Q: Do you think you'll really love her?
I don't think I will love her, I know I love her right now.
I'll be honest with you, I don't believe in "love at first sight." I am not the kind of person who can fall in love with a picture. I believe that love is so much more than the limited experiences we have with our eyes, so "seeing" someone is not enough to make me "love" them.
The truth is, I used to worry that I wouldn't love Abigail. I mean, I never worried while I was pregnant that I wouldn't love her when she was born, but once she was born, I used to worry that I wouldn't love her as much when she got older. That was totally screwed up, because it turns out that once your little one starts developing a personality and sense of "self"- there's even more to love! It's fabulous (and one of the reasons I am hoping for a toddler age 14-18 months at time of referral.) My experience with Abigail has been that the older she gets, the more I love her.
Right now, I love my child. When I see her and hold her and hear her call me "Momma" I am sure my heart will burst with the amount of love I have for her. And every day I wake up, I will love her more. (There may be times I don't like her, but I will always love her.)
Q: Do you think you will love her as much as Abigail?
A: Yes and no.
I think the quantity of my love will be the same, but the quality will be different. Because Abigail and the new child will be different.
It's like my brother and my sister- I love them equally much, but differently. Because my relationship is different with each of them. We relate in different ways.
I anticipate that my new child will be very different than Abigail. There will be different things to love about her. We will share a different past than Abigail and I share. But I will always love her as my daughter, just like I love Abigail.
Q: Do you get offended when people ask "ignorant" questions like the ones above?
A: I try not to. The truth is, for many people, adoption is a new thing. When they "gut react" to my news, they are going with the first thing that pops into their head. If they stopped and thought for a few minutes or days, would they end up asking these questions? Probably not. But they can't help their gut reaction.
I think all of us fear rejection on some level, and the "can you/will you love her?" questions are an expression of the individuals gut instinct to fear rejection. I hope that I am patient, honest, and kind in my replies.
I know many people who have never seriously considered adoption or explored their own feelings about adoption may never really understand the way I think and feel about adoption. That's okay. But I hope that my adoption process gives them a reason to think about adoption, and that in the end, their attitude towards adoption will be positive. I am not saying that I think everyone should adopt, because it's not for everyone. Kids aren't for everyone! That's okay. But I hope that in seeing the love I have for this child, they will be supportive of the institution of adoption. Attitude, perhaps even more than practice, influences how people talk/think/express about adoption. And I want a lot of positive talk/think/express happening around my kid!