Thursday, June 02, 2011
Not For the Likes of Us
I have heard this, not in those precise words, but almost, from other people about adoption, on a number of occasions since we announced we were thinking of adoption. Usually it is from people who actually don't need to make the decision: they have birth children, or they are trying to build a family but have not yet exhausted other avenues, or they may have children in the future but they are not particularly driven to do so.
Usually the reasons given are one of a) you're really brave, b) I don't think I could love an adopted child as much, or c) the process sounds too hard and I doubt we'd get approved/chosen.
Frankly I resent the implication that we are special, unique, or in some way gifted. I don't feel brave - I mainly feel scared - that we won't be chosen, yes, but also scared of being a mum, and scared that we won't do the right things for our child, and that I won't have any semblance of my old life - but that is fear of really major changes such as having a child that is so disabled I won't be able to work - not of missing a Saturday lie-in. I feel these are the kind of fears all prospective parents should have, but they aren't forced to think about parenthood as much as we have been. I do also feel broke, of course!
And although we don't have living birth children to compare, perhaps the ones we don't have would have been perfect. Perhaps we'll have more than one child and, like other thinking parents, we'll worry we'll love one more than the other.
And to be honest if we - medical problems, age and all, and in a fairly traditional part of the country, and very indecisive too, can be approved, I can't think anyone who doesn't actually have a criminal record or is imminently about to divorce or can't be bothered to spend some time with children, wouldn't be approved to adopt - possibly not everyone will find the first agency they approach is the one for them, it is true.
So there just remains matching. And I'm currently torn between "hurry up" and "I have too much to get done!"
Oh yeah, and the being broke bit.