As the months and weeks move closer to the travel date when I finally get to meet my son and begin parenting, the self doubt and worry seem to be looming now more than ever. My thoughts have begun to take on new worries like, “What if my son’s not ready?” “What if he doesn’t like me?” “What if he later resents me because I adopted him?” I understand that these are natural fears and doubts for any parent who’s adopting. Nonetheless, these fears feel incredibly big and too real.
There is a considerable amount of adoptive parenting research about how to ease the transition from when my son leaves his foster home and begins his transition with me. One recommended strategy is to “cocoon” which is a critical time for my son and I because during this period we will begin to learn everything we can about each other in order to bond and create healthy attachments. Likewise, my son will also be experiencing a great deal of loss and grief. He will more than likely be inconsolable as he grieves for his foster mother. Will he even accept my attempts to comfort him during his time of grief? I’m not sure. Everything that is familiar and comfortable will no longer be a part of his world. I am reminded that my son didn’t choose adoption. Adoption happened to him.
As I prepare to transition into parenthood, the truth is, I’m entirely scared. I have no idea how my son will respond to me or how long it will take him to love me. I know there will be significantly long and challenging days ahead. Maybe all I can do is quietly wait for the moment when he wraps his warm little arms around me and says, “I love you.”