Becoming a parent is a huge adjustment, no matter how you become a parent. Amy Rogers Nazarov, in an article on Slate.com, writes about her experience with post-adoption depression. She likens it to post-partum depression, but without having delivered a baby. It turns out that the stresses and anxieties of parenting a baby, biological or adopted, can trigger a mother’s depression.
Fortunately for me, this is not my story, but I can identify with many of the things she writes in this article. Just a couple:
1) Adoptive parents are New Parents: even though they didn’t experience the pregnancy, delivery, and post-partum recovery associated with the new baby, they still have all of the sleep-loss, anxiety, cluelessness, re-orientation, and total life upended-ness that any other new parent experiences.
2) New adoptive parents need the same support, encouragement, hot meals, and time away from other responsibilities to care for that new child, whether it’s a newborn or an older child.
If you are a newly adoptive parent, don’t underestimate what an enormous change you’ve undertaken and don’t discount how difficult the transition can be. You are a New Parent. Whether you birthed your baby or someone else did, remember to take care of yourself. Your baby needs you.