September 16, 2004

Secret Fears

Regarding Kitten's last comment (thanks, by the way), I'm not despairing quite yet, just in a pissy mood. So I thought I'd dwell on something else that upsets me: the idea of adoption. Adoption is something that has been my secret fear ever since I found out the King and I are infertile--What if we have to adopt? We haven't ever discussed it, but it could come up someday.

I know several people who were adopted, and they are all happy and healthy. Adoption is a wonderful way to make a family, and I am so glad that it allows so many parents and children to find each other. However, I'm scared of it. My most-secret fear is, what if I don't love the baby enough? I'm terrified that we'd go through the whole adoption process and bring home a child, and I wouldn't be able to quell the tiny voice inside saying, "But this isn't *your* baby, it's someone else's. You'd love your own child so much more." It's an awful thing, and I hate to even admit the thought has even crossed my mind, but it's true. I hope I'm not the only one who has ever thought that.

We used to foster rescue dogs, and I didn't always like them. In fact, some I definitely disliked a lot and couldn't wait to find a family for so I wouldn't have to deal with them anymore. I know people may think I'm terrible for comparing adopting a child to fostering a homeless dog, but there it is. What if I didn't like the kid? What if some night when the baby started screaming at three a.m. for the eighth night in a row, I shouted at it, "You're not my real baby anyway!" How could I live with myself? That's what I'm really afraid of--that I wouldn't consider it *my* child.

Hopefully none of this will ever matter and in a few weeks or months I'll tremulously announce a happy Clomid-induced pregnancy, but I still think about it. I hope it just means that I'm not ready to be an adoptive parent, not that I could *never* be one. I love babies, and I like to think that this isn't some sort of deep-seated flaw, that I could never love a baby that didn't grow in my uterus as much as one that did. I like to think I'm a better person than that.

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