Once I was sure of my decision to choose adoption, nothing was going to stand in my way. However, it took me time to get there. I vaguely remember this, but my mom reminded me before we had our falling out that she took me on a tour of an adoption agency. I was so afraid to move forward with adoption that I partially blocked out this memory. I was in denial of the choice that I knew I was going to have to make.
I also remember asking my son’s biological father, early on in my pregnancy, what he thought about adoption. He stood there silently and just looked at me. He literally had no comment. Fast forward to when my son was four months old and I was reaching my breaking point. I told my best friend that I was seriously considering adoption. He passed my desire and internal knowing off as post-partum depression and told me that I would be fine.
Here is my point: when we are afraid of what other people think of the decision for adoption, it will affect our ability to make the wisest choice. This is true in all facets of life. When we are overcome with fear, and we let that fear overcome our lives, it will make the decisions for us. I have seen fear cause much trouble in relationships. One of the worst implications of fear, in my opinion, is to cause inaction. I knew that adoption was the best choice, but I waited until I was in a situation in which I had to choose quickly about my adoption decision.
Inaction breeds crisis. Crisis is not a good situation to be in when taking care of a child. Consider this: if adoption is on your heart and you are more afraid of what others will do to you than what you will do for your child, then aren’t you allowing fear to run your life? I believe that answer is yes, because that is what I did throughout my pregnancy and first five months of my son’s life. I was obsessed with doing what I thought everyone else wanted me to do, and I was too afraid to do what I knew to be right.
I am ever so grateful that I was able to make the choice, even if it was when I was so beyond burnt out that I was in emotional and mental crisis at the time. The point is, I made the choice when it became most crucial to do so.
Fear is a driving force in so many people’s lives. There is scripture, upon quotes, upon studies, of how fear can drive us to do the insane, ignore our own wisdom, and make unnecessary sacrifices and choices. As a believer in God, I see fear as something that drives a wedge between me and my faith. As a student, I see fear as something that causes procrastination. As a birth mother, fear was something that almost kept me from making the best choice for my child. Fear can be overwhelming, overcoming, and overly burdensome.
How you overcome your fear depends upon your faith. There are different models for addressing fear in every faith. As a Christian, I take certain actions to overcome and remove the fear that I find present in my life. For me, this includes:
- Meditation on the Word
- Speaking Scripture
- Studying Scripture
- Taking steps of faith
- Taking action regardless of my feelings
- Getting input from other believers
- Praying for a word of knowledge from the Lord and trusting in Him.
My favorite quote about fear is by Marianne Williamson, and I will leave this with you:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~ Marianne Williamson
Lindsay is a guest blogger for Considering Adoption. She placed her son for adoption 7 years ago and hopes to use her experience to support and educate other expectant mothers considering adoption, as well as adoptive families.