My sister-in-law passed away suddenly after a very short illness. It was a huge shock to everyone and apart from grieving our loss, we had to plan the funeral as well as help my brother and his beautiful baby girl (Rue) who was 2 years old at the time. My husband (Taf) and I immediately felt that we wanted to put it to my brother that we were available to take care of his daughter for him while he was dealing with the changes in his life. My brother Taona works long, unpredictable hours and sometimes over the weekends. After some thoughtful consideration he agreed to place his precious baby girl in our care.
Walking into this new dynamic, my husband and I had different expectations of how it would work, especially during the first few months. Taf is more laid back than I am; a day at a time kinda guy. His approach to the situation was that the changes would not be very hard if we took one step at a time.
I, on the other hand, was feeling anxious and feared the worst , especially after I found out that I was 2 months pregnant. I thought it would be a very difficult transition and felt the need to mentally prepare myself to be able to be a good mom to my four little girls. So I read and I researched to help me understand what my niece was going through and what to expect. I consulted with a child psychologist who deals with adopted children, to give me pointers. Whatever I found out, I discussed with Taf.
One Step at a Time
What I have learnt from this journey is that different expectations are inevitable for each couple facing life’s challenges. I also learned that consideration for each other, good communication and a willingness to be vulnerable are vital. Taf’s laid back approach helped me to relax and take things slowly, whereas he benefitted from my need to know about the future through the knowledge I shared with him from my research. As long as we both communicated our expectations to each other, we found the journey much easier.