I could come and go as I please.  I didn't have to put down what I was working on, leave an event early or work around someone else's schedule.  And now this little person relied on me for everything!  I wasn't willing to give up my selfish lifestyle so easily and that's where the struggle lied.  And the guilt was overwhelming.  I couldn't love her the way a normal mom should because I resented having to give myself up for her.  It was a vicious cycle of guilt.

This went on for close to two years.  When one day while at a playground everything changed.   I had assumed my usual position on a bench reading a book while Lexi played.  A short while later I looked up and couldn't find her anywhere.  I went crazy running around screaming her name to no avail.  I started to have a panic attack.  Other mom's ran up to help me look but we couldn't find her.  All of a sudden I spotted her coming back into the playground.  She had stepped away with another child to share his bike and I was so busy selfishly reading my book that I wasn't paying attention.  I ran to her and I held her so tight.  The fear of loosing my baby was overwhelming I cried hysterically as I clung to her small body.  How could I be so stupid and selfish?  How could I let her wander off?  I figured I was the worst mom ever.  Then it hit me.  I love this child so much I couldn't bear to lose her.  She was mine, really mine, and she loved me so much.  I couldn't grasp, till that moment, how much I loved her; I really loved her.  I thought I was emotionally stunted for so long, but here it was in that moment of complete terror, God showed me that I did love her. 

Slowly I began to make Lexi my priority, it took some time of letting go of my selfishness, but I can say that without a doubt she is my first priority. 
I was afraid I couldn't love her, but now I don't know how I could love her any more; my love for her is all consuming. 

"Thank you dear Father for teaching me to love my daughter with an all consuming love.  To sacrifice my needs, and wants for hers.  Lord, help my sisters who are afraid they can't love their adopted child to know, that they truly can and will."  AMEN!
Post a Comment