Sunday, November 04, 2012

Who is this What Am I person?

So people might have a clue who I am and what this is about. Mysterious title. Not helped by non-matching blog name. I haven't tagged posts, so this seems a quicker way to get the whole story over. I've noticed a few new readers recently, probably because I hang out virtually with more adoptive parents these days.

In 2004 I married the (at the time) Bloke. He became Spouse (as I did not want a husband, I wanted a wife, but he wasn't willing to oblige on that one). He tried Mrs Spouse but as I pointed out I was Dr Spouse to you. So there you go.

In 2004 I also got pregnant for the first time. In early 2005 I miscarried for the first time at about 9 weeks, a missed miscarriage for which I had medical management. A friend recommended writing about things to get my head round it. I assumed I'd get pregnant again quickly, but a long wait and a trip to an odd psychologist (rich coming from me I know) led to me not being able to work out if I was infertile, secondarily infertile, or a miscarrier. Hence "What Am I" as a blog title, which is no longer very helpful.

A few investigations and ultimately a fairly average, for our ages, conception rate led to the conclusion that we were the last one. Recurrent miscarriers. (and my posts show I had another chemical pregnancy/early miscarriage, maybe two, in there somewhere that I can't find a specific post about).

In between this, just to confuse matters, we have also been investigating UK domestic (foster care) adoption, started on the route to fostering, then investigated US domestic adoption (first thinking perhaps while we were actually living in the US but then how it would work if we were living here - UK), and finally swerved back to UK adoption before settling on US infant adoption.

If you live in the UK and want to adopt from another country, you first have a home study in the UK as all adopters do, and it's pretty much identical, and then you go to an approval panel ditto.

Then you spend ages preparing your dossier (official sounding word that many countries use) or, in our case, just plain old paperwork to go overseas, then the government sits on it for quite some time, and eventually it gets there. If you (like about 0.00000000001 other couples) are choosing to adopt from the US, you also prepare a profile to show how lovely you are and that you'd make good parents for a baby whose birth parents have come to realise they cannot parent it.

And then you wait. Looking back, though waiting is hard, I think it was more frustrating when we were in between bits of paperwork. At that point, someone should be doing their job, and perhaps some of the not-adoption-professionals haven't replied to messages, but basically if your social worker had a lighter case load, your government clerk pulled their finger out, you could get approved/dossier completed more quickly. But unless you have a really inefficient agency or social worker, it is down to the number of children that need adopting and which ones you could parent.

So then eventually you get a potential match, and you have to try not to get too excited, and then finally - surprise! there's a baby! (OK it was not a surprise that he was born, but that he was early!). And huge relief, his birth mother has terminated her rights, and after some more paperwork shenanigans, you can take him home.

And that's where we are, with added growth, milestones, and worry about whether his poor early start will affect him later, I guess.

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