Monday, November 06, 2006

Rowing

Last week, we attended the first of many meetings for foster care. It was the orientation meeting with the agency I selected. Being in this field already, I have a lot of knowledge and connections. I have worked with most, if not all, of the licensing agencies in my district, so I was able to rely on my own experiences when picking one for us.

This meeting was a taste of what is to come. There weren't many people there, and it was fairly obvious the ones that were did not have a lot of background information about the system. Which is why the agencies have these orientations!
For me, it was quite painful. My knowledge is also a hinderance, because I was bored to death. And sure enough, the woman running the show was someone I know, so she would ask me questions throughout the orientation! I tried to be as quiet as possible, because no one likes a know-it-all, but she kept asking me questions!!!

It was interesting to see how much second hand knowledge my husband has also picked-up on. He even commented on it as we were leaving that he surprised himself with how much he already knew. And I thought he never listened!

Classes start in January, which gives us plenty of time to move and get all that in order. There are 11 classes, 1 per week. And then there's the paperwork. Oodles of it. We need fingerprints, background checks, relative info, pay stubs, bank account info, mortgage info, dog vaccine info, full physicals, references, and the list goes on and on. We'll be meeting with a licensing worker to go over it all soon.

At the end of the meeting, they asked if anyone had questions. Yep, you guessed it, they were all directed at me. I have a feeling this is likely to happen during training classes as well.

Lots of mixed emotions. I am happy to get started, and sad that holds a form of resignation to having a biological child. I worry my own adoption luggage will be hard to keep in the closet, and I don't want to pass it along to any child. I wonder how I will approach the discussion of adoption, and how it will be taken. In many ways, adopting an older child alleviates some of this because they already know. You will have to fill in some details, but the big whammy is already in the open.
I wonder if our child will get ADHD or Bi-Polar disorder since so many of the children I work with have these diagnosis. I worry about how I will address this.

There is just so much that you think you can control if it's your biological child, that you risk if it's not. But when I really think about it, there are no major differences. It's all a crap shoot. Like why one woman can get pregnant and another can't. Why some miscarry and others don't. Why IF goes unexplained. Why physical abnormalities occur without reason.

I suppose the point is I am scared. With all that I already know about what we're about to do, there are so many things I don't. My husband is looking to me for direction and information, and I am looking within myself for peace and understanding. I feel a lot of pressure.
There's the 'too soon' argument, that we should slow down until I am comfortable with this direction we're forced to be going, but I don't think that's the answer. I don't know if I will ever be ok with not being able to have a biological child. If I will ever get rid of my own emotional baggage about adoption. If I will ever stop worrying, thinking, freaking myself out over the possibilities.

So here we go! Grab a paddle and get going since you're stuck in the boat, anyway.

11 comments:

chloe said...

I often wonder if the pain of infertility (i.e not having a bio kid) will subside once we get our referral. From what everyone has told me, yes, it does.

serenity said...

I definitely think that knowledge can sometimes be a hindrance, especially when it comes to something like fostering or adopting. But the good news is that you're going into it with open eyes, and that's got to count for something.

I personally think that when you make the decision to adopt, you have to let yourself grieve for letting go of the idea of having biological children.

It's a process, Steph - and it's totally ok that you aren't comfortable with everything right now. It's not an easy or simple decision to make.

And I like to think, as chloe recently posted, that the minute they hand me my child - either adopted or birthed- all the fear & uncertainty will melt away.

In the meantime, we're here while you work through things. :)

Bea said...

Well, I agree with the others. I wouldn't expect you to be without these fears at this stage - and you're right, perhaps it never goes away completely, but reaching your goal helps a lot (from what they tell me).

In any case, as you say, you're in the boat now, you might as well start paddling. After all the distance you've come so far, I'm confident you can row yourself proud.

Bea

sube said...

What an honest, moving post. I can only imagine how scary it must feel. Don't be too hard on yourself. Like Serenity said, it's a process ...

wzgirl said...

Oh, GOD - 11 classes? That is crazy, girl. i am sure that I would be feeling the same sorts of things that you are. Cute that your husband "knew" the questions/issues by proxy. Yes. He listened.

Hang in there, you. I think that it takes a whole lot of guts to admit that you have "adoption" issues. The whole "second choice" thing. Guts, ok? Honestly. Not the questions that you thought you'd ask...but very, very good questions to ask. To ponder. Be true to yourself. That will be the best thing for you and for your family.

It is a process. Remember that. OK? XOXO

lola said...

Sometimes I feel the same way about entering yet another IVF cycle - that I know too much for my own good. But in a process such as fostering or adoption I think that it's great that you have a head start - imagine how much info the other people had to take in? Overwhelming! I hope that all of the paperwork and the whole process is not too bad!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Steph,

call me when you can.

Love,

Bio-Pa

OHN said...

I have adopted and had bio---I can honestly tell you I adore all of them. (Except the one that is currently being a complete teenaged know-it-all a**hole-but I still love him too :)--

Sometime I would like to get your opinion about being an adult adoptee. Our son will be 18 this week and wonder if he will go looking-or even want to. I would be interested in your experience.

NikkiNix said...

I'm bringing up the rear and I have my life vest one - AND an emergency kit (chocolate, bon bons, an imaginary vacation to Fiji) so I'm in for good babe ... you can do this.

NikkiNix said...

God I envy your strength. It really is all a crap shoot but kudos to you for taking the bull by the horns girl!

Your sis,
~Nix