I wanted to write this blog post to all you bio mommas out there who follow along here at True Good and Beautiful.
First, to apologize.
Secondly, to beg you to welcome me (and all other adoptive moms) into the “inner circle.”
You might be scratching your heads…why do I need to apologize? Why do you even need to be asked to welcome me?
Let’s start with the apology part.
I’ve more or less spent the last 3 years avoiding you. Or being jealous of you. Or judging you. Or asking God to send me blessings instead of to you. Or intentionally not asking you about your pregnancy or kiddos.
Basically I’ve been a jerk.
Sure there are a few moms I was fine being around and they know who they are. But those of you who haven’t seen or talked to me in years? That was on purpose. It was my doing.
I was afraid of you since I felt like I didn’t belong to be around you. I felt lesser. Like a loser of a wife…and being around you as your children ran laps around you and your belly grew with your newest pregnancy was an unintentional slap in my face. On some level I even thought you didn’t like me or want me around since I was a broken infertile lady.
Silly, I know.
That’s why I want to say sorry. Infertility took a toll on me and many friendships. I had a few dark years where I honestly wasn’t myself (I blame the medicine clomid). I did need to grieve and to a certain extent I needed space to not be around “triggers” like pregnant bellies, little babies, and cute kiddos. I am not apologizing for that but more for the anger, jealousy, bitterness, fear, and judgement that kept me from being your friend. I definitely could have grieved and protected my fragile soul but still been your friend at the same time.
I chose not to and that is why I am apologizing.
Secondly, why am I begging you to welcome me and other adoptive mommas?
Because even though I will absolutely, positively, definitely be a mother through adoption…I still feel like I won’t be truly accepted or something. I have nightmares about going to my first mom hangout and ONLY hearing women talking about pregnancy, labor and delivery, and how fertile they are…all the while I twiddle my thumbs on the side since I can’t contribute to the conversation.
Again. Just like the old infertile days.
I am just going to be vulnerable right here, right now.
I need you non-adoptive moms to be intentional about welcoming myself and any other adoptive mommas in your community. And to be charitable when we are around with what the topic of conversation is turning to. Some of us (me) need our confidence built up after years of infertility and being isolated from conversation is a sure way to kill confidence.
Do you need to walk on eggshells? No. Just be considerate and emotionally intelligent. Haven’t we all been part of a group of people talking only to be the odd man out? The one clueless about the topic at hand as the group dynamically engages in conversation about it? Yea. Multiply that by a thousand and you can get a glimpse at how awkward social settings can be if you’ve dealt with infertility or adoption.
What I am trying to say is engage me in conversation about mom stuff I can relate with you on…which will be MOST stuff. A neat fact for you is that I am currently undergoing lactation induction! So we can talk breastfeeding, lactation cookies, and all the things that come along with it.
I know not all adoptive moms will feel shy or nervous around seasoned bio moms but I will. I know myself. I will stupidly put myself at a disadvantage to you and so I need you to remind me just how much we share being moms….no matter how our babes came into our families. Help me get over my insecurities. Help me realize I am “one of you” too.
I do wonder if any first-time bio moms might have these same fears or feelings of inadequecy? If this isn’t simply an adoption thing, tell me!
If it is a common adoptive momma struggle…well then I need to hear from you ladies who have been there and done this! How did your bio mom friends help you the most in your time as you transitioned to being a mom? How did you get over fear?
Let me know in the comments! 🙂
Oh, goodness, while there are unique factors in being an adoptive mama, I remember my first few meetings at a mom’s group were *so* hard. There are so many little parenting differences that can cause such big divides, and, being an aspie, I am not all that good at navigating the social scene. While I loved (and still love) to interact with other moms, it’s also really hard for me, and I usually spend the next couple of days dissecting every word that was said and hoping they don’t think I’m terrible.
You are welcome into my awkward little circle anytime… I can’t promise I’ll never say anything wrong, because, well, I tend to put my foot in my mouth, but you *are* a mom, and we’ve all stood at the beginning just hoping to be let in to the group… even when we’re already a part of it.
Thank you Alzbeta! I would be happy to join your awkward little circle! 🙂 And it’s great to hear that mom’s group meetings can be tough all around despite how babies come to our families. Thanks for reassuring me!
Excited for you, Amanda! So neat you’re doing lactation induction too. Sweet for you and your babe. Prayers for you over the next few months.
An FYI — I think most mamas would say “wow, my thoughts and experiences with (conception, pregnancy, labor/delivery, first few months, eating schedule, nursing, feelings about diapers, swaddling, formula, babywearing, child’s personality/demeanor/needs/preferences etc etc etc) are nothing like hers” after most baby conversations. At least I often feel that way! Babies, like their mamas, are so incredibly and wonderfully unique. Those lonely feelings are a lie. Cherish the unique journey and life God has set before you and that will be a blessing to every mama (and person) you are around! 🙂
Stephanie, thanks for your thoughtful reply. It’s great to hear I am not alone in feeling like our experience is different from the norm. And you are right – totally lies I am trying to dispel with truth. Lies are what kept me in too much sadness for too long with infertility. I will do my best to cherish this journey and allow my fears to fall to the wayside.
