Getting off the Rollercoaster - Going for Adoption

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Waffling on about adoption already . . .

First I have to say:

What lovely comments you lovely people leave for me. Thank you so much for your support. I really, really appreciate it.

Things ARE improving, and I am really trying to be positive.

In response to my email to the adoption agency I had an email asking me to call. I did, and spoke to a woman who had a bit of a grating voice, and I thought I would hate her but who was actually really kind, realistic and sensible.

In brief she asked me some of the normal stuff – where I lived, worked, whether and how long married etc and, of course, why was I considering adoption. When I said (a little gruffly) that I had had 6 miscarriages she was immediately very kind, but on discovering that the last one was this month, suggested it may be a bit soon for me to be embarking on this process.


Well, even I have to admit she does have a point. On the other hand, it’s not as though we waited until after the 6th miscarriage to ever consider adoption. It has been there as a possible option for a long time.

We talked about that a bit.

How the effect of the miscarriages is cumulative, and it really does take time for you to accept that it is looking less and less likely that I will ever “carry to term.” (“Carry to term” is very euphemistic – strange that I feel the need for a euphemistic term to deal with something so joyful. I guess it has fewer and fewer joyful connotations for me.) Eventually, almost imperceptibly I have reached that point.

Anyway, I said that at the age of 43 I was worried that failing to get started on with the process would just mean that I would be too old for ‘them’ to consider me.

She could appreciate my concerns. Obviously if I was thinking of a newborn* well, that might be (pause for me to fill the space). . . but she couldn’t see why at my age a toddler would be a problem.

What can I say? To be honest I was absolutely over the moon when she said this – I really don’t know how realistic it is to hope for a toddler – or even what she means by toddler, but the thought of having a young child – OMG – I really am filling up again. . . and yes, yes, I know I am totally jumping the gun here, there are hundreds of hurdles yet, but let a girl (OK, old woman) dream for a moment!!

Anyway, the point she was trying to make was that I needed to get over the grieving process first, and she is so right. I know this is true.

But is it wrong of me to use the hope of adoption as a way of getting over the grief? So much of the grief is about never being able to have a child. Not necessarily my biological child, but a child to love and nurture and support and watch grow until it is a grown up. The whole thing. I could write all that stuff down, but how can I list all the things I want to do with my child(ren)?


(By the way for the best post ever on this, read this - http://knocked.typepad.com/knocked_upknocked_down/2006/07/grappling_with_.html - Jill, you blew me away with how fantastically you expressed all this. I can't say how grateful I am.)

I think I continued (and would continue still) to miscarry over and over, even when the doctors are saying it’s my age, my eggs are cooked, my uterus mashes embryos . . . I continue because the ONLY way to get over all this grief is by finally having the baby. Somehow. And adoption is certainly one way to do that.

Ironically, of course, oh-so-long ago, when I was in my 20’s, with so many unwanted children in the world, and the human population (I considered) out of control, I used to be one of those unbearable people who thought that adoption was the only defensible way to have children.


Oh how the sins of the past come home to roost. Or something like that.

You have to laugh, really.


*Lots unsaid here, and for the benefit of non-UK readers, it is as good as impossible to adopt babies in this country. Certainly at my age. Most of the children up for adoption are basically children that have been taken into the state’s care system because they are deemed ‘at risk’ – from abuse and/or neglect. It is actually heartbreaking. But this does mean that babies are very rare, as even the most sad case rarely has her children taken into care at birth. I can hardly write this, it is all so incredibly tragic, both for the children and their mothers. It almost seems like schadenfreude to be getting excited about adoption under such circumstances.

4 Comments:

  • Yes, be excited about adoption and let yourself feel hopeful and joyous about being a mother. If this makes you happy and you deserve happiness. I don't know how anyone ever heals from their losses, they will always be with you. But if you can begin to see light at the end of this dark road then by all means embrace it.

    By Blogger Kate, at 11:04 pm  

  • Im glad you rang & felt even slightly encouraged & felt permission to feel possible joy again - how brave of you. How open & courageous you are. I commend you, i really do. I too read jills post - it spoke volumes for all of us who have had recurring miscarriers & feared never having a bio child.....im proud of you & sending you love too x

    By Blogger Womb in Waiting, at 1:21 pm  

  • Hi, Vivien. Although childlessness certainly not the only hard thing about our situations, it certainly is the main hard thing (for me, anyway, and it sounds like it is for you, as well). I don't think that adopting a child could completely fill up all the empty spaces that our losses have carved into us, but I think that having a child to raise and to love could bring a lot of redeeming joy to our lives. I am glad that you are feeling excited about the hope and the chance for a child that adoption provides.

    P.S.--Thanks so much for linking to my post and for the nice things you wrote about it.

    By Anonymous Jill, at 5:11 pm  

  • Hooray! We are also thinking about this but still going through investigations...

    You should also think about:
    - going through a private agency (they are still free, but they have a reputation for being a LOT speedier and MUCH more adopter-focussed and better at aftercare).
    - if you are thinking you want more than one child, being open to adopting two at once - this really improves your saleability as an adopter, and you would only have to go through the process again for a second child.
    - concurrent planning, if you are in an area that does it (basically, London, Manchester, or Brighton)
    - reading, but not being too freaked out by, the message boards at adoptionuk.com
    - ditto (though they are more low key) the adoption board on fertilityfriends.co.uk - a bit more open to those of us who are still a bit unsure.

    By Blogger DrSpouse, at 10:10 pm  

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