These days I find myself dropping the word ‘adoption’ into every other sentence I utter. Every other thought is about adoption and I’m constantly seeing the world through Potential Adopter’s Eyes. (I’m sure this must be some kind of syndrome, though I haven’t yet got round to Googling it for confirmation…) I find myself noticing and comparing the price of baby wipes. I’m strangely drawn to the baby clothes section at the supermarket even when I’ve only dashed in to buy some (desperately needed) toilet paper! James isn’t far behind – the other day he emailed me a link to ’57 Baby Money Saving Tricks’. It’s clear that we’re both looking very much ahead. Perhaps too far ahead, but I for one can’t help it.
Earlier this week we had a visit from a very good friend of ours, Bernice. Within minutes of her arrival, conversation had turned to and was dominated by adoption. In an attempt to not kill her off with boredom I made conscious efforts to change the subject, apologising for the relentless adoption talk. Bernice, who has a 2-year-old (James’ Goddaughter) assured me that adoption was far more interesting than the good-old-fashioned method of actually conceiving, carrying and giving birth to a child! And that’s the really interesting thing – lots of people I encounter have so many questions about adoption and want to know the ins and out. At the weekend I went to a birthday BBQ of a good friend and as you can probably imagine the subject came up once again. Now this was different to the one to one I’d had with Bernice. This time I had an audience of 15 or so people wanting to know all the details. I was in my element – in my head I was hosting my own little talk show, a cross between the preachy empowerment of Oprah and the raucous shenanigans of Jerry Springer (remember him?!)! On a serious note though, people meet the news with a lot of encouragement and positivity. Adoption isn’t a topic that comes up for most people in their day to day lives. People are intrigued by the process and generally look at you with a warm admiration. They believe that you’re doing a ‘good deed’, which adoption definitely is, but I’m also quick to add that our motives aren’t purely selfless. James and I want the opportunity to parent and feel a child will be a tremendous gift.
Now, some of you may remember James’ reference to my slightly obsessive nature in one of his earlier posts. In a bid to read anything and everything I can on adoption and what lies ahead, I recently joined the local library. I know what you’re thinking: how retro of me! In this internet and Google dominated day and age, we often forget about those archaic buildings that house rows upon rows of dusty, abandoned publications… Well, to my surprise my local library is in fact a bustling hub of activity (though most people were sat at the numerous computers available). I quickly found the selection of books you can see in the picture above and set upon the task of studying for what is probably going to be the biggest ‘test’ of my life. I’m so keen to devour anything adoption related in a bid to arm myself with as much info and preparation as possible. Of course, as part of our approval process, there are a number of books we’ll be encouraged to read but I thought I’d get a head start. It really has been fascinating and enjoyable reading. Though at times I’ve been left feeling daunted and overwhelmed by just how uncertain the adoption world is. The potentially long process, the emotional and psychological damage our future child might have, the possibility of being turned down along the way. All these things are spelt out in black and white.
Forums are another way in which I get to feed my insatiable obsession. There are 2 particular websites that have forums that I frequent: New Family Social and Adoption UK. On average I’m logging on about 3 or 4 times a day, keen to hear/read firsthand how other people are experiencing the process. It’s reassuring to see others posting similar questions and fears to mine. But it is also fantastic to read when someone has recently been approved, or even better still, matched with a child!
James and I are still only very near the beginning of our journey and already adoption has consumed me in a way that I wasn’t really expecting. Between the books, the forums and fantasy talk shows there just isn’t room for much else in my head. To all our friends and family that we’ll be encountering over the next few months, I apologise in advance – adoption will more than likely creep into (dominate) conversation. But perhaps we’re not all that different to all ‘expectant’ parents. Our world will dramatically change soon and we want to bring you all along for the ride!