Hi Amanda, I wrote to you last month about the house. I had to comment on this post.
I don’t know you in person, so can’t say I need an apology, but I am thankful for your post. I know plenty of people who have struggled with infertility or secondary infertility and I know I can take their pain personally. Or more accurately, I can take the way they are dealing with their pain personally. Your post reminded me to “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
Secondly, we just had our first child (Feb. 1) and I can say that YES!! I do feel inadequate, and have before. My advice is to pray to Mary, and often. I enjoy researching so I read a lot about breastfeeding, getting babies to sleep (surprisingly a huge challenge), feeding babies and disciplining (something I deem myself incapable of and am terrified of being a push-over). I also feel like at times I feel super distant as a mom. I care more about myself, and don’t feel “connected” to our little boy. I don’t entertain those feelings often, and try to live in the moment, but they’re there. So if you feel like it’s because of adopting, I can tell you that it’s not just you! For me, I think it’s just my personality and own personal struggles.
My husband is actually a great example for me, because he loves our son SO much. He always gets excited to see him, makes up games with him and just has fun. He reminds me to live in the moment and to interact with him. I am extremely thankful that he is my husband, even moreso now that we’re parents.
I am part of a Catholic moms group on Facebook (private) and can invite you if you would like. Very open and moms come from all different perspectives. Great place to ask questions and be in mommy solidarity. Email me if you would like to join 🙂
Lauren, I am glad my post allowed you to see why your friends working through infertility have withdrawn a bit. Doesn’t always mean it’s the right move but sometimes the pain is so crushing it’s easy to get tunnel vision in a major way. Congrats on your first child! 🙂 And for reassuring me my fears are normal. Oh and praying to Mary? I do about many things but you know what, I haven’t done so about being a momma yet! So wonderful advice! 🙂 Lastly, I would love to be part of that FB group. Invite me over!
I wrote to you on Facebook, and it sent it to your “other” inbox, I decided not to send the $1 dollar to send it to your regular inbox 🙂 I’ll add you to the group ASAP!
Amanda, can I just say how excited I am for you?! I know how much you have longed to be a mother and your dream is coming true. What a gift!
I also want to apologize for any ways I might have made you feel awkward these past few years. I was blessed abundantly with fertility in the early years of my marriage and felt like I brought a circus with me any time I left the house with my children. I was/am one of those moms you talked about.
I have no doubts that you’ll feel right at home with your bio mom friends. I think the common bonds around us all (adoptive or bio) are that we love our babies immensely, and that we don’t really know what we’re doing. All my life I wanted to grow up and be a mom, but when I look back to that first year with my daughter, I laugh at myself. I was green and clueless, and you’ll probably feel that way for a while, too. As your little one grows, you’ll learn, you’ll grow, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll love, and you’ll be an amazing mom. (And I also agree with Lauren – ask mama Mary to pray for you often!)
Hi there Jessica! Thanks for being excited with us! 🙂
You have never done anything to make me feel awkward, so don’t worry. If anything, I make myself feel awkward around families. Thank you for reminding me that what we will be able to connect on is the big stuff – loving our babies and doing our best each day. And thanks for admitting that even you had your newbie days that you laugh at now 🙂 I am certain to have many of those.
Wonderful post! We have been waiting to adopt for a few years and I would love to hear about lactation induction. How do you do it and when so you need to start…since adoption can happen at any moment. Also, have you been chosen by a birthmom?!!
Amber, search on FB for “adoptive breastfeeding” and there is a closed group I am part of where I have been learning EVERYTHING! A family has chosen us to adopt their little one in November, so I have 6-8 weeks to get lactating which isn’t long at all. Many women who have success start 6 months out or more and usually don’t have a match since it can happen pretty quickly. I have chosen to do the Dompeidone, herbs, and pumping route. There are several routes to pick but that is what I am doing for now. Best luck and hope you find a match soon!
What a truly beautiful, real, and vulnerable post. Thank you for sharibg your heart, it echoes mine in so many ways.
Thank you for saying that. I wasn’t sure if other women adopting could relate fully to this post but I appreciate you saying you do.
So VERY excited for you guys, have been praying for you by name for a while to get to “join the club”… Overjoyed and maintaining our prayers for you all 🙂 Thanks for all your real posts. So insightful and helpful for everyone.
Infertility is probably just God’s way of saying – you need not the pain of childbirth to be purified (as promised in the garden of Eden) I am protecting you from this because you are ALREADY purified, already as holy as can be
Just a thought I had a week ago.