My wife and I are currently adopting our 9 month old niece and 2 year old nephew who were abandoned at birth by their drug addicted homeless mother.
both suffered withdrawl symptoms at birth from atleast heroin and methamphetamine. ( its a crap shoot on anything else)
during this process I have bonded with our son ( heart and mind) for the past 2 years but our daughter theres something different. I actively treat her differently. there seems to be a disconnect where my heart does not accept her as my own but I tell myself that i do.
from birth I have always felt like our son was apart of the family… we were there for his birth, and his incredibly hard journey recoverying from a physical dependancy to the drugs his mother used while pregnant. so I think that is partially the reason why I have accepted him. deep down I had hope his mother would choose to change her life because of her son but within a few weeks she abandoned him and has not returned.
I knew what must be done but feared what that would bring. I have been married 8 years and we have not had kids of our own because financially we could not afford the added expense of caring for another human and honestly we were both a bit selfish and wanted time for ourselves before taking that leap. so in true human nature I overcame that fear and adapted. I now had the opportunity to love and care for another human being that would have never had that in his life ( and a very dark though if he even survived his first year).
it was almost a year and a half later we get the news that our son has a sister. no name given and the mother has not been back to the hospital since birth. we could not go visit her due to covid and also the relationship between my wife and her sister. so grandma / grandpa basically took custody of her and has been with her for nearly 7 months. this new revelation took my mind into a very dark place. at times i even ever so slightly wished her mother would have overdosed and now we would not be in this position again and I hate to think that i would even be willing to think that about another human being. yet there were moments i wanted it to be true so I didnt have another burden to take care of because of someone elses fucked choices in life…
we have been active in her life but it was different. I felt like I had to no option but to adopt her, I mean how could we seperate brother and sister!? the grandparents are in their late 50’s self employed grandpa who works crazy long hours in the HVAC industry and grandma battling breast cancer with their youngest son ( 18 at the time) still at home. so they dont have the time or energy to devote to a new born baby plus all the potential challenges of a drug addicted baby that could arise in the future. my wife also wanted to adopt her so once again im stuck saying yes… I cant back out now but I felt like I never had a choice.
at times I question if I had been more involved would it be different? new job promotion, school a 2 year old at home, medical issues that cause extreme fatigue and a wife I consistently neglect because im trying to make everything else work… im soo exhausted when i am home i have no patience with her especially when shes screaming like a banshee. I feel like I cant handle it all the time, that im failing everyone while I attempt to be patient with everyone eventhough I fail every time. Im literally failing at everything and have nothing left to give… Things would be better better if she was not born but I cant change that. im stuck with the fucked up reality that I call my life because someone hasnt died yet and eventually I will drive a wedge so deap it cant be fixed… yes I know im a horrible person for thinking that but its raw and honest. Im fine with sacraficing my own selfish desires but idk how I will be able to do this. we both make to much money for support from the state but we cant afford anything else. if we work more we have to have child care and that is 1000$+ a month so why are we working!
I want to change, to accept her but idk how to change my heart, how to bond with her , how to treat her like my own, how to he patient. It was so natural with her brother and I dont see the difference. why this is so hard!
This is the first time I have actually acknowledged these feelings and i have no idea what to do other then type it out and pray for a miracle… its easy to keep hoping for something better when you have hope but i dont think i even have that anymore
I know how hard that must have all been to write down and share. I can tell just by what you’ve said that you do actually really care and you aren’t failing at all, you’re just finding this difficult, and that’s ok!
Have you ever heard of NATP (National association of Therapeutic Parenting)? They are a charity that help support mostly adoptive parents who’s children have had trauma. They have a Facebook group called Therapeutic parenting and I’d 100% recommend joining as it sounds like you’re in compassion fatigue.
Do you have an adoption support fund where you are? Any support around, that could take the children so you and your wife can have a day just the two of you?
I also just want to say thank you for taking your niece and nephew on. You didn’t have to, but you have, and you’re doing it which shows how strong you are, even if it feels like things are wrong right now. Kids/babies with trauma aren’t easy, especially if you haven’t had the “baby bond”!
