Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Post-Adoption Depression

This morning is typical. I awake and feel resistant to my day of child care. And then I feel guilty for feeling negative towards my kids. When there was one child I still had some freedom, now my daughter is home from China, I just feel anxious all the time. I spend much of my time caring for her and thinking of ways to shake the sweet ankle biter off.

We have worked through sleep issues, with the odd hiccup she goes to bed easily in her own crib. After much research and mental wrestling, we did the cry it out method. Of course we didn’t do it right away, after we were more firmly established at home for about two months we did it. It was not the horror that I imagined, she cried twenty minutes the first night and gradually less and less subsequent nights. I am thankful we tried this – against the adoption research, it worked for us.

Yes I love her, but I am overwhelmed and this sometimes eclipses my feelings of love for her. In my deepest darkest moments I wonder why I brought this on myself. Our bonding is going well but I feel suffocated from her daily need.

I have done research and discovered that over 50% of adoptive mothers, and especially the ones that adopt from overseas will experience Post Adoption Depression. What am I doing about it besides writing this post? Well, I fake it as much as I can. I have also started getting her used to other people caring for her so I can get a break. I exercise as often as I can. I get as much sleep nightly as I can too. I also spend time praying about it and I am not a religious person. My husband is very supportive, but this doesn’t change the fact that he works fulltime leaving me to dread those long days when it is just her and I all day, my other child in preschool.

The research says it will probably pass in about a month or two, so I am holding the research to their word and keeping the light at the end of the tunnel. After all, everything with children is a stage right? Why not this too? Some days are better than others, today not so much.

My purpose in sharing my story is for other women like myself to know they are not alone. It is very hard to complain about a child when you have likely been infertile and dreamed about her for years. It is hard to complain about feeling overwhelmed when you have felt jealous of other women’s pregnancies and cursed the universe for making you unable to conceive. It is hard to complain about a child when you know the suffering she has gone through in her young life, what is it compared to yours now?

Ya, you aren’t alone.

I will get through this.


Anonymous said...

It is so refreshing to hear the honesty in your post. My husband and I adopted two children just over one year ago from Ethiopia. This has hands down been the single most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. I am also a bio mom of two and a stepmom to one. I have lots of parenting under my belt and suddenly felt like a monster for not loving my adopted daughter. She sounds much like your daughter in that she is incredibly needy and constantly present. It took me almost six months to ask for help. I was afraid to admit my true feeling but I felt like I was losing it. I am now on anti-depressants and felt awful that I had to go that route. I don't feel that way anymore. It gave me enough space to get through the really rough stuff. Its still rough some days, many days but I am more capable of dealing with her. I hope someday I feel differently towards this child. She is attached, albeit anxiously attached, however, I am not. This is not the case with her brother whom we also adopted. Different kids, different issues and hers are really difficult for me to handle. You are not alone. You are not crazy or horrible. You have taken on something INCREDIBLY difficult and somehow will see it through. Thank you for your honesty. I am also blogging with the intention of reaching other parents going through PADS. I blog at Take good care of yourself!


Amy said...

For those needing a support group to help get through their PADS, check out the yahoogroup PostAdoptionDepression.

Eva said...

Thank goodness for this blog. I am not sure this info was readily available 9 years ago when we had similar difficulties. Thank you.

Studying Adoption said...

Great post! Been reading a lot about adoption recently. Thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

It's been almost 9 years to the day that we brought our daughter home. Thanks for writing this post. Even 9 years later, it is good to know I wasn't the only person who experienced that....