Thursday, February 21, 2008


I have to say, I am the happiest mother in the world. However, being a mother has given me pause to wonder if I am going to keep my sanity...

Since adopting Kenzie, all I could think of at first was how lucky we were, how happy we were, what a wonderful child we had. Now, as our daughter grows up and begins to take her first tentative steps away from me as her main relationship and she starts forming other bonds and relationships... I am haunted by nightmares of what could happen if my attention is even for a moment occupied with anything other than her presence.

One recurring dream I have had lately is particularly disturbing, and I need to get it off my chest. I don't think it will lessen the panic I feel whenever I have the dream - but at least I am acknowledging my concerns.

The dream starts out in a place that is like the Ivy League halls of a large university. A long building with many classrooms and lecture rooms on both sides of a long, dark hallway, with heavily paneled walls of dark wood, large tall windows, and the golden color of aged plaster above the paneling. There are a huge number of Asian children with their parents (both adoptive and bio) at this event that is specifically for Asian children. I am standing with Kenzie in a line and she is all happy and jumping up and down because she is excited to be there. She is getting ready to play a game, and we are only 2 or 3 places away from when she will get her turn. I am then approached by someone in charge of the event because my help is needed in the next room... evidently I am helping to be a host to part of this event. I walk over to my husband who is chatting with another man, and tell him to watch Kenzie while I am gone for a few minutes. He says his usual "Yes, dear" and I walk away.

I go to another room and am only gone for a few minutes (it felt like it was supposed to be around 5-10 minutes from the dream) and when I return to the room where Kenzie is supposed to be, I can't find her. I go up to my husband and ask him where she is. He looks at me like I'm crazy, and says that he thought I was watching her and why wasn't I taking care of her. I start screaming her name, looking frantically for her and all the time cursing my husband for not listening to me or taking part in watching his daughter for a few minutes but instead trying to drum up business for himself at the expense of his daughter. I am just furious with him and in a panic that I can't find Kenzie. Worse, people begin to look at me like I'm an idiot.

I scream for all activities to stop and ask all the parents to help me find my daughter. We start going up and down the hall, going into rooms and yelling her name. Someone called the campus police and they go watch security video of the hallways - and they see her walking with a man into one of the rooms. We run down to the room and it is locked - and I am petrified of what I will find behind the door - I begin kicking the door to try and knock it down, and just as I open it and rush in, I wake in a panic with tears streaming down my face, because I just know she is either molested, tortured, or dead... and I blame myself - for not being her mother, for not keeping her with me, for allowing her to do something on her own because she wanted to stand in line and have her turn rather than start all over, for trusting my husband to take care of her when he was clearly pre-occupied, for not holding her close to me, for not loving her enough...

I feel lousy, horrified, and I can't go back to sleep. I just cry - sobbing as my tears soak my clothes and pillow, while I look at her sleeping next to me. And pray that I never have to feel that kind of panic for real. I pray to God that her innocence won't be shattered by any one harming her in ways children should never have to know. I want to protect her from so much, but I am afraid I will not be able to keep her safe from harm.

Perhaps these feelings are all perfectly natural. But this feeling of being inadequate as her mother keeps persisting. Please God, make me hyper-vigilant.