Thank you for sharing, I know it is really difficult to put words to your feelings. I don’t think anything is wrong with you, where you are going through so many things at once. I can’t imagine the stress you are feeling. I’ve not been in your shoes as a new parent but I have been stressed before with work and overwhelm.
When I was very overwhelmed with work, I would park my car in the garage and listen to music in my car for 1-2 songs when I got home. And it helped me a lot to center myself. It helped me not bring that stress into the house.
I think open communication with your family is going to help, and of course this community here is available to help too.
Sending my thoughts your way, <3 Mish
Megs_26 responded to your post with some lovely words of encouragement on our live stream!
Here is a link to the video so you can hear her reply as well!
its hard sometimes because on 1 hand i think were doing alright but then I start thinking and realize how much im not doing or cant afford to do for them. then i start to think what kind of “parent” am I who wanted the kids mother dead! how will i ever be able to be honest with them knowing that… always hiding a secret from them
ive never heard of that organization or compassion fatigue. I will check them out
Hey Megs_26 thanks for taking so much time to read all of that let alone encourage me in this process. you spoke some great truths and have a deep passion for helping people. I guess I never really though that my anger was towards my sister in law as much as it is. I have not spoke to anyone in my life about these feelings probably because of a fear they will look at me differently. my wifes family is super close so its hard for me to understand that at times since I didn’t grow up that way. my parents live in different parts of the state and honestly its probably the best for my mental health atleast being that way. dont get me wrong I love them but they are sooo toxic in their own ways that having them around all the time would be a slippery slope I think.
Im having a hard time even just talking to my wife, I know she would listen and try to help me in any way but how much can I push off on her to do. this is just another problem that she has to deal with ontop of everything else she does not only for our family but her mom. that is just how I feel and I know I need to talk to her at some point. communication is essential in a marriage I just dont know how to tell her all these feelings… how i feel like I fail them all, that I feel like i didnt have a choice with our daughter, how I wanted her sister to be dead for what she did to her son and daughter let alone taking away the hope of having our own kids some day… That might be the biggest pain of it all… wanting to have kids of our own and now we have 2 that we can barely afford. our savings is emptied. what money we had saved for a home we used to stay afloat during 2020 since we both lost our jobs (thankfully were both back working now) and now were scraping every penny together to help our kids… we cant get ahead and when we do life kicks us in the teeth and takes everything from us
By worrying about the things that you’re worrying about it shows you really care and are trying so hard when you’re in such a tough spot. I’d definitely recommend joining the Facebook group. My son’s been home six years and a half years and I still feel the same sometimes, compassion fatigue is definitely something to look into. The LA should be able to help with funds through adoption support funding so would be worth contacting them!
thanks Kayleigh, I dont do social media stuff thisbis the closest I get… but I have since checked out the website and will look more into compassion fatigue. when you say yhe LA what is that?
They have books if that’s more your thing? They can be bought from Amazon. The author is Sarah naish.
The LA is your local authority. I’m in the UK so it may be a different name there
ahh! that makes more sense… The lawyer we have overseeing the process actually asked us about support and is going to look onto it for us. so good positive steps in the financial area!
Idk if its pride getting in the way but I was raised to work for what i eat… if I dont work its my problem not anyone elses. so I have a hard time asking for help. why should my burden be pushed off on the tax payers. I just need to work more and cut back things thar are not needs…
Americans are so blind in how they live. constantly living beyond their means, incurring lifetime debt they will be passed down to someone when they die for stuff they dont need… putting their burdens on everyone else without even caring what the consequences are…
plus there are so many other families out there that probably need it more than we do so how could I take their basic needs.
maybe im there? idk, pride is a hard beast to slay especially when its a good pride… everyone should be content in working hard at whatever career they choose. to be the best yet all to often mediocrity is the standard thats excepted and i for 1 want to make my life better but instead of standing on the backs of the people I want to bring them with me.
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