Monday, September 8, 2008

Scared Out of My Mind ...

Many of you might have noticed that the usual "soul-bearing" posts have been missing from my blog for a while -- the "contents of my heart" have not been shared with the wild abandon normally found here.

I've been waged in a warfare with myself about this so I've chosen to wait until I could either get a handle on it or come to peace with it. I'm not sure I've done either, but it's time now to sort out the feelings using words and address the issue so that others who are experiencing it, have experienced it, or will won't feel quite so much like I have the last few weeks -- odd.

I am literally scared out of my mind to go back to Kyrgyzstan and pick up Ellie.

There. I said it.

I'm sitting here visualizing my mama and daddy reading this and going, "Well, it's a bit late for that NOW" and starting to worry.

I called Kevin about a week ago telling him I thought I was having a panic attack thinking about going back. He did say it was too late now. And, he likely began to worry.

So, before anyone gets too far up in arms, let me clarify. I'm not doubting the absolute unwavering belief I have that this little one is our daughter or the love that we feel for her already. I'm not scared or doubtful there. I am absolutely terrified of all the unknowns that lie before us.

When we had Joshua, we were young (er) and dumb (er) than we are now. We've learned a lot in the last ten years. I can't imagine what we still have to learn. Every day I learn a little more about how to become a better parent. Will I ever get "there"? No, I'm certain not -- we are all imperfect humans. BUT . . . knowledge is also scary. I know that there are so many obstacles that a premature baby from a third-world country might have to overcome. I just don't know which ones we might face. I know what our life is like right now, and while it's certainly far from perfect, it's what we are all used to. How will adding a new person to our family change us? Will it be for the better? While I certainly hope that it will, who can be for sure what lies around those corners? Will I do everything in my power to make our family a stable, emotionally happy one? Absolutely.

What if, after all, she is sick? There are known medical issues for children from Tokmok, and so I'm fairly well prepared for those. Am I prepared for the ones I'm not aware of if they come? Can we handle them? Yes, I'm sure we can, but it's also a very scary thing to read of children coming home and dying after being home a short time, which just happened here in middle Tennessee this past week. How does a family handle that? With God, yes, but, imagine that pain. Could I handle it?

What if we have lots of attachment issues? I should have never read the attachment book. Seriously, I'm very glad that I did. It is better to be prepared and have a plan than to walk in blind, but knowing what a hard process this will be for her makes my heart so very sad.

And speaking of transitions -- imagine this child coming from a relatively quiet, low stimulus, multiple caregiver environment and entering the world of cars, hotels, new people speaking an entirely different language, smelling differently, new clothes with new textures, leaving the familiar and getting on a loud plane, learning to eat different food, seeing pets, noise all around, missing the familiar caregivers she's always known. I put myself in her (very tiny) shoes and think how I would feel if someone came and took me from my home to Kyrgyzstan and never spoke the same language that I have always heard, and if I didn't know why and I was expected to integrate into an entirely new environment. MAN!! I would be "scared out of my mind". And that's what I am -- for me, for her, for our family.

God tells the following things about worry:

Proverbs 12:25
Worry weighs a person down;
an encouraging word cheers a person up
Matthew 6:34
“So don’t worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will bring its own worries.
Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Matthew 6:31
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘
What will we eat? What will we drink?
What will we wear?’
Luke 12:26
And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that,
what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?
Philippians 4:6
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
He is very clear that we are not to worry. So my faith is tested when I hear the Holy Spirit whispering, "Let go. Let God. Don't worry." Do I trust that no matter what He brings our way that He will provide us His strength to endure, profess His glory and be successful? There is the question. I say, "Yes!" heartily on the surface, but if I did, would I continue to allow Satan to wiggle in my mind and whisper, "What if?" and to allow my way over-active imagination to run these movies in my mind? No, I don't think so.
So, I'm struggling here. I want to be so incredibly happy that we are so very, very close, but I'm trying to become emotionally prepared for the fact that the beautiful "fairy tale ending" is probably not a reality. Will we live happily ever after? Yes, I honestly think so. Will it be a beautiful Annie-like movie ending where I take her away to a better life and she's immediately in love with all of us with absolutely no issues. Nope.

