Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Lucky? Saved?

Myth: People adopt to “save a child.”
I have a personal hate in all this adoption malarkey. The amounts of time we have been told 'what a lucky boy boy-o is'. He isn't lucky, and we haven't saved him!

He isn't lucky, if he was lucky he would have been born to a birth mother who was able to care and love him. If he was lucky, he would be with his birth family, getting to know them, getting to understand their ways. If he was lucky he wouldn't have been removed at birth.

We are not saving him, we haven't rescued him. He was happy in his life in foster care; and I know enough about his foster carers that they would have altered the type of fostering they were doing and would have kept him as a long term foster child if adoptive parents hadn't been found for him. He would have been loved and looked after, even if we hadn't adopted him.

We did not rescue him, decisions were taken about him before he was ever born by a large number of people, not including us. And those decisions were not taken lightly. No-one thinks that removing children from their birth families is actually the best thing. Adoption is never plan A for a looked after child - that's why there are so many damaged children in the care system.

We came to adoption after much heart ache and sorry and grieving. It is (as I've said before) the right thing for us. We didn't do it to save a child, we did it to complete our family. We did do it to have a child - we haven't saved him, he has saved us. He is not lucky, we are, to have such an amazing person enter our lives.

It's National Infertility Awareness Week (in the USA). Resolve have challenged bloggers to bust myths about infertility. There were many I could have chosen about infertility - but I wanted to talk about adoption - and my little pet peeve.

I possibly need to restate what I've said before - adoption is different in the UK. He wasn't given up as a baby, he was removed by social workers, and that decision was made by a whole team of people, who looked at his birth mother, her circumstances and how she had managed previously with her other children. The closest thing to compare with is foster to adopt, however, we although he is technically a looked after child still, we are not fostering him, there is no chance that he will return to his birth family. In about 4/5 months time we will go to court and have it officially confirmed, that he is our child.

For more information about infertility and it's effects - click here
For more information about National Infertility Awareness Week - click here

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

I'm sitting here reflecting on the last six weeks, in actual fact the last eight weeks. I'm writing this as boy-o is sitting eating his lunch. I've given him lots of finger food today - cucumber and carrot sticks, chicken bits, bread sticks, grapes and apple. He seems to be eating most of it, although the carrot isn't going down very well - that's because he's lazy!

I started a post two weeks ago, when he turned two and 1 month... just to list his amazing accomplishments - sadly I didn't manage to finish it. He has developed lots since we have known him. He's gone from having about 20 words to having nearer 50. Yesterday he told the dog to 'sit' - or near enough that we knew what he meant. He also has developed some two word sentences - we quite often get told to 'sit ere' with appropriate pointing. Some of his pronunciation needs to catch up with what he thinks he can do, but he knows how to communicate what he wants clearly enough.

His walking has come on dramatically. When he first came home he was unsteady; but because we like to walk, and we've only got him (not plus another toddler and a baby), he has been walking with us. We take Pepper dog for a walk most days, and although he can't manage the whole walk, and rides on his Daddy's shoulders for some of it, he is walking more and more.

The night terrors are no longer a nightly occurrence. We've had some nights where he has slept all the way through without a wake up, and some nights when he's just been a little disturbed. He does still wake up screaming and shaking some nights, but usually when we have done something different. M and I discuss who is going to go to him when he wakes about 10ish, because we both love sitting and holding him, and comforting him. We never dreamt that the chair that we put in his room would get the use that it is.

He knows that we are Mummy and Daddy. He looks to us for comfort and security. He is happy to be with people that he is starting to get to know, but will still look back and check where we are. When entering a room with people that he doesn't know - he likes to be held by one of us, or alternatively will hide behind our legs.

He has had some proper two year old tantrums. 'I want to do this, but you won't let me'. Unfortunately for us, his cry is no different to any other time. We stick to our guns, no you can't have that, but generally I will sit and cuddle him, and comfort him. 'I know you are cross because we won't let you do... but we can't because...' or 'I'm sorry that you feel so cross and sad about...'. Empathy, empathy, empathy - for everything in this house.

We continue to make mistakes, back up, have a think and re-evaluate. M and I were saying only yesterday that we still have time to sort these problems out. The last eight weeks has been unbelievable hard on all of us, but M and I expected that. It's also brought us more joy and delight than we can possibly explain.

Does it take the pain of IF away? How can it, those lessons are deeply ingrained on my heart. But my heart is big and growing each day - I can be happy and sad. I can still feel the pain and regret that there are things I will never experience, see and have. But the process of getting to know boy-o isn't second best, it isn't a replacement, it's just a joy and a delight of it's very own. I know that we made the right decision for us - stopping treatments, before we were permanently broken and pursuing adoption. I know that boy-o is the child that was destined for us; we are so incredibly lucky and blessed - and I shall forever have that blessing.