The writers over at Grown In My Heart wrote an article with the same title as above, and invited everyone to add their own thoughts. I've been thinking about this article for a while now, not knowing exactly what to say. The first several months of our lives as adoptive parents are such a blur to me...it was all we could do to keep up with two babies, even with all the help we had.
I believe our adoption agency did a great job preparing us to be adoptive parents. We were required to take several parenting classes before we could submit our dossier to Vietnam. We had several meetings with our social worker, who was an adoptive mom herself, and she was a wealth of information. Our agency responded quickly with answers to any questions we had. All in all, they provided us with a great support system, which left us feeling prepared. But even with that great support system from our agency, our family and our friends, there were still some things I was not prepared for. Here are just a few thoughts...
1. No one told me I would have a full on panic attack in the middle of Babies-R-Us while trying to work on our baby registry. We're talking chest pains, tingling left arm, I thought I was having a heart attack panic attack. When this happened, I had no idea I was stressed! I thought I was going with the flow and pretty at ease. Obviously not!
2. No one told me that my children would not sleep through the night until they were 15 months old. Although sleep routines were formed easily, we fed them every three hours all night long for months.
3. To piggy back on the previous one, no one told me to expect my children to be malnourished.
4. No one told me about eczema.
5. No one told me how much support I would need. Even though I did a lot of things on my own with the boys, I had no idea I would need and want help at night. (Thanks for all the months of taking the night shift, Mom!)
6. No one told me how quickly my children would be accepted into our family and circle of friends. I knew people would love them because they were ours, but even now when I overhear someone talking about the boys, I know they are loved because of who they are, not just who their parents are.
7. No one told me how much I would crave adult interaction. Just two months after our adoption was complete, I joined a Bible study and became a board member of the local twins club. I loved my boys, but I missed my old life. These two groups helped me find a little balance in my life, and I think have made me a better mom.
8. No one told me there were actually cute boy clothes out there, and how long my children would stay in one size! And no one told me how much fun I would have shopping for said clothes.
9. No one told me how much I would love each stage of their lives, and how much I wouldn't miss the newborn stage. I always thought I would be saddened to miss out on those first few weeks of a baby's life, but I didn't. I have loved watching them grow and change and learn. It has been an amazing experience, and I learn right along with them.
**10. No one told me how difficult it would be to get social security cards for our children.
**11. No one told me what a pain health insurance would be.
12. No one told me how adorable footed pajamas are!
13. No one told me how much I would love making baby food.
14. No one told me how much deeper in love I would fall with Dan as I watch him be a dad.
15. In short, no one told me how amazing life would be with two sweet little boys from Vietnam.
**Please note, our issues with SSA and health insurance have more to do with the fact that we adopted twins and less to do with the fact that they are adopted. :-)