Man, these feelings that come with waiting to adopt are UGLY and so not fun! Lately, I have been very aware of the bitterness and jealousy that has taken root in my heart, despite my best efforts to try to prevent that. I notice it when I start having bad feelings towards people for reasons that have no depth or that I don't have a reason for. When I realize that I don't like them because of ME and not because of THEM it's almost always this bitter jealousy creeping in. (This is important for you to hear, these negative feelings I'm going to talk about are not because of you they are completely because of me and my desire for attention, my insecurities, and my heart that aches for a child).
Listen, please don't judge me on what I'm going to say, I'm trying to be transparent, but this is hard to talk about. I've talked about this before, maybe a year ago. For us, waiting to adopt is not just waiting for a child, it is waiting to complete our family, waiting to be parents, and waiting to see what our life will be like with children. I think that makes the bitterness worse. When I see pregnant people, it hits the deepest part of my soul with jealousy. Jealousy due to wanting attention for waiting for my child (adopting doesn't get you attention like being a cute pregnant lady does). Jealousy for someone else getting what I want (ugh I know this makes me sound like a terrible person). I see people with babies and sometimes I burst into tears. Seeing other people get matched, placed, or get a ton of support with their adoption makes that bitter jealousy creep up. See people get matched or get a baby after a couple of months waiting causes the same thing. Thoughts run through my head like, "If they only knew what it was like to wait almost 2 years," "It's not fair they get a baby and I don't," "Why are their fundraisers so successful and ours aren't?" And UGH these are so ugly and selfish and mean! Really, I hope that NO ONE has to wait as long as we have, I hope others fundraisers are SO MUCH more successful than ours, and I hope that others who wait get their babies - the babies meant for them and their family, and not for my family. When I sit and think about it, the UGLY thoughts are just my gut reaction, I really do want the best for people, even if I don't have what I want. But it is SO HARD to get to that point. I pray everyday for God to take these feelings away and replace them with joy, love, hope, encouragement, and understanding. I have also talked to my counselor about it and we have talked through some strategies for coping.
So, if you are feeling these ugly feelings - and I promise I hope you don't struggle with this too - here are some things I've found that help.
1. SELF CARE - this was a hard one for me to learn. There is a difference between being selfish and taking care of yourself (this was one my counselor had to tell me). Knowing your boundaries, not putting yourself into situations that will bring this feelings on or ruin your day if you can avoid it - obviously you can't not do anything, but being aware of your feelings and your limitations. If you put yourself in a situation that feels like your soul is being stabbed taking breaks, excusing yourself from a situation to pull it together, and being honest with others about your feelings.
2. BEING AWARE and HONEST about your FEELINGS - knowing how you feel, what causes those feelings, and then talking through to see if that's what you REALLY feel is important. You can only address and deal with them if you are honest about how you feel - honest with yourself and others. And then seeing if it is just a gut reaction or if you really wish ill intent on people or really have negative feelings about others - and then dealing with them from there.
3. FIND A FRIEND. Find someone or a support group who understands how you feel and can help you keep your feelings in check. Someone who can call you out on feelings that are inaccurate or unfair to others. It is important that this person is trustworthy and not judgmental because these are TOUGH things to share.
4. COMPROMISE - If you can't be around a certain person because those feelings creep up and you were invited to their birthday party or to a dinner at their house- send a gift, and try to be honest about your feelings and hopefully they will understand. If seeing other babies causes those feelings, don't volunteer in the church nursery or sit somewhere that you know the people with babies sit. If you have to go to something where people don't understand adoption or your feelings take a friend with you who does.
5. PRAY - a lot. Read scripture. Ask God to grow His fruit in your heart and prune out the negative feelings. Pray for those who you struggle to be around or have negative feelings towards. Ask God to bless those who your gut reaction is to run from or talk bad about because you have that jealousy.
6. SEEK HELP - Go see a counselor, join an adoption support group, ask for help. These are so important for you to help you cope during this extremely hard time. It also just helps to talk to someone who won't judge you, who will help you sort through your real feelings and opinions and get to the root of why you feel this way.
Okay, thanks for letting me be honest and share. I hope you haven't and never feel these things but if you do you can totally contact me and we can chat, also I hope you don't think I'm a jerk, because I kind of feel like one when I say this stuff out loud .
Thanks for your continued support. You guys are the best.