Saturday, August 20, 2011

Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother

And onto a different topic...If you know me at all, you will know how a good book can have me MIA until I have read something cover to cover. Once we had made the decision to adopt, I began to compile a book list that would give me some more insight into what this could and world mean for our lives and I was eager to get started. Our agency suggested one book to start with and I had got it from the library, all ready to start reading once my final school assignments were handed in.

The book is called, 'Secret thoughts of an adoptive mother' by Jana Wolfe. It is the author's story of adopting her son. It is beautiful, and kept me out of commission for about 3 hours last night while I read it through. I felt very encouraged to read another adoptive mother's thoughts, the good, the bad and the ugly - it was comforting to know others who have walked this path have had similar thoughts.

There is much to process, and many many blog post which can be written from the pages of this book.

I could not read this book fast enough, I could hear myself loud and clear in Jana's words especially in the first few chapters where she and her husband are struggling with infertility and moving on to the adoption process. As I was reading page after page after page, one sentence stopped me in my tracks.

Jana and her husband had been chosen by a birthmother who was due to give birth in a month and Jana was visiting her mother to go shopping to prepare for their little one's arrival. As they wandered the aisles of the baby store, finding the items that would be best, Jana reflected how bitter sweet it was. "Every thought of this baby to come was also a reminder of the baby that never came" (46-47)

I tried to read the sentence to J but the words caught in my throat, and tears came before the words did.

Most of my emotion regarding our adoption process so far can be summed up in those few words. I am truly excited for the journey ahead, but I am still grieving the loss of our pregnancies and the loss of hope that J and I will ever welcome a child genetically related to us, and the real possibility that I will never carry a child in my body.

In my heart they are separate. Our journey to parenthood via adoption is a happy thing. It has many unknowns, but we genuinely feel this is a path God has set before us, and we are grateful for the comfort we have found in starting this journey and the hope it renews in our lives.
Our loss is still real and raw. It has changed us. It has humbled us. Brought us to our knees and forced us to find strength we never knew we had. Adoption can't heal the loss. Time helps. Prayer and love and most of all Jesus are the only things that provide true comfort but even then there is no one-time fix. Our wounds are real. Healing, but real.

Walking around Toys R us earlier to buy a gift for a friend, I found myself wandering around some of the baby supplies. For the first time in a year, I felt excited that one day I would be able to shop for a baby that would be calling me mama. And then I found myself at the baby formula shelf and I was comparing prices and checking labels for ingredients...of course, I only want the best for our baby. Suddenly, a reality hit me. If I had given birth to a baby, 'the best' would be breast milk, not organic, all natural (very expensive) formula. And suddenly my joy felt like it was momentarily swallowed up by the hole in my heart.

It feels like a huge truth. One that sneaks up on me multiple times a day in all kinds of expected and unexpected ways. It's hard to hold both of those feelings at once, but that seems to be part of the job description of an infertile adoptive mother.

I would highly recommend this book to any women in the adoption process. Any other book suggestions ladies? I would love to hear your recommendations.


  1. Kind of thinking that I should read the book. It sounds like a great book. Handsome and I are having a date-talk night around our 2 year mark (next month) about our next steps. And I share my name with the author. Hehe

    Jana G.

  2. Jana I found another book which I think will be helpful if you as you decide if as adoption journey of your own is in the future. It is called Praying through your adoption by Michele Cervone Scott which is recommended by the people at our adoption agency.

  3. I'm totally with you in feeling that TTC and adoption are two separate experiences. I still grieve the bio baby we couldn't conceive, and I imagine that will be the case for a long time to come.

  4. I'm glad you found a book that helps you process your grief and know that you're not alone in your feelings.

    Nice to "meet" you through ICLW!

    ICLW #28

  5. Chrissie, It means so much to me to know that, by sharing my experiences with adoption, I could be helpful to someone else ... namely, you! I got some heat for talking about the less-than-cheery feelings I was having at the time, but I've been rewarded by knowing that my feelings have given validation to others along the adoption journey. Please let me know when your baby finds you.

    Jana Wolff
    Author, Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother

  6. I want to read this now. Im so glad this book could help you with your emotions.

  7. thanks for sharing - always looking for books to read, especially on this topic.

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