Sophia has recently become a mum for the first time through adoption of a little boy named Shipmate. In her first Blogs For Babies post, Sophia busted some myths about adoption for those who wanted to understand a bit more about it. Here she gives us a personal insight into the emotional time waiting to be ‘matched’ with a baby needing to be adopted.
Sophia blogs at www.loveinthecloudsblog.com
“Once we finally felt ready to adopt, after years of heartache, we went through a 2 year process to be approved. Our Adoption Agency Social Worker was lovely, making the process as understanding as she could, though it couldn’t help but feel very intrusive as it needs to be.
The post below is one I wrote during the wait between being approved as a “Prospective Adopter” and bringing our son Shipmate home.”
We had an update from our social worker today. Updates are a double edged sword. It’s a relief to have news and hear things are in the pipeline but also a reminder of the wait and that there is a birth family going through turmoil somewhere. I try to keep busy. Making my Love In The Clouds things really helps. It stops me obsessing about all the scenarios our future could hold for an hour or two. But as soon as I’ve had an update my mind goes into overdrive!
There are a few little ones that may need homes. She is keeping an eye on things in case we can be put forward as adopters for them. Everything is still uncertain though and we won’t know if we are ruled in or out for another month or so. Though rationally I know it’s not that long, it seems like forever!
Earlier this year, we got until a week prior to a little one coming home when we were told it couldn’t go ahead. Nobody’s fault, just that things can change at any time in waiting to adopt. It’s people’s lives and people are complicated. We had let our hopes get up though. We had to prepare for it going ahead so had the nursery ready, clothes, bottles, the whole shebang. It was so painful packing the room up afterwards…
Since then, like I say, I’ve tried really hard to stay busy and not let my mind run away. Now that we are getting to only a month-ish away from hopefully getting some certainty about these little ones it’s getting harder. My heart is taking over. It’s forcing me to think about what it would be like if it was finally time to meet our child. I’m having to keep it in the back of my mind as I plan things in my diary and say “yes I could do that but let’s make a backup plan just in case…”
Sometimes the wait gets painful. Knowing our child could be out there waiting for us but we can’t be with them feels like my heart is being squeezed in my chest. I also think of the birth families’ pain right now and how that must be hundreds of times this.
It’s such a complex process, adoption. Through my experience of meeting birth parents in my previous work, I have never met one I didn’t feel sadness or empathy for. Not that there haven’t been times I feel frustrated with them or think there are some choices they have made that are plain wrong, whatever their background or reasons, but still the pain of losing their child has been so tangible. You can feel it in the air. I’ve held a birth mother in my arms as she wept after the court announced they felt the best interest of the child was adoption.
Even though there will be good reason for our child to need adoption by us (to protect them, or birth family’s choice) and even though we will be excited to become new parents, I still feel the sadness within the situation.
I had a weepy day this week. We went to a beautiful christening, a really joyous day. Towards the end we had photos and I suggested getting all the little ones together. They were all cutely sat on the grass when I suddenly had an overwhelming sadness that the baby we had been matched to earlier this year wasn’t there. I had to run off to the bathroom for a little cry then put a brave face on. Mr Thompson noticed and gave me a hug without needing to ask. Sometimes I think he’s secretly psychic! I am seriously lucky to have such an understanding husband
That feeling lasted all day with me though. That gaping ache in my heart.
Adoption comes with feelings of loss all around. The painful loss of a birth family no longer caring for the child. The loss for the child of birth family, foster carers and all that is familiar (even if the familiar wasn’t good for them) and loss for us of every child we put ourselves forward for.
I just keep saying to myself it will be worth it in the end. That when we are matched with our little soul mate we will look back and say we are glad that happened as we wouldn’t be this exact family otherwise. I hope so. Sometimes hope is all you feel you have when you’re waiting. I’ll cling onto that though.
We need to be strong and ready “just in case”…
Follow Sophia on Twitter @LoveCloudDesign