Most people have a childhood dream of becoming a parent. Children spend hours in fantasy play, pretending to be like their mommies and daddies and rehearsing their own future role of parent. For many adults, this desire intensifies when their relatives and friends begin their own families. The desire to have children may become increasingly urgent.
As the biological clock ticks and pregnancy does not occur, many take more aggressive action. And when infertility blocks that dream, they experience profound loss which must be grieved. The urge to parent does not diminish and often actually intensifies. The life-long expectation of having a family deepens.
When hearts are heavy from this loss, and infertility treatments are ineffective, adoption may be considered. It is important to examine the true motivation for adopting and to complete the process of grieving the loss of a biological child. This clears the way for parents to welcome their adopted child so that he does not have to compete with the fantasy child of their dreams. If this is not done, parents may unconsciously try to shape their adopted child into the fantasy child leaving both parent and child feeling disconnected, frustrated and unattached. No adopted child can ever be the embodiment of the fantasy child. He will have his own personality, gifts, talents, birth history, and genetics. Everyone wants and deserves to be seen and loved for themselves and not be required to be the fulfillment of an idealized dream.
By releasing your expectations, you open your heart to love the child that you adopt. If you cannot relinquish the fantasy child, adoption may not be for you. Remembering adoption is intended to find families for children not for providing children for parents.