Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Panic Attacks Over Something GOOD?

When I first decided to foster, I went into it with the hope of being able to adopt one of my kiddos.  During our initial training, they played up that "most foster parents get to adopt within the first 3-5 placements."  Three and half years and six kiddos later, I have yet to be able to adopt, but I am surprisingly okay with that.  Most of my kiddos tend to stay even after they go home, and I've picked up a few others along the way!  :-)  Still, I'd love to be able to be a legal, forever parent to a child.  To know that I'll be the one calling the shots and making the rules.  To be able to do the "PTA Mom" thing, graduation, weddings, etc...  To not always have that nagging little fear in the back of my mind that despite having great relationships with my kids' parents, I could still lose them...

So why on earth am I completely freaking out now that there's a possibility that I might actually be able to adopt this baby girl?!?  "Freaking out" like anxiety attack "freaking out..."  This is what I've wanted my entire adult life!  So why?  Now that there is a little glimmer of a possibility...  Why I am scared out of my ever-lovin' mind?!?

It's nowhere near a "sure thing," but still when I allow myself to sit and really think about it, my palms sweat, my heart races, I can't catch my breath, and I hit full-blown panic attack mode within 60 seconds!  And I have absolutely no idea why!  

Is it because of the "permanency" of the whole thing?  I tend to freak out signing a 12-month lease or purchasing large appliances so making a lifetime commitment to an actual human being can certainly be scary.  Is it the fact that I would ultimately be solely responsible for the emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being of this impressionable little girl?  Gee!  No pressure there!!!  Is it the financial aspect?  Kids are expensive, and trying to raise them on one income and be able to give them the things that I want for them isn't going to be easy.  

I'm hopeful that this is a completely natural reaction.  I suppose it might be similar to what it would be if I found out I was pregnant as a single mom.  (Well, not exactly similar seeing as how I had a hysterectomy seven years ago.  I have a feeling my reaction to that might be slightly different...  like suing the poo out of my OBGYN for starters!)  But the fears would be the same...  I think all parents have some fears or concerns bringing a new child into their life.  So I am going to choose to believe that my little hyperventilating panic attacks are simply "pregnancy" symptoms.  That's reasonable!  Right?  Please tell me that I'm not the only person who has ever freaked out about possibly becoming a forever and ever and ever parent!  Pretty please?


Last Mom said...

So normal!!! It took six months from match to getting our girl home. We had searched for a match a whole six months before that (we were straight adoption only licensed). Still after all that waiting and wanting it so bad, I FREAKED OUT when it was finally time to bring her home. It was such a "someday" idea for so long. Transitioning it to "this is happening!" was scary!

Foster Mom - R said...

A dose of fear is not only normal I think it's also healthy. It means you care - about the child, yourself, the future. I also think since SO MUCH changes SO OFTEN in foster care it's probably hard to let yourself dream/think about a forever child because if it doesn't happen it can be heart breaking.

I hope you do get to be a forever Mama because you are a terrific Mimi!

Anonymous said...

So normal! I had my own little panic attack last night "why the heck am I doing this?!?! *some hyperventilation* this is not going to be fun, i'm such an idiot.." etc etc :)

grkanga said...

Not only normal but reasonable as you now have enough experience at parenting to KNOW in every fiber of your being that having a forever, please forever child is a total change in your life and please forever because loss of a child is so terrible and you know that too.
Yes, run-on sentence.
But you also know upfront and from experience that joy that children can bring. Best wishes. You will make the right decision.

Mandy said...

You are normal from a birthparent and foster parent mindset. Well, in this case I can affirm that you are normal :)
When my first child was born I remember thinking, I can't believe they are going to let me take him out of here! I was so nervous about damaging him somehow.

caffeine and xanax said...

Anytime we're faced with the unknown, this is a natural reaction. The important thing to do is to slow your mind down. Your thoughts are straying into a future that hasn't happened yet. Focus on the present moment. Can you do anything about the situation right now, this minute? Probably not. If you can, do it. If you can't... then trust yourself that you will be able to handle it (whatever "it" is) when it happens.

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