Adoption, some say fantastic, some say why, some say don't! All the adopters or would be adopters, that is people in the system preparing for adoption, that I have met have a story to tell about someone who makes their lives difficult, complicated or down right miserable. It's quite incredible to think that in every family or friendship group that these adopters have, there is someone who seems to make it their mission to just interfere, talk about the reasons why adoption shouldn't happen as if they have some great understanding of how the process works or how adopting a child will have a negative impact on family life, when they have not attended a single class or read a single book about it.
We have met single parents and couples who are admired for adopting "you are so brave" " well done I couldn't do it" these adopters feel frustrated and angry after all often the reason that they have chosen adoption is purely selfish - it's the only way they can have a child! This is not to say that they aren't brave or that they don't deserve our admiration, just that actually we should congratulate them on the arrival of their new child and then support them when they need it. Then there are those who have with difficulty or IVF had a baby but then decide that to adopt their second baby is a better choice for them, they have to deal with people questioning why they would adopt when they have a child - for some, one isn't enough, for me I've kept going until we have four. Some have family members worrying about the fact that there are no blood ties, that we don't know the histories of the children we bring into our homes, that think that because the adoptive mother hasn't actually given birth, that the relationship is different. Then there are families like ours where some just don't get it, they worry about the impact adding another will have on the other children.
As adopters we complete courses, one to one sessions with social workers, we read all the books on the extensive reading list, by the time you have completed the course and managed to get through panel you are as ready as you can be! Your knowledge of adoption and it's ramifications are considerable, you will have considered a multitude of reasons to not adopt, after all to adopt today is about taking on children that have had to be removed from their birth parents, children who WILL have been traumatised. Not a single social worker that I have met has sugar coated this, if anything they harp on about the worst case scenarios all the time! which I know has put people off. I know of those who have walked out during a course, or who cannot cope with the intrusive questioning in the one to one sessions or just can't go to panel.
The negative commentary from those, whom I am sure think they are questioning, belittling or just being adversarial because they have our, the adopters, best interests at heart, need to stop, after all adopters are old enough and educated enough to make their own decisions and then have to live with the consequences. To have family or close friends question these decisions can be devastating. The children we adopt are our children, just as if we have given birth to them. Would anyone question a pregnancy or birth of a child? Take it from me I have given birth to three children and adopted one, I love them in exactly the same way, they are ALL mine, we are very very aware of the issues we may have in the future and we will deal with them as and when we need to. We have made our decision to adopt not on a whim but on careful consideration of all the facts that are known and even working on a worst case scenario we wouldn't change our minds.
No one said having children is easy and adopting is no different. To those out there questioning the decisions of those who adopt STOP, would you question someone's decision to have a baby? Imagine the reactions of the pregnant mother if you did. To those who have adopted or are thinking of doing so, you are not alone in having to justify it or fight your corner, just remember the majority of your social circle want you to be happy and fulfilled and will support you, you have to hold the minority at arms length, accept their fears and move on. In life we tend to regret what we don't do rather than what we do!