Well, unfortunately my meeting with the social worker was cancelled again due to the weather. Unfortunately I had arranged for a sub at school and my school was OPEN. This gave me some stress because it means that I will now have to arrange for another sub and take another day off which is kind of hassle. But what can you do--you can't argue with mother nature! Our social worker did kindly offer to do an evening interview but I decided that I would rather take another day off and get this over with sooner. Now that we are pretty much finished with our profile we are anxious to get into the pool of waiting families.
Last night we went to a class offered by our agency designed to give you a better understanding of what to expect once you have been matched with a birth mother and the child is born but has not yet been released for adoption. Not surprisingly this is one of the most emotionally fraught and difficult times of the adoption process. And it is the time when birth mother's are most likely to change their mind about their adoption plan. The director of our agency said that it happens about 20% of the time in fact, a fairly daunting statistic. Overall it was good information filled with do's and don'ts for us to best support our birth mother and to try to make an incredibly difficult situation goes as smoothly as possible. There is no way that it won't be an angst ridden time for everyone. No matter how much we will want that baby to be our baby it won't, and at any time the birth mother has every right to decide to parent her baby herself.
The most important point that was made last night was one that has often crossed my mind as I imagine what it will be like to adopt our baby. This is the fact that the day that all of our dreams are coming true and we will finally be able to have the family we ached so long for, will also be day of unimaginable grief for the birth mother of our child. In almost all cases birth mother's make adoption plans not because they don't desperately love and want to care for their babies, but because they realize that the circumstances of their life don't allow them to. In all likelihood it is because she is too poor and too unsupported by our society to care for her own baby, that she will have chosen adoption for him or her, not because she does not want to be able to be a mother to her baby. Many adoptive parents have said that they were taken off guard by how deeply they were affected by the birth mother's grief. Driving away with a baby who's mother has just said had to day goodbye to him or her after she has nurtured this baby in her body for nine months is i an incredibly sad and difficult thing to do. In a horrible irony that makes my head and my heart hurt to think about it, our baby will probably come to us because we live in a culture that doesn't make it easy to care for a baby if you are poor. No easy access to health care, or childcare or housing or education are what usually make adoption the only viable choice for these women. And this is that will likely be fresh in our minds as we drive home from the hospital with our baby. Not excitement or euphoria over finally becoming parents, but grief.
Infertility comes with many losses and one of them will be the the opportunity to have a joyous celebration at the hospital when our child is born. That will come later of course, once the dust has settled and the papers are signed and the grief subsides. Instead we will need to focus on making the occasion as peaceful and dignified as we can for everyone involved, remembering that despite it's bitter sweetness it is and always will be the beginning of the story of our life with our child.
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