Taking a happy break

© Cheese Curds and Kimchi
I'm having a bit of a meltdown. Here's the thing. Sometimes I just think too damn much. And if you follow this blog at all, you KNOW I've been thinking a lot lately.

I worry about making the right decisions for our family.

Which leads to worrying about the health of the baby.

Which makes me start to panic about the adoption process.

And then I freak out about if the baby will attach to us or not.


You get the idea. All this fear and worry starts to snowball and next thing I know, I'm in a heap of tears. I consulted with my Iron Triad:

  • The Man says this is my classic behavior. (I pause to acknowledge that Hubby is indeed correct about this. Whenever I care deeply and really want something, I get a bit neurotic about it. Not a trait I'm proud of, but he seems to love me in spite of this.) He gives me lots of hugs and reassures me that no matter what happens, we'll get through it as a family. (Big bonus points for The Man.) 
  • My darling friend C says that she experienced fears like this too before she gave birth to her beautiful girl. She says this is all part of becoming a parent. (For the record, she also said I'm very normal for having these feelings. That's why I love C!)
  • And my Mom (who I whined to tonight) says those fears never go away and she made me feel better in a way that only your mom can. She says parents are worried and scared throughout their children's lives, but despite your worries, you have to move forward and make the best decisions you can at each point. I just have to keep going, one step at a time.

I'm not a fearful person by nature. What I am is incredibly controlling. Anytime I have been worried or fearful about something I systematically come up with a plan to address the issues that I'm concerned about. That eases my fear. It gives me control of the situation.

And there's the heart of my problem right now. In this process, I feel I have no control. And that makes me scared. Which is not like me.

Like Elizabeth said in a comment on yesterday's post "if I let that fear be the predominant motivator in my life, life sure wouldn't be much fun." She's right.

So I'm taking a little happy break right now. I've been diving deep into some fearful topics (attachment disorders, angry adoptees, etc.) which is probably adding to my worries.

I have to get back to my happy place. I need some "it's gonna be OK" adoption stuff right now. All flowers and hearts and puppies and rainbows type of adoption stuff.

That's my goal this week.

All suggestions welcome.

(One last note: saw this "sign" from the Universe tonight as I was burning brain cells thinking about this stuff. Walked outside and saw this beautiful sunbeam peeking out from behind the clouds. Thanks Universe. I needed that!)


  1. Happy Breaks are definitely necessary. I actually kept the other stuff to a minimum while we were in process... the process stressed me out enough, I did NOT need to add to that! ;-)

    (I'm so behind on your blog right now... I have a bunch of stuff saved to read when I have a few "focused" moments. So, you know, when Spencer is in preschool. Sigh.)

  2. It's tough to dive into all that "stuff". One of the best bits of advice for me came from a friend who is also adopting. You read the information, digest it, then put it aside. Just know its there if you need it. Easier said than done! Enjoy your break.

  3. Happy break = A recent column in the Washington Post about Scott Simon's new book. It speaks so eloquently of the love that is at the heart of adoption. Really moving stuff: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/26/AR2010082605232.html

    I totally understand your fears, too. John and I tackled the medical checklist this weekend, and it was much harder than I anticipated. We're mailing the formal app tomorrow and I still feel uncertain about some things. I've read about children with RAD wielding knives and hurting pets. Children with FAS not being able to empathize or understand the consequences of their actions. It's terrifying. It scares me. But I have to trust that we're making the best decisions we can to minimize the chances of this happening.

    I find the "angry adoptee" websites interesting, challenging, and thought-provoking. Their voices matter. They are speaking their truth, and that's a good thing, but they speak for themselves, not for the majority of adoptees. I think many people are angry about many things, and some of it has to do with your personality and how you're hardwired to view things in life. I know enough people who grew up with their bio parents and are angry/bitter about certain things that as an adoptive parent, I don't fear this too much.

    Whew! Could my comment be any longer? Sorry. :)

  4. Yay for a Happy Break!!! Eat lots of sugar, chocolate, and treat yourself right, while you're taking a break from the stress. Yes, adoption is hard, and I definitely have times where I've wished for an easier go at things. But they DO work out, and the rewards are just... wow.

  5. YES. Happy Breaks are absolutely needed. Especially when you've been doing lots of reading about the potential challenges in adoption. It can get SO overwhelming! 5 years after we adopted our son, I *still* go through my ups and downs in my ability to process information. Sometimes I read adoptee blogs, books, etc. about adoptive parenting. And then sometimes I let it all go and just focus on being a mom. Regarding the fear: Totally normal. Seriously. I blogged about my fear as part of our adoption process here: http://liveoutloudwithme.blogspot.com/2010/07/where-ive-been-finale.html

    Enjoy your happy break! :)

  6. Oh, and I should note, that despite all my fears about my son as I waited to bring him home, he was just fine. :)

  7. One more thing. (SORRY!). I had a quotation that I always returned to when I started becoming consumed with my worries about what challenges adoptive parenting might bring. It was written by a woman who was adopted transracially. Here's what she had to say: "For anyone who is in fear of the monsters that may be lurking around the corners of adoption: Yes, as with anything, there are monsters to be conquered and there is the potential that they could gobbles us up, which makes our actions so much more important. But please consider for a moment that as you are reading this, there is a child who is battling very real monsters alone. And imagine that when you make the commitment to take up arms, side by side with the child, how many unnecessary scars you can, as a family, prevent." --Roxanne Agur

  8. I could have written this post about myself! We are twins, I swear!!!!

    It will all be okay, and I guarantee that. It may not be the easiest thing ever, but the more you try to think of yourself as 'along for the ride' instead of futilely (is that a word?) attempting to control the ship, the happier you'll be. Hardest thing EVER, I know. I think I'd rather slam my boob in a door than do that, but you find a way eventually. :)

    I PROMISE it will all work out regardless of your control level OR your anxiety level. Promise!

  9. PS, I don't google anything adoption-related anymore, for the most part. There's just too many loud-mouthed adoption opposers and skeptics in the world. And unfortunately, MANY of them have no first-hand experience with adoption from either side, they're just talking out their butts. Gotta love the internet?! :) I promise baby will bond to you and you'll forget all of this stuff.

  10. As a fellow google-obsessed control freak who cannot handle the unknown, I've felt exactly how you are feeling. Before we adopted, I had moments where I was nearly paralyzed with fear over all the issues and the what-ifs that it was hard to move forward. When you feel this way, its good to step back and take a break from the heavy stuff. I think its wonderful that you have given so much thought to so many adoptioni-related issues. So many PAPs and APs are so focused on getting a child quickly that they fail to consider anything else. However, considering parenting and adoption issues shouldn't make you dread moving forward.

    For me, parenting has been a series of unknowns. There are definitely moments that are scary and difficult, but I now know that I can handle whatever comes my way and the rewards of taking a giant leap of faith are completely worth it.

  11. Big hugs to you all. Thanks for your kind words and helping me through a tough patch. And Becca, that quote was just what I needed!

  12. WOW! Sounds like a "Happy Break" is definitely in order. While reading this I see a lot of you in me (or me in you) Maybe that has something to do with those wonderful "Genes" we carry. I think that when anyone becomes a parent we all face fears about making the right choices. I am a lot like you as I like to control things. I also obsess and tend to focus on something until I can control it. My mind goes in circles and it does get overwhelming. You and The Man will be the most absolute GREAT PARENTS any child could ask for. Follow you instincts and cross any bridge as you come to it. Love you both so much.


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