And then, only about two weeks after approval confirmation, it happened – the call. A possible link. A potential match. A child to make me a mum. My husband a dad. And yep I totally freaked out!
You see, we had been thrown a huge curve ball. We’d actually been approved for siblings. From the outset we were absolutely clear about this. It would be hard with two, but we could do it. The call we got, was for just one. What! Panic! We’d spent the best part of 8 months preparing for two. What were they thinking? Had they not read our report? We couldn’t change our plans now after all this time.
But it all became clear. The circumstances and history of this little one was as good as it could possibly be. That’s all I’m prepared to say I’m afraid. I’ll never say more. I’m a firm believer that it is our children’s story to share as and when – if – they want to. This is one of the reasons I keep myself faceless online. My children are too young to sit down and ask if they are ok with me doing all this. Sharing our story in this way. If I stay faceless, I’m hoping to not only protect their identity, but also their feelings.
Once we were over the initial shock, things seemed to move very quickly. An appointment to come and see us was made for the next day. A child needed a forever home and ours could be the one. We were given basic information in case we decided not to progress, or if the child’s family finding social worker decided we weren’t suitable. Some are faced with being considered alongside other prospective adopters, who may be chosen over them. I hadn’t considered this was even a possibility. I just assumed that once you had a link that was it. After such a long wait and knowing enough to want that child to be yours, it must be a real wrench if you weren’t taken forward. Really hard to deal with. Yet another set back on the rocky road to parenthood through adoption.
What we didn’t initially see, was a photo. The experts try to avoid people being blindsided by cuteness before knowing more about the life history. In theory, it needs to be a head over heart decision. For me, I think you need that initial reaction. That love at first sight moment. I think it’s powerful. It’s what makes you know they are the “one”.
When it was time for our photo reveal, I was so nervous and hid behind my hands unable to look. What if I felt absolutely nothing? No connection, no emotion. But oh boy, I did get that heart stopping, overwhelming feeling of joy. I said to my husband – “they look like you, they have your eyes”. This was the point our lives magnificently changed forever.
The next step was to see full details in the Child’s Adoption Report (CAR). Brace yourself if you have this to come; it can contain some upsetting details. Conversely, there may be big gaps in the child’s history. Either birth parents don’t know details or, they choose not to disclose it. There are often many unknowns. I lost track of the number of times the Medical Advisor said to us – “we can’t be sure of the possible long-term effects of that, but we have to make you aware”.
I don’t want this to sound flippant, but the unknowns never really concerned me. With birth children, you never know what medical conditions they may get. If they’ll suffer with mental health issues. I took the view it’s just part of being a parent and I was confident we would deal with whatever we were faced with. Together.