Adoption, the Ultimate LOVE Story
Have you ever had a nagging feeling you should be doing something? And it won’t go away? And it seems that wherever you turn, whatever you listen to or watch you are being reminded of it?
On 31st December 2007, I was making plans; a list of goals for the year and a whisper in my heart from years gone by, spoke. It grew louder and louder with every article I read, every conversation I had, and television program I watched.
It wasn’t an “out of the blue” concept. It had been one of those conversations I had when my husband and I were in the dream making phase of our early relationship. That conversation where dreams were incepted, and lifetime desires voiced.
It was a conversation we had back then… but… life went on and four years later I gave birth to our first child. Two years after that, our second came along, Then, a year and a half again, our third child was born. Our lives became a blur of feeding, changing, bathing, laundry, soft play areas and sleep deprivation! That is, until our children were 8, 6 and 4 years old. And that is, until I heard it again…
My heart felt like it had been invaded by this concept. I realized that this was a whisper that was not meant to be ignored.
So, just like that, my husband and I decided to follow that tugging. We began to look into what we would have to do to be able to adopt. Very quickly our lives became a blur of the process: training, assessments, medicals, home visits, panels, questions, questions, and more questions. That word “ADOPT” became a reality. The year that we applied, our son was actually born. But it wasn’t until he was two years old, that we met him for the first time. Everything was finalized, and then he came to live with us.
Nothing prepares you for that.
There are no hormones, no stretch marks, no cravings!
There is no baby shower or maternity leave.
There are a few days of visits and then he’s with you…forever!
Very few people understand. They either view you as heroic or crazy. (I am neither.)
These are just a few of the challenges we faced:
1. A little boy who is adjusting to life in a new home, with a new family, and has to bond with new parents.
2. Two parents adjusting to life with a toddler (again), merging his needs and “wants” with a family. The unvoiced thoughts and fears of, ”Can I love him like my own?” “How will he react to his story when he grows older?” “Will he reject us in search for his birth parents?” “Have I unhinged our family?”
3. Three children coping with sharing life with a toddler. They have a new brother to love. They have to learn to respond to him, and they have to begin to readjust to their new position in the family. All this happening at the same time, under one roof.
To say that our lives were thrown into a tizzy, is an understatement.
Even though this was messy and complicated, and unexpected, we knew one thing for certain- he made our family complete!
In dealing with him, a new question arises: “how do I best respond to a young soul that has been bruised by rejection and abandonment?” His emotions seem to stretch to the extremes: from anger and stubborn independence, to hyper clinginess and longing for undivided attention. And I, at times, am left wondering how to get through to him. To make him know that there is no end to my love for him.
So for me… the answer lies in some simple reminders as anyone who is a mum will know:
- Love is patient and kind and it never gives up
- The selfishness in me has to be laid down for him and his needs
- I have to continually learn new ways of living life together as family, creating new family experiences that bond us together
- I have to constantly seek fresh insight and understanding for this new life that has entered ours, he’s not a formula
- I still make plans, (not so much a checklist of things I HAVE to do), but now it’s more of a list of opportunities to live a life that will change me and those around me (forever). It’s all in the way you look at it.
- Nicola, Wife, Mother of 4, and lovely mentor in Dundee, Scotland