The curse of the adoptive parent is alway wondering if your kid is going to have adoption-related issues. The curse of being a neurotic Jew is that you are always going to wonder when- and wait for these adoption related issues to pop up. When is going to happen? Now? Is that meltdown really over not wanting to pick up her toy that she threw down in anger (anger oh my god- is she angry?) or is it some deep-rooted adoption issue?
Because I tend to be neurotic I surround myself with people who are pretty sane. I don’t like my neurosis to become a giant echo chamber. My brother married a woman who is as-or more- neurotic than he is, and it’s um, no good. Andy is my un-neurotic echo chamber. When Andy gets worried or worked up – its always about very real problems. He doesn’t waste his time thinking about what could be. It makes us a pretty good match. I worry enough to get things done- he is laid back enough to stop me from spinning out of control.
About a month ago I went out of town for 36- hours. We talked to Davy about how I was leaving town. How we would Facetime every night. How dad will be there to take her to her parties. How Baba (what she calls my mom) would hang out with her. I came back from her trip and she was mad at me for a whole week.
One week of toddler cold shoulder. One week of no cuddles. One week of constant attitude. Ouch. I finally asked her if she was made at me for leaving her and she said – with downcast eyes “yes momma”. I hugged her. Told her I was glad that she could tell me. She can have her feelings, its okay. I still and will always love her.
The rational side of me knows this is normal. My friend said that when she goes out of town her kids are made at her for two weeks and “they came out of my vagina. I know, I was there”.
Here is the curse of the neurotic parent. It totally threw me for a loop. MAYBE she has abandonment issues. MAYBE she has attachment disorder. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. Some people in the adoption community believe that ALL kids have some sort of abandonment issues. Some profound primal wound. I actually don’t believe that. I think in our case, Davy was loved in-utero, loved by the people who took care of her for the first 7 months of her life and loved by us. Davy walks into a room and thinks “why the hell wouldn’t you love me- I am Davy Beach”. That is our Davy.
The calm and rational side of me knows that Davy is as adjusted as other 28-month old kids. She loves her momma. She loves her Daddy. We have never been separated for more then a few hours. She was pissed I left her. I realized the curse and the thing that I have to fight against is the assumption that every problem we might have stems from her adoption. b She might in the future have adoption-related issues, but she might not. If I attribute EVERY issue she ever has to the fact that she is adopted- well then, FOR SURE she will have A LOT of adoption-related issues.