Getting off the Rollercoaster - Going for Adoption

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.


  • I have an ex who used Heroin while pregnant. This was a very unhealthy relationship ex but nonetheless.Her kid grew up fine just for an FYI. I also helped this ex kick the habit when we got together and got her through a detox. There is a lot of muscle pain with it and likely a baby would translate to a lot of inconsolable crying. There is also profuse sweating when kicking opiates.
    It is said to be an easier road than a crack addicted baby but I would not know that for sure.

    I agree so much with the lack of fairness thing. I do not understand why those who beat their kids, who abuse the heck out of them, who use, who abandon and ignore are able to so freely procreate while others struggle to our souls to have one or a second or whatever they most desire. It is truly something that makes me wail at times. Like that recent video of the mother powerwashing her 2 year old baby at a car wash. Just so f^%$ing unfair.

    Good luck.

    By Blogger bleu, at 10:52 pm  

  • What can I add here? Nothing really. It's so hard. How do we make choices about a thing we would never have done a child ourselves?

    Give yourself some time, it's OK to be angry, we're told it's not nice but it IS human. More human than shooting up while pregnant, anyway.

    I hope you find peace in whatever you choose here.

    By Blogger beagle, at 11:17 pm  

  • I came here from Mel's L&F.

    You might want to join Forever Parents (

    It's a small, private community, and I believe a couple of our members can speak to you from experience.

    Good luck. This is tough.

    By Blogger Lori, at 1:57 am  

  • I know it's really hard, but they actually put pregnant women on methadone (if they are able to get themselves sorted out enough to do that) because it's better for the baby to not withdraw during pregnancy - it can lead to stillbirth, miscarriage etc.

    So unconsciously perhaps she was trying to do the right thing.

    By Blogger DrSpouse, at 2:05 pm  

  • No I can't imagine doing heroin during a pregnancy but then I can't imagine doing heroin period. Nor can I imagine stealing for a fix, spending time in prison or staying in an abusive relationship.
    All I can say is that I am very, very grateful that I can't imagine doing any of these things and I have a lot of compassion for those that do.
    Having said that, if it were my baby/child that had been damaged by such actions, I'd be a LOT less understanding.

    I wanted to adopt during our years of SIF and my husband didn't as someone in his family had adopted a baby with fetal alcohol syndrom and went through decades of heartache associated with that. From what I understand, heroin addiction is less damaging in general than alcoholism during a pregnancy. But yes, sometimes it makes me want to scream when I hear someone say that a little alcohol during pregnancy isn't going to hurt - most likely not but the potential is there.

    Vivien, could you get past all the anger if there were long term consequences of the heroin addiction? In your situation I think that I could but I know that my husband probably couldn't.

    I'm thinking of you a lot.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:40 pm  

  • Vivien I'm afraid I know nothing about this. I would be really struggling with this decision, I have no doubt. I hope someone comes along soon who knows a bit more about this.

    By Blogger Thalia, at 5:47 pm  

  • I live in England and we've just started looking into adoption. For background reading I got the following book - this has a chapter on the possible developmental effects of various different drugs (including heroin):

    "Children exposed to parental substance misuse - implications for family placement. Edited by Rena Philips"

    You can buy it on Amazon.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:20 pm  

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