So, bear with me over the next little while as I wrestle against Satan's whispers of doubt and confusion into my mind and pray that God will infuse me with His strength to know that whatever comes, we are strong in Him and can and will overcome and endure. I want to enjoy the immense joy in this blessing and know that I will as soon as I lay eyes on her again and hold her in my arms.


Jes said...

Maria you will get through this and everything will work out! Have faith and just visualize that beautiful little girl home and with her family where she should be!

Jeanne said...

Maria, I do think those books on attachment are scary! But seriously, once you have Ellie in your arms again you will know that everything is going to be all right. Moms just worry; it's part of our job. :)

IrisH said...

Hang in there, my friend! Love and prayers to and for you all.

Lisa said...

Thank you so much for this post. I sometimes think I am the only one that's scared. I know in my heart that all of us will be fine and we will all be so happy that we can't remember life beforehand. My head just sometimes gets a little crowded with the "what-if's":) I can't wait to see pictures of your little girl today!!!

Mom to 2 Angels said...

What you are feeling is normal. It is so hard to imagine all the "what if"s. But, once you hold her again, it will be ten million times easier. There are no "what if"s to God. He already knows the plans He has for us. He has already been there and will be right beside you even if it's not a "fairy tale".

Elizabeth and Bill said...

As you know, since we talk all the time, I am absoutely terrified. I think something would be wrong with us if we weren't. We would be denying what is a natural feeling. Of course kowing it is normal doesn't make it that much easier to deal with. You've been able to get so far in this process with faith and love and you'll get the rest of the way with those same two things.

janiece said...

It's normal to have fears and doubts. I did with all three adoptions. Granted, each time it got easier--but they were there. You are older and wiser--which means you know more about the "evils" of the world. Deep breaths, deep breaths. I remember reading once that when you become a mom your hearts is now walking around outside your body. Mom=worry. It's just part of the job. You'll get through this--and then you have the teenage years to worry about! Love and prayers coming from Wisconsin!

Betsy said...

While I know being scared is unsettling, I think it is a tangible proof that God is working on your heart. What would it be like for Ellie if you only expected things to be perfect? No child could benefit from a parent who only expected everything to be hugs & smiles all the time. The fact that you are aware of the hardships she may face and that your heart is deeply moved by those things truly shows how God is preparing you to be the mother that Ellie will need. Praying for you, sweet friend - and trusting in God to fortify you for what is ahead!

Hubbards said...

What a blessing it is to be able to speak your fears to those who understand. We are praying for you and your family. Can't wait to see pictures of your little blessing!

The Hubbards

Karen D said...

Wow, your feelings sound familiar! I can't say more than has already been said, but to reiterate that it is true, when you have her in your arms, you get to start dealing with real issues and the worries subside. As hard as it is, caring for a child is much easier on your soul than thinking about all the what ifs. I can't wait to see pictures of Ellie and see how much she has grown!

Hilary Marquis said...

My friend it looks like you already have all the ammunition that you need to wage this battle...great faith, great family, great verses! You are completely normal for having fears! I was terrified when I was pregnant with Toby because I KNEW what was coming with delivery ;) You don't even have the luxury of knowing what's coming...but that is true of any child. They are secrets waiting to unfold, and often times it is wonderful to behold. Even when you think that a challenge is a deficit you can find a blessing if you look. Ellie is likely going to grieve some, but she is going to be alright. (Remember, you're the lady with the food!!! That was Tim's saving grace when he picked up Anara) You are a good mommy, you are already thinking of how SHE is going to feel. Where God guides He provides, and that doesn't just mean money. He will give you the strength, the courage, and the endurance that you need.

Melissa said...

Definitely normal to have fears and anxiety, but God put you on this path for a reason, and He'll help you through it.

As far as attachment books go, yes, they're scary. But read them, read them often, and read as many as you can get your hands on. You'll feel much more prepared, and this way you'll be quick to recognize the signs. Take this from a two-time adoptive mommy, who is currently going through some of our own attachment issues.

Anonymous said...

She is so small she will bond with you so quickly! But you do have the very best weapons to fight Satan lying whispers...prayer, the Word, friend & family, Jesus speaking truth to you! I can't wait to see her!!!!! I am praying for you to be comforted and empowered to be Ellie's Mommy!