Two weeks ago our caseworker came for her May monthly visit, even though the kids had only been with us for two weeks. We went over the things we needed to do, i.e. medication log, locking the medication up etc. Then hubs took the kids outside and she and I talked about how things were going, how the kids were doing, how we were all bonding and I started CRYING. Yes, to my caseworker. The last person I wanted to see me cry and be weak.
You see, the first week the kids were here was HARD for me. I felt myself detaching but didn’t know why. I felt guilty because I would go to the store when they were asleep and be so happy but yet when I was around them sometimes I wouldn’t be happy. I felt angry at myself because I had wanted this for SEVEN years but now I wasn’t happy! I felt angry, guilty, upset and DEPRESSED. I worried that I might need to go back on anti-depressants which was the last thing I wanted to do. I haven’t been on meds for my clinical depression in 8 years and I’d like to keep that streak going.
All of these feelings came out to my caseworker. I hadn’t meant them too but they were all bottled up and they were going to come out at some point so they did. I didn’t want to share these feelings because I knew people would judge me. Or maybe (probably) I didn’t share because I was judging myself. I kept telling myself “stop being unhappy, you wanted this”. My caseworker looked at me and said “Your feelings are COMPLETELY NORMAL.” She went on to tell me that most families she’s worked with feel that way at some point. We’ve just added a 6&8 year old to our family, that’s a HUGE adjustment and she would be more worried if I DIDN’T have these feelings. I immediately felt a lot better. After she left I had a long conversation with hubs, who as it turned out, was feeling some of those same feelings and hadn’t wanted to share them either. I felt 2000% better.
Then as I was reading through some other adoption blogs, I came across something that made complete sense. Post Adoption Depression Syndrome. This post describes it better than I can: https://www.adoptionstogether.org/blog/2013/01/07/why-arent-i-happy-recognizing-post-adoption-depression-syndrome/
I’m happy to report that I am feeling lots better now. I’m bonding with my kids. We are starting to get into a routine. I’m realizing that it is okay to be happy that they are at sports camp all day. I’m more involved with them and less detached. I think sometimes it helps to just know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. This is a huge change and huge adjustment. We went from being two to four in ONE DAY. My feelings are completely normal.
I love my kids. I just want to put that out there. I’m glad they’re here. I absolutely feel like they were supposed to be in our family.
I also want to put out there that PADS is REAL. And it is also completely normal.