Saturday, November 11, 2006

One Year Ago Today.... (Part 1 of a Multipart Series)

Maybe the Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about!!

..............I was beside myself with grief as yet another birthday (yet another milestone) had passed with no baby, no news of our baby and no idea when/if there would ever be a baby. I was anxious, scared, embarrassed, grieving and trying desperately to hold onto whatever hope I could find. I would fall apart at the slightest provocation and dissolve into tears if someone as much as looked like they MIGHT ask when we were expecting our referral. The entire landscape of adoption from China changed while we were in process.... all of a sudden mere days worth, rather than the month's worth, of referrals would be sent causing the wait to lengthen inexplicably and for the uncertainty to reach a fever pitch. We were in the thick of it for sure! I have already written at length of how much my different circles of friends helped me get through the wait - so I won't go there again but honestly I am still grateful for all the support I received during the crazy wait.

I had no faith then - last year. No faith that either of the two jurisdictions would actually provide what they promised. I was still so convinced that I was undeserving of that which I most desperately wanted. In spite of the mountain of evidence that a range of people had examined every single aspect of my life as well as DH's and promised us that we would be parents. I still harbored the result of years of bitter disappointment, unfulfilled promises and working towards things that would never be forthcoming. I am still under the impression that I will usually not get what I want.. but every so often the universe throws me a curve ball. Just to see if I am paying attention or something. Oh what a curve ball!

Most of the parents we waited with have put all this behind them and many are embarking on new journeys toward other children. I have put it behind in the sense that I don't dwell on it any longer but I don't think I have made peace with it yet. I do know I don't feel the same angst, obviously I don't have a heck of a lot of time for that these days anyway! I have yet to write the LONG letter I owe the agency for their part in this. I have since come to learn to that there must be a written policy some where that says if a client starts to complain or gets to questioning the service aspect they respond with condescension and imply that the complainer is in fact high strung, inflexible, unable to handle the trip and they throw in, for good measure, the mention of a sick or absent child. Just to prey on a new parent's worst fear. We get all the way to China and something is wrong with the child... can you imagine anyone writing that policy? As if waiting and everything else is a walk in the park and when they are less than forthcoming in information etc. and you react as most people would - they try to make you seem crazy for advocating for yourself! Yea, that letter is most over due.. do know we will not be using that agency again!

We do think we want another child... I am not interested in the uncertainty of waiting for another baby though. I think we will take a chance and try a child. One year ago I wasn't sure we would have one child and now very often I can see 2 or 3 before we hang up this particular towel! LOL. So much has happened in the intervening year that I hardly know how to catalog all the events. I do know I have made so much peace with those things that have plagued me and held back my vision of who I could be. I have been writing quite a bit and I believe I may work up the courage to submit a few things here and there. I also have some small plan for my career that may mean things happening in a good way for a change. Not sure exactly what will happen - but we'll see. We still have a few classes to complete to get certified as foster parents - its been a real exercise in catharsis for me. I don't dwell on the fact that I was a foster child once upon a time - but I was and it gives me a perspective that most of the people in our class do not have. I don't talk about it all that much in class - so far only once. I don't purport to have all the answers but I know what would not have worked well enough. I also know that the shame of appearing on some one's doorstep is not something erased over night or, honestly, ever. It has been good though for me to be there and in some measure for my DH (child of privilege though he be) to hear what foster care really is and, perhaps even more important, what it is not. Our foster child(ren) - when he/she/they get here - will have some comfort in knowing that I understand all too well how it feels and that I am more than willing to do whatever it will take to advocate for him/her. They may be too young to know what that all means, but I think they will feel it and I will do my best to be some comfort.

In the meantime - and just to add to the craziness - we are seriously considering a waiting child. I have made some inquiries about her medical situation and I am waiting for more information before we complete the petition but I can't get her little face out of my heart and although I have some concerns about my ability to deal with her medicals.. there is something about her that is so sweet it just tugs at me. Of course I have also decided that there is practically NO child I can not love. I just love children and there is no end to it. I don't think I ever saw myself as one of those earth mother types who has a house full of children etc. but sometimes I feel like whatever we can do either domestically or internationally for children is still not quite enough. 1 child or 10 I would try to be a good mom deserving of the children.

1 comment:

Sue G said...

Hi it's Susan your Stony Brook friend. Sorry to not have caught up with you.
I empathize with you totally!
Let's talk soon,

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