Getting off the Rollercoaster - Going for Adoption

Friday, March 28, 2008

Calmer but no closer

Well, the intervening 10 days have been good for me. I have calmed down a lot, and [dare I say it?] I am even beginning to look forward to bringing this little boy home.

So how on earth did I get here?

To begin with (and to some extent still) I could simply think OF NOTHING ELSE. I found myself in tears in the car just from the stress of having to live and even function alongside this constant banging of questions in my head.

I spent time on the phone to two very good friends. One is a GP and has friends and contacts who are paediatricians and similar experts. The other is such a good friend that she spent ages googling for me and also has friends who work with addicts. They both came back to me with their findings, plus lots of love and compassion (for me this time) and it was a HUGE help.

There is more to come in, but the general feeling is that . . . well things could be a lot worse. Surprisingly (I thought) the drug is not actually all that damaging in itself – it’s the addiction itself that does so much damage and leads its victims into the desperate lives of stealing and dropping out. I need to get answers to lots of questions – it’s unlikely, for example that the birth mother swore off alcohol and other drugs, which could have been more dangerous . . . I need to find out about the baby’s experiences during withdrawal, about his current development etc etc – but I am feeling considerably more optimistic.

So I had some good friends, some good advice, and should have been feeling a lot better, when I realised that there was more to my panic. In brief: I will be stopping work, for at least a year, possibly more. As a couple we will lose nearly half our income, but have a lot more to spend our money on. I haven’t ever brought up a child before. What if I don’t know what to do? What if I don’t bond? What if after 3 months I realise I don’t want this? What if just doing this is the WRONG THING?

I was so angry with myself too, because I thought I had just realised, after this whole journey, that I don’t want to have a child at all. Not the case. Just nerves as the prospect of my wishes fulfilled approaches. . . at least I think so!

And now I think I am back on track – although if the placement order is not granted on the third, I will probably have a breakdown. But bizarrely, in spite of myself and my general predisposition for being over-excitable and fairly impatient, I am feeling reasonably calm.

I think this will work out, but if it doesn’t I think I will cope.

Famous last words?!

PS Excuse the rather crappy name change – I just need to make myself a little more anonymous to RL people, and while I realise this is not exactly high security, it doesn’t involve setting up either a whole new blog, or making it ‘inviteds’ only, which seems a little extreme and exclusive, which I have never claimed to be!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The space between anger and compassion and just walking away . . .

I wish I could express all the stuff that I would like to be able to say, but I fear I shall not manage to.
My head is actually spinning (well, not actually, but it feels like it is inside at least).

Where to start?

When we talked to KT yesterday I was full of compassion, genuine, heartfelt sorrow for a fellow human woman who is unable to sort her life, to even the smallest extent. She has 3 children, all different fathers. All are being looked after, by family members, or by the state. She has been in hospital, with 'significant injuries' inflicted by the father of one of her children. She has spent time in prison for drug-related crime (stealing, presumably) where she apparently does well, as there is a structure and there are rules. She has been so UNLUCKY. A disorganised, unloving home which left her with a chasm where the love of a mother should be. Presumably male role-models who were violent, leaving her to chose similar types herself. A lack of any type of self-worth to prevent her from falling into the destruction of the addiction that has taken choices and value out of her life. And is now taking her children. Honestly, it breaks my heart.

On the other hand R and I are so well off. I have a home, a good, interesting job, a lovely relationship, I have friends, family, food, car - actually I have everything I need - and much more. I have no children, through some odd twist of fate, but because I am who I am there is a good chance I can even sort that out, and bring up children that the state considers better off in my care than in their own birth-family's. I am LUCKY.

That was the starting position, but before you label me Mother Theresa, let me tell you about how angry I am too.

This little baby was born add*cted to h*roin for god's sake! WHAT SORT OF A HUMAN BEING TAKES H*ROIN WHEN THEY ARE F****** PREGNANT! There is one rule about what you do with your own life, but there must surely be another when it comes to your own unborn child's life.

