I have Momastery on my Google reader, as she’s one of the few blog writers out there who has the power to make me weep like a hormonal teenager. Today was such a day. I got home after mother’s group, nuked my very late lunch, read her latest post about her heartbreak and healing over the adoption process… and then blubbered like a goon.
Tony and I had been trying for a baby since 2007, and we were getting to the stage where we were tossing up the possibility of adopting. And I’ll be very honest – I wasn’t ready to adopt. I was petrified. Until I fell pregnant, I never thought I had it in me to truly love children. I’m not talking about playing piggy-went-to-market and babysitting. I’m talking about Real Love. And yes, the idea of turning my life upside down and bestowing a perfect stranger unconditional, gut-wrenching, I’ll-die-for-you love was very hard to fathom.
I didn’t feel the love. I was petrified I’d never feel the love. That I just wasn’t wired that way.
Before Tony and I got married, we had talked about adopting and it was an intellectual exercise. Of course we’d adopt, I said. But as the years passed and the children didn’t come (yes, we planned to have more than one), the idea of going out and “getting one from the pound” made me nervous. Ill, even. I already have enough trouble caring for pets and plants. I had a Tamagotchi once, and it died 5 times in a week. Bringing up a baby – essentially someone else’s baby – was starting to look waaaay outside my range of competencies.
And again – what if I never grow to love that kid? How devastating for me, for Tony, for Fictitious Adopted Kid. Special place in hell, etc etc.
I had a friend once – and we don’t talk anymore, because I think we were incapable of being lovely to each other. I had a friend who, when I once admitted I scored a paid writing gig for a children’s television program (looooog story), looked me straight in the eye and drawled, “Really? But you HATE kids.”
Shock. “I don’t hate kids!”
“Oh please. You hate kids. You’re lousy with them. You can’t stand them.”
And that, I tell you, has stayed with me. Since that day, I’d think of myself as a mother and cringe. There’s a voice in our heads that Cuz and I used to call The I-Am-Fat. Everyone knows that voice. I-Am-Fat gives you a running commentary of your worst faults and insecurities. And for years, I-Am-Fat told me that I was incapable of being a great mum because I’m awkward around children and so obviously, I secretly hate them. I am a baby-hater.
But then I had Arddun. And to borrow a great line from Sal’s blog, I never knew love this deep existed inside me.
So fast-forward to this afternoon, and my reading Momastery’s post on adoption, and blubbering like an idiot on Oprah. And I want to document that moment because I want to remember that a part of me has arrived. I want to tell myself this: that Arddun came into my world, blew it right open, and brought along the teeniest bicycle pump that managed to inflate my heart just that little bit bigger so it now has room for others.
Because now, I can finally see myself loving another baby fiercely – blood or no. And I can finally kiss that sorry I-Am-Fat goodbye.