from the blog.

Am I An Impostor?

This post comes to us from the author of the blog, My Perfect Breakdown.


In the last year, I’ve moved out of the world of recurrent pregnancy loss.

Evidently 5 losses and learning that the chances of a successful pregnancy are not in our favour was our end point.

My husband and I, we’ve moved on together.

We stopped trying for a biological child.

In fact, we’ve turned to the most effective birth control on the market (the Mirena IUD) in our efforts to not get pregnant. We just cannot go there.

For us, stopping trying for a biological child did not mean we’ve stopped trying for a child to call our own.

We’ve fully invested ourselves and immersed ourselves in the world of open infant adoption with the added twist of doing an international adoption. It’s complex, it’s expensive, and at times it’s disheartening and frustrating. But it’s also exciting to be waiting adoptive parents. After so much loss and heartache, it truly is amazing to be in a place filled with hope

After hiding from all things baby for years, we are now putting together a nursery. We are receiving baby gifts. We are planning our life to include a child(ren).

And yet, I feel as though I’m an impostor. There are days where I think I am not a mom, I do not have any living children. And we don’t even have a real timeline on our adoption, who knows how long it will take before we actually have a child living in our house? So, while we’ve moved out of infertility and baby loss, and are still choosing to have children, we still have empty arms.

I go into baby stores and I still have an unnerving feeling of not belonging. I feel as though I’m being judged by the other shoppers and the sales people for my lack of a cute baby bump and stories of morning sickness. But, the reality is, probably very few people are judging me. They don’t know our story, they don’t know about our losses and/or our adoption. Really, no-one is judging me, except me. In this way, I am my own worst enemy. And I just end up making myself feel inadequate. I realize this, and yet, I just cannot shake the feeling of being an impostor.

I wonder, will it stop when I am a mom to our adopted child? Will I feel legitimate?

I find myself wondering about the day I start attending baby and mommy classes. I worry about all the other mommies talking about their pregnancies, birth experiences and breastfeeding struggles. I worry about all the other mommies being part of a club and me standing on the outside just wanting to be part of it, like that sad little kid on the playground who watches all the other kids playing. And then, I start worrying about the day my child feels judged for being adopted.

And then I realize, I cannot control the future. I can, however, control how I internalize all of this, and I know I am not doing myself or my child any good by living in a place of self-criticism and inadequacy. Instead, I need to focus on doing my very best. I need to focus on embracing and living my reality. I am a waiting parent, and waiting to adopt is no less valid then waiting to give birth. It is different, but that doesn’t make it an inadequate way to grow our family.

If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please check out myperfectbreakdown.com to follow my journey.

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10 Comments

  1. Your posts are always so insightful both on your own perspective and your observations of the big picture. You are a mother. People always told me that if I was that worried about the different aspects of parenting that I will be a good mom. The same is true for you. I can’t wait to read about all of your new adventures when your child arrives. Thank you so much for sharing your journey.

  2. It’s a long time since I was a mom … but I’m pretty sure we didn’t waste a lot of time discussing our pregnancies when we had babies / toddlers / preschoolers / children to brag about … or teenagers to commiserate over. And, you know, if the subject does come up, I think that you’ll find you can say, “Pregnancy didn’t work out for us, but we’ve been able to adopt- which is a whole other kind of rollercoaster ride!” And if you approach it that way, you will likely find that some of the other moms are interested to hear your story as well as sharing their own.

    Not at all to minimize the pain you’ve experienced, but pregnancy lasts such a short time. A child, on the other hand, is for a lifetime. I am so looking forward to hearing that yours has arrived!

    1. As always Belladonna Took, you are a wise women! I do think a lot of my worries are in my own head, and I suspect you are right regardless of how my child comes to me I will have a lot in common with other mom’s who are just trying to figure out how to sneak a shower in before getting groceries with a crying child. These things, they are normal, no matter how the child comes into your life. And clearly, I’m a talker, so if anyone ever asks with genuine interest they will get to hear our families story. 🙂

  3. Fab post. I always love your posts, they are so thoughtful. You are a waiting mama and that is absolutely no less valid than a pregnancy, there is just no known timeline on yours!
    I cannot wait until you get that call so I can only imagine how nail biting it must be and slow it must feel.
    Hoping so hard for you my friend.

    1. Arwen, while we are on different paths to our families, we are also on a similar path in that it’s not the norm. And so I always take so much comfort in your comments because you really do get it. So, honestly, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  4. I totally understand this feeling. But let me tell you a little secret….I felt like an imposter for ages after my son was born. Every time I referred to myself as mummy I felt like I was going to be found out! And I’d grown my baby in my tummy. In my mind mummies were people like my mum who was older and knew stuff. I knew nothing!!! So don’t worry. Mummy feels weird on us all. It is actuslly the act of parenting that ends up making you feel like a mum. No one really knows what on earth they are doing regardless of how their baby came to them!

    1. I love your little secret – I think so many of us feel like outsiders when in fact none of us are. And I appreciate hearing that even when you first became a mommy you felt like an impostor. Somehow, that makes me feel more normal, and also gives me a good heads up that I might feel the same way for the same reason – knowing absolutely nothing about babies and trying to raise one.

  5. You are obviously not alone in feeling like an impostor! I felt the same way when I brought my son home. My internal dialogue was “seriously, they’re just going to give him to me? What if I don’t know what to do? Who do I call? How do these things work???” It felt weird to call myself “mom” (Which is another weird phenomenon… speaking in third person ALL THE TIME)

    Don’t worry, it might take some time but I have full confidence you’ll fall into your own groove.

    1. I so appreciate this comment. I’ve already said to my husband how weird it is going to be to arrive at a hospital without a baby and then leave with one. It seems like a foreign concept to me and I think it is going to be one of the most surreal things we ever do in our lives! Obviously, I’ll be thankful for it, and I think rather emotional knowing what this day means for us, and on the opposite side what it means for the birth mother. It’s going to be an intense day to say the least.
      And thank you so much for your encouragement.

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