Tahlia and I went to the mall today and I had such a great time with my girl. We shopped some and then had lunch together. During lunch, she kept talking about the things she was seeing, how good her chicken was, how happy she was with her new clothes I just bought her and how much she loved her new pink Crocks. As she was putting a french fry in her mouth with one hand, she put her other hand in mine and continued eating her lunch that way.
My heart just overflowed with love for her and I started to wonder:
How could I have ever said that I wasn't sure if I loved this child when I first saw her referral pictures?
How could I have ever resented her after first coming home from China?
How could I have ever wondered if we had made a mistake adopting another child?
How could I have ever wished that she wasn't there?
How could I have ever doubted my love for her?
How could I have ever doubted her love for me?
Post Adoption Depression did a real number on me, but when I looked at Tahlia today at lunch, there was no doubt in my mind as to how much I love this child. She was meant to be ours and adopting her was one of the best things we ever did. I love this girl and she loves me. It took almost two years to overcome the worst of my PAD. I am not even sure if I have overcome it completely, but I do know one thing: I could not love Tahlia any more than if I had given birth to her. She is my daughter and I am her mother in every sense that is important. If I had only known then what I know now...
I recently read a blog post by a woman suffering from PAD and just reading it brought back my own pain and frustration. I wanted to reach through the computer screen and hug this woman, because I know what she is living. But I also wanted to tell her that things will get better. That she will overcome this. That there is help out there. This topic is so important to me, because I never even realized that Post Adoption Depression existed. It is hard enough dealing with the pain and the guilt, but knowing that PAD exists, that it is real and that quite a lot of other women from it, at least makes you feel like you are not alone; that you are not a bad and terrible person and mother.
It took quite a long time for me to realize that I am not a bad person/mother, but I do still need reminders of it every now and then. I got that reminder today in the mall, while eating lunch with my sweet, wonderful and amazing daughter. Thank you for that, Tahlia...