Ask AF: Feeling Excited and Scared as We Begin the Process

A prospective adoptive parent wonders whether her conflicting feelings of excitement and terror are normal as she begins the adoption process. The AF community offers support and reassurance.

Q: Is it normal to waffle between excitement and, oh, terror, about nearly every part of the adoption process? Did we chose the right agency? Will we pass our home study? Will any expectant mother want us? Will we lose our money (we can only really afford to do this once)? How long will we wait? Is it just part of the journey?

Members of adoptivefamiliescircle.com respond:

“Totally normal! The hard part is knowing when your feelings are intuition and should be heeded in choosing or changing your path, and when they are just healthy adoption jitters.”

“What you’re experiencing is very normal. While waiting in the airport for the first of several flights I would take to meet my daughter in China, I felt a need to go to the bathroom every few minutes, from all the stress. And once I was in the air, I had moments of wanting to yell, “Hey, turn the plane around!” Yet I have never regretted adopting my daughter, for even one minute. And, interestingly, your body will go through an almost hormonal reaction after you adopt. After living with high expectations, high anxiety, and high almost everything else (including high costs), there is often a post-adoption letdown where you find yourself wondering, “Is this all there is? Mountains of diapers?” or “Why the heck was I in such a hurry?” Even if you absolutely adore your new child, you may find yourself getting weepy and grumpy for no reason. It’s to be expected and will usually pass. But if you find yourself too weepy or angry for too long, or have any thoughts about harming yourself or your child, you need to get help for post-adoption depression immediately.”

“I also never anticipated this kind of emotional roller coaster with the ‘wait,’ but people who aren’t in our boat don’t even come close to understanding the ups and downs of it. They just pat you on the back and say, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll get your baby one day.’ ”

“You should absolutely be terrified about becoming a parent! It is an awesome responsibility. And you should absolutely be excited, because being a parent is awesome! Unfortunately, as another member pointed out, there is a lot of drudgery along with the awesomeness. Enjoy the excitement, and best of luck on your adoption journey!”



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Adoption Agencies

Bethany Christian Services
Grand Rapids, MI
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Abrazo Adoption Associates
San Antonio, TX
U.S. Newborn, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Adoptions From the Heart
Wynnewood, PA
U.S. Newborn
Holt International Children’s Services
Eugene, OR
U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Gladney Center for Adoption
Fort Worth, TX
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Foster, International, Special Needs/Waiting Child
Children’s Connections, Inc.
Lubbock, TX
U.S. Newborn
TX
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See all adoption agencies >

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