I worked it out. My sixth miscarriage (relatively well documented if you happened to want to read about the misery) happened in June 2006 - if that 'baby' that obviously never was had not become another of my miscarriages, it would have been born at roughly the same time as this add*cted baby was born. Where is the justice? I tried EVERYTHING I knew - I'd been to Harley Street, I was injecting heparin, taking steroids, progesterone pessaries, baby aspirin, I was desperate, DESPERATE to make my baby live. But as we know of course, it didn't. Meanwhile some b*tch out there shot up another potentially deadly fix, in spite of her unborn BABY! Even after the poor little mite was born, she went stealing to fund the drugs, drugs were top priority, even though it meant she would lose the right to keep the baby; sure enough, she went back into prison. Her baby taken into the care of the state - never mind the other two children.

There is no justice, I understand that. There is no baby because you did right, because you deserved it. Don't ever think that you had that baby because it was your right, your just reward for being so damn good. I can be good - I can assure you it doesn't work.

And now? Do I plan to be the good person who tries to put this unfortunate baby's life back on track? In spite of all the possible physical, drug-induced problems?

I don't know, I don't know yet.

There is so much more I could say, but it's for another day.

Monday, March 17, 2008

St Patrick's Day

I have no affinity with St Patrick's day, but perhaps I will remember it in years to come.

KT was round today - I called her on Saturday to make sure she had received our 'flyer' - she had but needed us to change some bits, and when I called she suddenly said - "I need to see you urgently - can you and R make Monday, 12.30?"

Bonkers is just her middle name. As it happens we are both horrendously busy at work, but what are you going to do? Yep - drop everything and be there.

I wasn't expecting anything exciting, as I had called her. I didn't let myself think it might be 'news'. To be honest, I spent most of my time thinking 'what if they've discovered this blog' and worrying that the 'urgent' meeting was to tell me we had been struck off the potential adopters list for my indiscretions here - ever the optimist, you see. (Thank-you Beagle for the advice - I may well try and do that!)

But . . . there is a possible baby.
13 months, but as yet no adoption order - the court case is on 3rd April. And if the placement order is granted . . . we will almost certainly be matched. We could expect to bring our baby home for the very beginning of May, once we have been introduced etc etc.

2 things:
  • I am NOT getting excited. I can't. It's too much of a risk.
  • I would like to know more about the long term effects of having been born add*cted to h*roin. Such was this poor baby's start in life. Can anyone help? I am not having much luck with Dr Google.

Monday, March 03, 2008

A marketing challenge

We are going national.
KT came around this morning, as promised.
As expected it was a no-news meeting.
She promises she is on the case, it's just that she is very keen to get us a very healthy child, who is also very young, which means that it will take a little time. And so far has not been long at all. (It just seems like a long time to us, but we are in a different time continuum, I believe.)

There has been some interest in us, no problems.
I am surprised you didn't hear my scream from where you are.

I swear, if one more person suggests I am too old for this.

She had two questions that she wanted answers to. (Oops, I thought, here we go).
But they couldn't have been easier -
1. If a child were available at short notice, how soon would you be able to move on it (give up work)?
(A: As soon as you like. No problemo. This is the most important thing in the world to us - why would I let work get in the way?)

2. Have you got any holiday planned?
(A: Yes. We have a cottage booked in the Lakes for a week at the end of March - but hey, we would cancel in a heartbeat if there were the sniff of a child for us . . . we are simply not PLANNING any holiday that we couldn't easily cancel.)

Honestly, sometimes I wonder. Why would I go through years of trying to have a baby, then a not-that-much-fun home study etc etc and then book a holiday that I wasn't prepared to cancel, just when it may all be about to come together? Do I look stupid?

So - back to the main point, which DrSpouse touched on in her comment - having circulated our details around the 'consortium' we are now to make our own 'flyer' to circulate around the whole country. I didn't actually realise that this would be an option.

I work in marketing. Flyers are my bread and butter. I know how to make an emotional appeal, and a nice clear call to action. Supporting my copy with suitable photography.
But this one may be a bit of a challenge.
I don't know my market, my target audience, I don't know what buttons they want pushed.
What the HELL am I going to say?
How do I convince them that R and I are the perfect parents for some child out there?