Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Homestudy Blues

Teendoc reminds me that when we do finally adopt, the child really will be ours. Then why does all the stuff the adoption agency makes you read make me feel like I would be sharing a child? My fear is that basically I have to deal with all the hard work, responsibility, and maintain communication between the birth mother and her/my child, and she gets to visit whenever she wants. Am I just being paranoid? Is this the trade-off for being there for the first smile, the first steps, the first "Mummy". Do I call the birth mother every time the kid has a fever? Oh, man, maybe I'm just making myself unnecessarily crazy over something that hasn't even happened yet. I do have a tendency to try and cover all the angles so that I can be "prepared".

Then I was reading about post placements with international adoptions. Well, that was fucking cheery. That article basically had every freaking nightmare included. Hidden medical problems, psychotic behaviour due to previous abuse, families being torn apart. Lovely.

Then when I think I'm being heartless, how I would I feel if I were in the birth mother's shoes? I feel like I'm doing something wrong - why am I taking another woman's child? I keep telling myself that it's not my feelings that are important, it's the child's. He/she needs to know where they came from and who they are. Oi, my head hurts.

I often wonder how my life will change when I walk through the doors with a wee one. I mean, I'm practically allergic to early mornings. Having my sleep interrupted? I'm a bear. Even my dog sleeps in. My husband doesn't dare wake me when he gets ready for work. What about my mum? I visit with her 3 times a week and take her out shopping or browsing up and down the street. Not to mention my Buddhist meetings. My husband often travels for work. Can I manage it all? Mind you, if I had become pregnant, I'd still be left with these same questions. And people do this every day. Right?

Adoption is not a cure for infertility. Most people think, oh, you can't have kids, just adopt and your problem is solved. I was reading Teendoc's post today and she mentioned that sometimes she still feels a little pang of envy when she sees a pregnant woman even though she loves being a mom to her little girl. I confess, too, that I feel the same way.

This whole homestudy thing just brings up those feelings of inadequacy. I have to sit and answer questions about my life and habits, to be judged worthy or not by this stranger scribbing away. I want to scream, hey, I'm a real fucking person, I'm not perfect, I have bad hair days, I don't believe in violence, war or wearing white after Labour Day (oh, did i say labour? Sorry). I pick up my dog's shit, how bad can changing a diaper be? I promise not to leave the kid on top of my car!



JJ said...

You are so right...adoption doesn't cure infertility....very honest statement. I just know you will love your wee one SO very much when the time comes=)

dmarie said...

Our pets have been trained to sleep in It's crazy that infertility gives you the time to try and talk yourself out of parenting.

I have the same fears/worries about adoption.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

There is that Resolve motto: children resolve childlessness but they don't resolve infertility.

It's a difficult process--adoption--because there are big feelings involved. And I guess some of it is just trusting that it will all be okay in the end and taking a deep breath and diving into all of that information.

Teendoc said...

If I might be so presumptious, I think you are thinking of open adoption like joint custody. I know that this was something I worried a lot about during the process. But the fact of the matter is that you are the parent, not because you are the one changing the diapers, but because you are!

Firstparents are other people who love the child, but not people who are to usurp your parental role. Josie, our firstmother, held and played with Little Girl during her visit, but no more so than anyone else who visits with her does. When she started to fuss, she handed her back to me saying, "here's mommy!" We have managed to achieve clarity in our roles.

It feels like a tricky relationship, and it can be. But Josie, Mason and I are working it through together. At the end of the visit (I didn't put this in my blog because I don't believe I have the right to put her business out there without her permission) she said to me, "I wasn't sure how I was going to feel with today's visit. But it was OK. I feel as though I am visiting a dear friend or relative who had a baby and I am happy for them. I feel really OK."

It can and does work. Yet your feelings are valid and I shared them before I met Josie. In truth, even before this visit, there was a small part of me that worried that Josie and her boyfriend were going to club me over the head and steal Little Girl. Then I remembered who the Josie was that I had come to know and realized that she would slit her own throat before doing something so horrible to us. Josie has something important: honor. She is a special young woman. I'd truly adopt her as well if I could.

Keep venting and sharing your feelings. Visit some adoption boards, as you will find others struggling with similar feelings.

And yes, I still feel "less than" for not being able to get pregnant. But I wouldn't trade Zizi for all the pregnancies in the world.

Deathstar said...

Thank you for your encouraging words, that means a lot to me.

Schatzi said...

Feeling ya. I thought once we decided to even consider adoption... it would be smooth sailing from there *snort*. I know why the adoption process is so invasive... but I still resent the questions and hoops I would have to jump through.