One of the hardest parts of being at this stage in my life is feeling like I don't have a place where I really belong. I'm in between worlds right now. I'm not TTC. I'm not choosing to live childfree. I'm not an adoptive parent-yet. And even though I am expecting in a way, I don't fit in with those who are pregnant after infertility. We've come through infertility with different scars, different wounds. For the past two years, as I've been dealing with my journey through infertility to adoption, I've benefited from the generous support of amazing women on online infertility message boards. But as our paths diverge, I feel more and more out of place there. Unfortunately, so far I haven't found that type of connection with those in my situation of adopting from foster care. Many of the adoption boards I have seen focus on those who are already parenting. Or they're specific to international adoption or domestic newborn adoption, which can be quite different than adopting from foster care, at least at the beginning. I know once we're placed with a child, there will be more support options, more connections. But right now I'm feeling a bit lost. I have started forming real life connections with others in my MA.PP classes. My hope is that those connections will grow over the next few months as our homestudy is completed and we begin to wait. I'll admit that this real life thing is new for me. It's taking some getting used to talking about my worries and anticipation face to face.
My underlying worry is that this sense of not quite fitting in will never go away, even after I become a parent. Am I always going to feel uncomfortable or disconnected unless I'm with other adoptive parents? Will I be accepted and will I accept myself as a real parent? Am I always going to have the word adoptive attached to my description when others talk about me? What do I say when other mothers start talking about childbirth? What about when they reminisce about their child's first steps or first words, which I likely won't have witnessed in my child? How do I answer when they ask how I chose my child's name when I probably didn't have a choice? Of course the even bigger more important question is, if I feel like this, how can my child begin to feel comfortable with himself and his place in the world?
I don't doubt myself and our choice of adoption because I'm struggling to find my place or because I'm questioning what the future will look like. I know my questions aren't unique. Adoption can be a minefield of questions about identity and fitting in, about relationships and the definition of family, about rejection and conection. I just hope that I have the ability to find answers that work for me, DH, and our child.