From my diary
I wrote the following thoughts in a notebook. I cannot recall anything significant on that day so I have no idea why I wrote it. It was in the first year of our retirement so possibly the first time in many years that I had time to reflect. These are just my thoughts and feelings at the time. Having just reread it I still feel the same. I do feel it has taken me a lifetime to be able to put this into words.
What is this feeling I have right now? (27/01/17)
It wasn’t something you bought on a whim; it was not a gift from someone else. You cared for it and protected it within yourself for many months wondering and marvelling and dreaming of the future to come. I cannot speak for adoptive parents here as I am not one but I will take the liberty of saying I think the anticipation and desire for them would amount to the same feelings.
We go through enormous and excruciating pain to let this little marvel join us in this very unpredictable world. Why do we do this, of course there are many reasons and I think the main reason is that we want something to cherish and to call our own. We all want something special in our lives. There is also a part of us that is selfish and wants to show the world how clever we are. We want to prove to everyone that we can do it better. We want to produce another Einstein or Elvis. Ours will be the most attractive baby, they will walk and talk before our friends child did. They will excel in school and will be up standing pillars in our society. They will change the world. After all I will do better than my parents did. I will be the perfect parent.Those thoughts we all have. They are real and they are selfish, but let me tell you how quickly that selfishness disappears.
Whether it is your first or your tenth child, or your newly adopted child the overwhelming changes you experience are hard to describe when you hold this parcel in your arms for the first time.
With large, deep inquiring eyes that look at you with wonderment, Eyes that have never seen you before but for some reason trust you implicitly. Your gut is on fire. Your heart is pumping with a feeling you have never had before. Your sense of achievement and fulfilment is indescribable. You are strong and you immediately become the protector, the mentor and the teacher. Your senses have just been manipulated by a little person with a brain 1/3rd of the size of your own, with a body, which will fit in a shoebox.You have just lost control because you are totally under their spell.
It is impossible to comprehend the size of the commitment you will now need to endure life in the future. You thought you had huge responsibilities previously, to your partner, your parents, your career and to yourself but it is nothing compared to what lies ahead.
This is the first of many sleepless night you will have, but it is different to the ones to come. This first night the feelings of joy and wonderment will be interrupted by thoughts of inadequacy, anxiety and fear.It will be overwhelming. A glimpse of what your future looks like is quickly haunting your every moment. Immediately you will want to map out their life right there and then. Your intentions will become clear. You will make sure they are healthy and safe. You will afford them every opportunity you possibly can. You will hope for great things for them. You will want their life to be without complication. You will want their life to be better than yours. You will be proud of them, revel in their happiness and enjoy their achievements. You will protect them at all costs.
Then the doubt will rear its ugly head and seep into your mind. So many questions you will ask yourself again and again.How do I do this, can I do this, am I strong enough, am I smart enough. What do I teach them, how do I raise them to be kind and considerate. How do I show them humility, how do I guide them and how do I know what is right for them.I do not understand myself, how on earth am I going to understand the needs of this child. Who put me in charge? What have I done?
Never fear mother nature is here. This negativity you feel can and will be overcome. Natural instinct will kick in. Our body and our mind both know what needs to be done.Self-talk, the first of many discussions you will have with yourself. Self-doubt will always be there but if you allow it self-confidence will get you through.Somewhere from the depths of this brilliant body we have, there comes strength we did not know we had. Determination, commitment and dedication to their future starts right here and believe me that strength will be tested continuously in the years to come. It will not leave you until you die.This feeling is called LOVE and it is different to the love you have experienced before.
Those feelings you had when you first encountered this new acquisition to your life is love. Every time something is difficult in your life reflect on those first moments and then on every other beautiful moment your children will bring to you. There will be so many glorious, memorable, uplifting times you can reflect on.They are easy to recall as they multiply as the years go by. Every parent could fill a book with funny, awesome and gratifying moments their children have given them. Remember them, treasure them. They are priceless.
What I am feeling is the love for my children. It is a special feeling for me alone and one I will keep forever.