Or perhaps I've just got more shallow?
I was chatting the other day to lovely friend J, who I've known since university, and who is the single mother of a 9-year-old (er, I think), an "accident" on the mini-pill, and who she didn't know she was pregnant with until about 20w. But I digress.
She was asking how the niece(s) were and I realised that I have more or less managed to stay out of the whole palaver recently. Both my mother and my brother are behaving like drama queens, but I am happy to leave them to it. I have come to the conclusion that it upsets me much less when my nieces are sitting all day in the house my brother's building, watching DVDs, and not going to school, than it did when the younger one didn't see her dad for 3 months and her mum for 6 weeks, and they were planning that the older one wouldn't have seen her mum for 3 months (they were about 15 months and 3 at this time); the older one was faced with a maximum of 24h with her mum in the middle of that time and was begging with her mum to come and see her for longer.
I'm not entirely sure whether this is because it is intrinsically more upsetting to see the girls tiny and missing their parents than to see them older and stagnating at home (they are now 3 1/2 and nearly-6 - in theory they are being home schooled but my brother does nothing with them that could constitute schooling - his philosophy is that they'll ask for the education they need, but he doesn't exactly encourage them either), or if it's because it feels more likely we'll have kids so I am less invested in the girls. Or perhaps it is that, even if we do end up with children who have experienced some difficulties before they come to us (whether that's before birth, or with their birth parents) I'm pretty sure we're going to be giving them educational advantages that my nieces will not be getting.
I am already a competitive parent, and I don't even have any children yet.
(no news from the DCFS or on the adoption preparation course, but it's likely to be next month, though if I haven't said so already, we are OK to go ahead with the process without hearing from DCFS first).