Wednesday, September 17, 2008


No, not that kind. PADS is an acronym for Post Adoption Stress Disorder. Didja ever hear of it? Me neither.

Most people probably haven't noticed that I've not been 'right' for most of 2008. I can go through the motions with the best of 'em. And I know I need to do the necessities -- getting to where I need to be when I need to be there. Plus I've gotten good at putting on The Happy Face so that I look like the blessed, happy mommy that I should be. But I'm not.

And now I know why. I have a name for my radical emotions. And maybe I can STOP IT THIS INSTANT. Okay, probably not this instant. But at least now I know I'm not crazy. Or alone. And I have a path to hopefully follow.

Can I just say? God is incredible.

He knew how I was suffering long before today. He's kept me surrounded by the love/support of true friends. He continues to envelope me with a family who loves me unconditionally; including two daughters who don’t judge my tirades. And long ago He gave me a husband who is the. most. patient. loving. tolerant. human being in the world.

As if I’m not blessed enough, He has also opened doors to new friends galore. I have a new book club group, new MOPS group, new Bible study group and some new blogging buddies that live in town and love coffee as much as me. It’s this last group that led to my discovery of PADS, in the most round-about of ways.

I am not a great blogger. I don’t post everyday. Or every week. I have a total of 43 posts in 19 months. But I read other blogs. A lot. And I "meet" new people all the time.

Addie was one of the first blogs I read since I actually know her and all. Eventually, I started going through her blogroll and reading some she recommended. That’s how I met Shalee. Since I enjoyed reading Shalee's posts so much, I looked in her blog list and saw some that were also in Addie’s. I started reading more and more different blogs. Eventually I found Lifenut. I don’t know her but we have a lot in common.

Today, she posted at another site – Mile High Mama’s. After reading her post, I read down that page to this post. Intrigued, I went to that blogger’s homepage. And read the posts that put a name to these crazy thoughts I’ve been having, justifies the emotions I’ve been experiencing, gives reason to my not wanting to clean my house (I know!), clean bottles or even clean myself many days.

Once I had a name for this 'syndrome' I went on a web-search. Oh, I had looked online numerous times in the last several months… for things like “depression after adoption” and “post partum depression for adoptive moms.” I found some articles, but never did I find the wealth of info I found today. And while, certainly, not ALL of it applies to me, a lot of it sure does.

Here’s some of what I found out about PADS from some great sites:
“The public and medical attitudes toward (post partum depression) are a far cry from the silence and secrecy that surround a much more pervasive problem – Post Adoption Depression Syndrome (PADS).”

“In many cases, after enduring years of disappointment with infertility, family members don't understand why the new mother isn't completely happy and content now that she finally has what she's wanted for so long. Rather than disappoint and confound her family, many new adoptive moms simply suffer in silence, filled with shame and guilt, feeling themselves imperfect or selfish.”

“PADS can range from a full-blown episode of severe depression that requires hospitalization or just a simple case of the blues that lasts a month or two. The few scientific studies of PADS indicate that over half of adoptive mothers experience it.”

Amazing, huh? And there's a lot more like it. I'm not alone.

It took a complete stranger to help me. A complete stranger that I met through a series of complete strangers. That I met through a friend from my church. I don’t know what you’d call that, but I call it a God-thing. A Lovingkindness. A heap of blessings that I needed RIGHT NOW.

Thanks, God.


April said...

I'm glad you've found the support you need. Adjustments are always hard, even when it's something you really want.


Michele said...

Oh sweet Daneen - I get it - not in the adoption sense but in the "why am I not thrilled with these children that I begged and pleaded for" -what is WRONG with me?!

I'm going to send you a link to another support site for mothering after infertility if you want some additional support from moms who "get" it.

Lori said...

The same thing happened to me. When at the end of my rope, I got my Adoptive Families magazine in the mail, and inside was an article on PADS.

Once I had a name for it, and the idea that I WASN'T THE ONLY ONE, healing could begin.

Nice to meet you.

Shalee said...

I love the mysterious ways of God and how he uses us in ways when we aren't even paying attention.

Praise God for his awesome timing and direction for you! I hope that you'll feel a sense of complete peace soon so that you can truly commit all your energies to loving on that family of yours!

Addie said...

Oh, Daneen! I love how God puts all of these things together for us way in advance! It's good to have a name so that you know you're not alone! I'll be praying for you as you walk through this. In the end I know you will come out a stronger mama, wife and friend!


Devion said...

As a member of an adoptive family, I completely understand. It was my sister that is adopted, so I was more of an observer of all of these things than a sufferer, but I know that there are many out there going through or that have gone through what you're dealing with. Add to that the stress of the "what if's" of adoption and I imagine it has been a long road that you've suffered alone. Praise God that He has brought a balm for your heart and soul so that you can get back to enjoying that...well...little joy of yours! Thank you for being willing to share your story, though. I feel in my heart that God will use it to help someone else. Blessings and peace as you journey on!

Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...

Oh Daneen, I'm so glad that God blessed you this way. Praying for you friend.

Marie said...

Sorry that I have no commented sooner, I guess better late than never.

I just have three words for you...I Love You. That's all, nothing more, nothing less

Peace Out