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Guarding your Heart—is it possible?

Guarding your heart – the misconception


Don’t get your hopes up.

Don’t get too attached.

Try not to think about it.

You better guard your heart. 

I’ve seen it over and over in the 10 years I have worked as the Adoption Liaison at Parker Adventist Hospital.  And I saw it in our journey through infertility and through 3 infant adoptions.  The fear of “getting too attached” to an idea, a dream, a child. 

I vividly remember trying with every ounce of my being to stop counting the days on the calendar.  Stop over analyzing every twinge and ache during the days of waiting.  Pass on the wine, but try to forget the reason why.  The dialogue in your mind continues – the one that hopes for the best and fears for the worse.  You better guard your heart.

Those that have gone through multiple loses in hopes of having a family say things like, “I can’t talk about it – I don’t want to jinx it.”  “I can’t talk about it – it may not work out.”  As if to imply we have any control of the outcome.  Don’t do the nursery – it’ll be too hard.  Do the nursery – prepare for your little one. 

The fear continues on all sides in adoption.  We have been matched- but what if she changes her mind.  I have signed the papers- but what if they stop letting me see her. 

I have to guard my heart – I can’t get too attached.

It’s not possible.  My own journey has taught me that, on a scale of 1-10, a dream dashed hurts at a 10.  Period.  I have yet to see anyone able to guard their heart or disconnect to save their sanity.   Those that insist they had protected themselves often return to admit that the “beach ball” pushed under the water, popped up somewhere else.  Anger with a spouse, an in-law, just anguish repackaged. 

I would encourage you to lean in.  To risk and to love.  To bank on the dream knowing that the outcome will be what it is supposed to be – regardless of a nursery decorated or a desire silenced. 

Do you think it is possible to guard your heart?  Are you willing to lean in and risk the pain to embrace the dream? 


  1. Adoption’s practice of changing a child’s birth certificate and then expecting the child to fulfill a role in a family they share no genetic markers with, adds extra layers of trauma. It also creates loyalty issues that are really unfair to any human-being. Then you ask us to “lean in” and risk love? When our entire being is disenfranchised due to a family who breaks apart our identity and family connections in order to fulfill your own? Interesting.

    • While not the topic of this post, you bring up really great points that I would love to discuss with you. I will private message you! Thanks!


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