Hand-stitched dad and I have a lot of big emotions around adopting.
- Excitement for working even more closely together as parents.
- Anticipation over who might join our family.
- Frustration that so much is in the hands of other people.
- Fear that we might be deemed ‘not good enough’ to be adoptive parents.
- Anger at people for withholding or limiting support for adopted children.
- Empathy for birth parents who struggle with the chaos of their lives.
- Sadness over our shared losses: the children, their birth parents and us.
- Admiration for the remarkable people who find security despite traumatic experiences.
- Hope that we can be a family that belongs somewhere, together.
Amidst all these emotions (and more) are important details and decisions. So, I started a Blue Notebook as a communication record, filled with dates, names, phone numbers, and notes of conversations and meetings related to the adoption process.
As I told the social workers: unlike many people beginning this journey, we are not in a hurry. Adoption thrives on preparation. After spending the last few years in books, blogs and forums, we are starting to branch out into telephone calls, meetings, and visits. Once we apply to an agency, we will join a preparation group and meet other prospective adopters. We will have home study visits with a social worker (or two), who simultaneously educates and evaluates us. Then, when we all agree we are ready, we go to panel to be approved (or rejected) as adoptive parents.
I genuinely hope this takes time. I want time to build my confidence as a therapeutic parent. I want time to make decisions about what sort of children hand-stitched dad and I are best suited for. I want time to build new relationships with experienced adopters, with our chosen agency, and with other new families. We need time to manage all of the big emotions that are stirred up in this process.