Becoming a parent through adoption is a massive leap of faith in so many different ways. At the start of the process you pretty much bundle up all of your hopes, dreams, expectations and worries about becoming a parent and give them to your social worker. They have the mind blowing responsibility of taking you by the hand, leading you through the assessment so that at the end, although the adoption panel won’t know you, they will feel like they do once they’ve read your report.
That level of responsibility on the part of the social worker is beyond my comprehension. If they get it wrong, they crush the hopes and dreams of people wanting to become parents or, worse still, they let a vulnerable child live with people who are not good enough to be their parent. Getting it right though must be the most amazing feeling.
On the part of prospective adopters, it is the biggest leap of faith you will ever take. You are trusting your social worker with your future. Trusting them to make sure the panel will see that you are good enough to become parents. At the start, that seems like the hardest part of the process, trusting a stranger with your future.
The hardest part though happens after you’re approved. The matching process utterly blew my mind. All adoption agencies do it differently. The way it was for us is that all control was taken from us and placed firmly in the hands of our social worker. We didn’t read any profiles or hear details about any children at all for 10 very, very long months.
We weren’t left on our own or abandoned during that time. Our social worker came out to visit us regularly. Sometimes she gave us the tiniest snippet of information about children she was looking it. It took every ounce of strength in my body not to scream at her and ask for more information.
I really thought sometimes that she just didn’t get how torturous that part of the process was. She was expecting us to have complete and utter faith in her to find us the right child. I just couldn’t get my head round how she could possibly get it right. How could she? She wasn’t us.
Hindsight is the most amazing thing and I know now that the way it was done was absolutely the right way for us. I can’t imagine how I would have felt if we had been given a number of profiles of children and had to pick one that we thought would suit us best. I don’t think I would have been strong enough to say no to any child, once I’d started to read about them.
There were many, many dark days when I didn’t think we would ever become parents. As the weeks turned into months I began to lose faith. The worst time was about 9 and a half months after we had been approved and a devastating email from our social worker to say the final hearing for the child she’d been looking at for us had been delayed. We didn’t know any details such as age or sex of the child, just that the hearing had been delayed.
I really did think that was the end of the road for us as I didn’t think I had the strength to keep going and keep on waiting after that. It’s funny though how things happen for a reason. We weren’t meant to be the parents of that child. We were meant to be the parents of little Miss.
I will never, ever forget the feeling when I read “the” email from our social worker. I was at work, had had a pants afternoon and for once, I hadn’t checked my emails every 30 seconds. My phone took forever to open the email fully and I could hardly breath waiting to read the words. It was only a week or so after the devastating news about the child with the delayed hearing. Something inside me told me that the words I was about to read would change our lives forever. I’m filling up now just thinking about it. Oh my lord what a feeling.
We had to wait 24 very long hours to meet our social worker and for her to tell us about the child she had picked for us. As soon as I started to read, I knew she was meant to be our child. Everything suddenly made sense. The seemingly endless waiting was meant to happen. It was meant to happen because little Miss was always meant to be our daughter.
I can’t really begin to tell you what a mind blowing experience it is to have someone else pick who is going to be your child because it is beyond words. Of all the children who were waiting to be adopted when we were waiting to be matched, (and sadly there are far, far too many), our social worker chose this child for us. How on earth did she know she was the right child for us?
Little Miss was only 6 months old then. How could anyone know how she was going to fit in with our family? How could we possibly say from just reading a report that we would love and adore a child we had never met? But we did and we do. Oh my goodness, we do.
Our daughter could not fit into our family more perfectly than if she had been our birth child. She is a happy, funny, loving, articulate and bubbly little girl. One of her big cousins is on exactly the same wavelength as her. They both have the same mischievous twinkle in their eye. She is the centre of our world and that of our extended family. I can’t imagine our lives without her.
There are days when I wonder what would have happened if the court hadn’t decided to delay making a final order for the child we were going to be matched with. It actually makes me feel quite anxious because that would have meant we would never have met our beautiful little girl. She is our perfect match.