Well yesterday was the final day of our "legal" adoption journey. Child 4 case went before the judge and he agreed to the adoption order. This means that we are legally his parents, we don't have to let social workers know what is happening, is he sleeping, eating and healthy. We don't need to speak about behaviour or settling in. We can sort out a passport. His surname is now ours so I can change it at the doctors, the nursery and the dentist. To all intents and purposes he is baby number 4.
Of course emotionally it won't be quite the same, he has two birth parents and all the family that goes with them, as well as the family he now belongs to. His history is different to his older siblings, when school ask for baby pictures or life stories so far his isn't going to be the same as the other children in his class. He will have to deal with these differences and we will have to help and support him. He is bound to have questions, lots of questions, he is likely to be angry and saddened by his history but none of that will change how much we love him.
The joy that he has already brought us will carry us through some of those potential hard times ahead. When I took the call from the social worker to confirm that the order had sailed through, my heart swelled and I wept tears of joy. Then I phoned to let his daddy know and then his brother and his sisters, Randad and his nanna, his aunts, great aunts and uncles, then all our close friends. I am sure that everyone went on to share the news, joyful news like that of new babies spreads like wild fire, everyone wanting to be part of it, to touch it, to share that moment of happiness. Real joy that costs nothing except in this case two people sit wondering where and how it all went wrong. Their joy of a baby boy was snatched away only a few weeks after he was born. Yes I know many will say that it was deserved, after all they proved to be unable to look after their baby and it was in his best interest to be found a new home with people could give him everything he needed. We met this couple and I saw just a young couple, immature and irresponsible. A girl who had had a tragedy of her own as she hit her teenage years, many years of loneliness and a desperate need to be loved. All these led to her marrying a boy who really cannot provide her with the love and support she needs. A boy who has never learnt to take responsibility for his actions and quite likely never will. He, I think will always pass the blame for his actions elsewhere. " I have a bad temper, I suffered ADHD as a child, the world is against me" Somewhere our society let them down, whether it be parents, school or the community, their nature would have been the foundation of their behaviours but the nurture they did or did not receive will have exacerbated their situations. My empathy lies with child 4's birth mum her circumstances help explain why she is unable to take care of a child, not so sure I have that same empathy for birth dad though. Regardless, these two fought to keep their baby they just couldn't or maybe wouldn't change their behaviours and lives for him and so they lost him. I know that I will never know how that feels or how I would get through the coming days if our lives were reversed.