Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A trying week

I poured some Pepto Bismol down my throat and gussied up a bit to attend my agency Christmas party. It was a tame affair but a couple of male friends commented on my fabulous looks (always nice),I had fun, managed a couple glasses of wine, saw plenty of friends, and I stayed away from the buffet table. A first for me, I might add, but I had eaten before I left.

The stomach thing is still going on, though I have upped the dosage as I had gone back to the clinic to tell them it wasn't working. But I was told to stop taking iron citrate and Pepto bismol to see if my BMs would return to their usual colour. (Sorry, that was gross. But hey, if you've had your ovaries pierced with a needle through your hooha, you can take it.) And they haven't to date. Sigh. And I have a cold now. So if I have any more problem, I'm just going around the corner to a walk in clinic and tell them to give me a test for ulcers. A friend of my husband's had his ulcer overlooked and he ended up in emergency surgery.

Oh, yeah, and we had our final homestudy visit. Well, it went a little sideways at one point. Our conversation seemed loaded with landmines, so to speak. She asked me what sex of baby I would like. I said a girl, I'd love a girl. I'm a girl, I'm familiar with the parts, I was raised with sisters. Then she said did I realize that was decreasing my chances. I was asked if I had a preference, I told her. I didn't realize I was supposed to give the PC answer of oh, it doesn't matter to me. I mean, that doesn't mean that I don't want a little boy, but how much of that is in my control anyway? If I meet a birth mother and she doesn't know what the sex is (and these days, the doctor won't even tell you), and we decided to go ahead with it, I'm not going to change my mind because it's a boy. You know, when you start over explaining yourself, you're in trouble.

Then we discussed openness and full disclosure and all that. Hubby commented that if he didn't get a good feeling from meeting the birth mother/parents, he wouldn't be adverse to not going ahead with it. He did not want to knowingly deal with an unstable/addicted birthparent because the child would suffer the consequences. She called him intolerable of people being different. Uh-oh. She took the cause of the poor, downtrodden birth parents vs. the so called privileged adoptive parents. She envisioned us going through dozens of birthmothers turning them down because they were "different". We're a mixed couple for crying out loud. I tried to explain that though it may seem he was intolerant, it was coming from his protective nature. He wants to safeguard his family from unstable influences as much as he can. And I, being known for my compassionate bent, was there as the equalizing force. She said she wasn't sure how to write down what he said, so I just told her, write this, we are open and flexible in meeting any birth parents with direct and honest communication. I told her we weren't willing to sugarcoat our answers, this is who we were. While she seemed to side with "disadvantaged" side, she seemed incapable of understanding how adoptive parents can feel. We are not in control of a whole hell of a lot. First of all, it's already established we're not in control of our fertility. We've devoted considerable time and effort to begin adoption. We're not in control of when or whether we'll be picked to be adoptive parents. We're not in control of who will pick us or what they think of us. We're not in control of the health of the child. The birthmother can lie or withhold her involvement with drugs and alcohol if she choose to. And when asked whether I would consider a special needs child, I said no. We've got enough to contend with, thank you very much without asking for more challenges. So if we meet birth parents and things don't go well, that's a big "if", then we reserve to the right to determine if we can move forward with no regrets. We wrapped things up, shook hands and went on our way and she also let us know that there would be SEVEN post placement visits. Ohmigod.

Now speaking about big "if", hubby asked me how I was feeling about whether I could do what I wanted and remain married. He was referencing a comment I made a few weeks ago. I didn't have a definitive answer as I just don't know how I'm going to feel in a few months. I told him my intention was to remain married to him, but I can only account for 1/2 of the team. Which is why I asked him whether his continued pot smoking was helping our relationship. It's his way of relaxing, but it's also his way of checking out. And we've both done way too much of that in the past.


abogada said...

You know, what you describe is exactly why I was scared off of adopting. We went with donor eggs instead, and honestly, I will take the needles, the blood draws, the meds, and every other yucky thing that goes along with it over having to deal with a social worker. I would love to adopt a two year old rather than starting over, but I just can't envision dealing with the social workers.

I don't think that anything is wrong with telling her that you preferred a girl. So what? So did I. So did my husband. We would have loved a boy, but we preferred a girl. That's what we told the ultrasound technician, and I don't think that she judged us.

I've also said that I don't want a child with special needs. It takes an extraordinary person to manage that well. Would I have learned to be extraordinary if my daughter was impaired in some way? Of course, or at least I would have tried very hard. But I wouldn't have been happy about it. I don't think anyone is happy about it.

And that's the honest truth. I guess it is more PC to not say anything. But I really don't want to live in a PC world.

loribeth said...

Your post reinforced my own feelings about why I was reluctant to adopt. I think it's great that you were being honest instead of delivering the standard, PC answers they seem to want to hear from you.

Sorry you are not feeling well. :( I agree with the other comments in the previous post, it is very likely stress-related. You definitely have enough on your plate at the moment. Take care of yourself!!

Pamela T. said...

I had to read this home study visit post aloud to my dh as I couldn't believe the bias against adoptive parents -- and the system that constantly invades their privacy, judges their life choices and scrutinizes their answers with impunity. I can't tell you how many birth parents who would have failed miserably during this examination.

You captured the lack of control aspect perfectly. We are but dandelion seeds being blown to and fro.