Saturday, September 19, 2009

So, really, what do I want?

Because it is really me - Mr Spouse is happy with whatever I decide.

The adoption course was good - about half of it was, anyway. Some of it was the same as the fostering course, some rather basic and pointless (and at points, wrong) stuff on child development, but some I felt gave us the confidence (if not all the skills, mainly because you can only learn so much without doing) to deal with children with difficult backgrounds. We also, happily, talked about contact quite a bit - we are, of course, on the extreme end of the spectrum, for the UK at least - our end being "family holidays if we can manage it", the other end being "over my dead body". We are not quite at "together for every significant moment plus sleepovers", which I know some US open adopters are. But that would be unlikely given geographics, anyway.

In the last couple of weeks we found out a career-related piece of information about Mr Spouse, which is good, helpful, and makes adopting now a good idea - but makes going to the US for a protracted period less possible. He feels more geared up about what he is doing, and I'm really pleased about that. It is all good - it just means that we will probably have to do the UK process first whatever we decide.

Mr Spouse would be happy to be the parent of preschooler(s) first (or verging on, at least UK, school age). We have spoken, and will speak again, however about how likely it is that we'd be chosen for a younger child or a sibling group with a younger child. I do not feel that I have to have each of my children from birth, or even from babyhood. I just feel that I want the experience of parenting a baby. Not even necessarily a newborn (I do like my sleep and, though I know older children don't sleep either, it shortens the sleep deprivation period if they are a year older). A newborn would be lovely, but a 1-year-old from the UK would be, er, well, free.

Matching times might be similar (our agency would not let us go through with it if there was NO chance of matching, but we might wait a lot longer fora 1-year-old in the UK, even in a sibling group, than for a newborn in the US), but there's an additional admin step before sorting out the US end. So on time, we have little to choose between them. We're looking at parenthood within 2 years, definitely not within 1, if we're lucky between those two.

So the question is really, if the agency doesn't think there is much chance of matching us with a baby in the UK, how important is that period to me? And, despite my feeling more confident about parenting an older child who's been through a lot (which, obviously, we'd need to do if we took on siblings), I'm not sure I want to give that up.

(Can I just add: feel free to comment, would love you to, but PLEASE for my sanity do not gush about how lovely it is to parent your genetic child as a baby? thx).


Caro said...

Oh wow! It's never easy is it. No advice, just know I'm thinking of you.

Perceval said...

All I can say is that the actual experience will depend very much on the child. Babies are very portable, while toddlers can be more independent. Both blossom every day, and can be a joy to watch.

Country Chick said...

Hi. Ages since I've been here, but also as I have pretty much stopped posting I thought it might be worth commenting. Re really wanting to parent an infant - I can fully understand, but believe me, 17 months after having taken on a just-15 month old, I can hardly believe we had him when he was so little. I see 14/15 month old children now, and they are so young still. I've really struggled with the feeling that I missed his early life, but the fact is that I can't change that, he has formed a fantastically strong attachment with us, and we are just SO SO SO happy to have him. You will love your child(ren) to pieces - try not to focus too much on their age. Their background and personality will be much more important.