Reading other adoption blogs, I noted that many people begin with ‘their story’, laying out their reasons to adopt and the path they have so far trod. Many people arrive at the decision to adopt following years of heartache trying to conceive. I read these accounts with compassion but no real understanding. Only because we have been waiting for so long to be matched (close to three years since approval) do we now have even the tiniest insight. The fluctuating optimism, the almost clockwork-like disappointment, the intensifying expectation of both ourselves and others.
Adoption has always been our first choice. Neither of us have ever felt the need or desire to be pregnant or have birth children, perhaps because that didn’t fit into our earliest understanding of being lesbians. But as we’ve grown older and closer as a couple, we realise that we have so much to give. We truly believe that we can give a child what they need and have previously gone without. If you’re thinking, we are heroes and adoption is entirely altruistic – STOP! We absolutely are in this for what we get out of it! A lovely little person (or persons – more on this later) to share our lives with.
Nearly four years on from first registering our interest with our local authority I decided to look over our approval paperwork to see if our thoughts had changed. Reading the notes we made – official records and unofficial scribbles – it is clear that our thoughts haven’t so much changed as evolved. Those notes seem far more optimistic than I ever remember being, but somewhat naïve. There is acknowledgement of possible issues – attachment, possible medical issues including FASD (Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders), and CPV (Child on Parent Violence) – without genuine understanding of these or how they will impact our lives and the lives of our nearest and dearest. Since then we have learned that, while important, love is not enough. We have spent the time waiting better preparing ourselves as therapeutic parents and equipping ourselves with knowledge, skills, and experiences.
Although we’re four years in, we are still at the very beginning of our adoption ‘journey’ (that phrase is irritatingly overused but I’m also struggling for an adequate alternative). We hope, because we do still have hope (heaps of it), that we will be sharing Christmas with a little person who will come to see us as his forever family. We will keep you posted.