Friday, 19 October 2012

Dreams of what might have been....

It's fair to say that we had a pretty rough time becoming parents.  It's fair to say we went to hell and back with the loss of those 10 little ones that couldn't make it.  It took us a lot of heartbreak to get to the point where we are today.  In many ways moving onto adoption became a natural progression.  I knew that I couldn't use a surrogate.  For two reasons.  One because we didn't actually know if it was the mix between hubs and I that wasn't working right and two because I couldn't bear the thought of someone else carrying our baby and doing what I couldn't do. I don't think I could have gone through all that stress if I'm honest.  If I ever have to experience another pregnancy scan in my life I think it would be the breaking point for me.  Adopting actually seemed like the right answer for us, and it was.  Katie is absolutely everything to us.  She is our miracle. I cannot even begin to describe the love that I feel for her, that swell of love when I watch her sleeping (because that's the time of day when she isn't arguing with me!).  Having Katie in our lives has helped close the door on all that pain and heartache.  Apart from odd moments when a memory is triggered I don't dwell on what might have been or the pain that we went through anymore.  Life is too full of, well, life.  Katie brings so much life and energy into our lives that I don't have time to dwell on much else.

Many years of miscarriages; infertility and becoming an adoptive parent has meant that I have had to close the door on some of those little subconscious dreams that I may have carried with me.  Primarily that of being a mum to a baby.  When I became a mum it was to a 2 year old.  she was still in nappies but definitely not a baby.  We didn't know Katie as a baby.  That time in her life isn't part of our memories of her.  It's hard to imagine her at that age.  I've seen pictures of course but it's almost like they are of someone else's child.   I've had to let go of those dreams of being able to feed a baby myself or even bottle feed.  That smell of a tiny baby, it's so distinctive so emotive. 

Lately though, circumstances have opened that door and we've had to reconsider whether having a baby might be something that we would want.  Circumstances within Katie's birth family have meant that we might possibly have a much younger addition to our family than we were previously considering.  In many ways this would be ideal.  For Katie to have a blood relation, sharing the same birth mother, living with us.  For about 10 days recently it was looking that this would be a real possibility for us.  We had to think about having an almost newborn living with us.  After an initial moment of panic (and me commenting that I'm quite fond of having my sleep time!) we thought it would be a scenario that would be good for us as a family.  Of course I am a much older and wiser adopter nowadays so I sent a list of questions to our Social Worker about the issues that we felt needed to be clarified before we could move ahead.  Those questions have highlighted that, at the current time (as I thought), there is still much to be assessed.  People within the birth family need to be consulted as to whether they would be able to offer the child a home.  This is as it should be, of course, but it will potentially tie up this issue for quite some time ahead.  What do we do?  Do we wait on the possibility of this happening or do we move ahead with our adoption plans as they were before this scenario was raised and see what happens?

We have actually decided to do the latter.  We have said that we would be very interested in discussing this particular child further, should that situation arise but we need to press on.  Katie has been waiting long enough for a sibling.  She wants to have a sibling so badly and we are concerned about the potential age gap between them if we leave it much longer.  Interestingly I have been informed that there are more babies available for adoption in our area at the current time so, who knows what the future may bring.  We had been pretty set on a child around 18 months - 2.5 years who would be a playmate for Katie.  We had also been set on adopting her a sister.  If nothing else, events over the past month or so have forced us to be a little more open in our plans and we have now decided that we will be open to the idea of having a boy (there were reasons why we thought having a boy might not be suitable for us but Katie seems to be growing out of her willy obsession now - finally!).

So who knows that the future will bring.  I do know that our adoption is moving forward very slowly.  As I commented to our Agency Social Worker only this week, the ship doesn't appear to have enough sailors up at HQ.  Information is not being followed up and our files are rather empty for a family who has been in the system for over a year now.  Our list of referees was misplaced so we've provided that again.  Our CRB checks are still not back despite being completed in June.  Thankfully our medicals are back and all passed OK.  So much for the 8 months process we were promised!

All good things come to those who wait....and wait.....and wait... eh?

As for the baby scenario.  Well, I know my life will still be amazing if I didn't have a baby.  It's not the end of the world for me.  It's interesting the emotions that this month have brought up though.  I just want a child that is right for our family.  That is the over-riding consideration here.


  1. I know exactly what you means when you say "odd moments when a memory is triggered". We turned to adoption as soon as one round of IVF didn't work, we just knew it was the right thing to do and actually now I don't want a baby ...except when those very infrequent moments pop up like when my FB timeline seems to full of nothing else but friends baby scans! But I certainly wouldn't change a thing now.

    1. Hi Sezz. Yes that desire to have a baby is an interesting one. I never craved a baby but I did desire to be a mum. I struggle more with pregnant women than I do with babies interestingly. I think that's because they can experience something that I am unable to more than wanting to be heavily pregnant. Katie often leads play where she wants me to pretend to bottle feed her. I think there is a need in her to have that experience with me. For me that has triggered that desire to have been able to feed her when she was small. I think the desire for a baby stems more from wanting to be her mummy when she was a baby rather than for a baby per say (if that makes any kind of sense LOL). Having the possibility of being a parent to a baby presented to me really made me stop and think about feeling from many years ago now. I wouldn't change a thing now either. I can't imagine my life any other way now. xx

  2. I am adopted and it is always interesting to read how adoptive parents feel as I think your own adoptive parents don't always say in an attempt to protect you I am sure.
    I hope whatever happens it works out for you and Katie.
    Reading your blog makes me realise how very complex it all is. Thank you.
    As an adopted child, I focussed on how it affected me and am only just starting to think properly about the impact on Mum and Dad.

    1. Hi Kate. Sorry it has taken me a few days to reply. Just been busy here of late. Thank you for sharing your thoughts as a person who was adopted. You're right, when you say that parents probably protect their children from some of their thoughts and feelings. I think that is true of all parents to an extent but with adoption in particular there is a feeling of wanting to ensure that your child always feels loved and doesn't look for reasons to feel different or unwanted. It is complex yet we strive to make it as simple as possible for our children - yet I'm not sure that's really possible - what would you say? xx