A time for thoughts......
A friend who has recently been approved as an adoptive parent (you know who you are Mrs Any Excuse for Bubbles) asked what was the biggest shock and adjustment when adopting
and it got me thinking. While trying to be encouraging but at the same
respecting her need for honesty, these are my thoughts:
a) Going from
zero to hero in one day. Literally being handed a moving little person
who is already past their first birthday and is well on the way to
toddler-hood and who you are now totally responsible for. And let's not forget, a toddler that
is heavily grieving for the loss of his foster carers. I didn't get to experience the early development of the birth child who alternates between crying and feeding and if you're lucky, some sleep. Add into the mix, I didn't have a clue what I was
doing half the time. Sure, we did loads of prep on our adoption course
but it was all emotional stuff. A far cry from your average ante-natal
class. What's the normal amount to feed a toddler? How much milk should
they drink and what type? Is that a normal poo? The first nappy I ever changed was during
introductions. Shock horror.
b) Parenting a child who is nothing
like you or your partner in personality. We are strong, confident,
happy, creative and sociable people. To be matched with what turned out to be a shy and
socially anxious little boy made for very hard times. I have always struggled to understand shy people and found this the hardest. I would welcome
friends into my home with open arms and by the time I had boiled the
kettle and gone to cut a wedge of cake, I would find my child hiding in a
corner. So when in tough times, you need all the support you can get in terms of friends and social activities and groups, it turns out, this very concept is what unsettles your little one. It can be very lonely. Make sure you have friends who will always be at the end of a text/email/phone for you. Mrs AAA I could not have done this without you. Hugs xx
c) Books versus instinct. I love books and the house is
literally filled with them. I have read a zillion parenting books (to be fair, there was a ridiculous amount of time to kill just waiting during the 2 year adoption process!) but half the
time, they really are not written for my little boy. "Read your child,
not the books" is my motto. Saying that, my guilty secret is I still read
them. Knowledge is power.
d) Finding your groove. I love all
things creative. LBM not so much. Having to take that creativity and box it up and put it
on a shelf for later is very hard. It's like removing part of your
personality. I can honestly say I am not the same person. I had to find a
new groove. One that worked for both of us. My husband and I love swimming. I can spend hours floating on a dam in the wild. LBM is terrified of water. I'll let you think about that for a while.
e) The jar of love. My jar of love was
pretty full. There was my husband, my dogs, my family, my very
special friends and let's not forget my love of cake. I now had to make room for a new person. I didn't
know this person at all but yet was expected to squeeze him into this
jar immediately. Let's just say we left the lid open for a while. But he now
fits snuggly in there. Snug as a star in a jar.
f) Parenting after
infertility: There is this hidden guilt amongst new mums. No-one likes to moan. I see
it amongst my friends all with their own birth children. They've had a rough
couple of days but when asked how things are going, they muster up a
smile and say all is well but I can see them fighting back the tears.
It's tough. Its really tough but we daren't moan amount it. The guilt is
monumental. And believe me, this guilt amongst adoptive mums is even
stronger. We have wanted this for so long, and everybody knows that, we
daren't whinge at all about the monkey who was refusing point blank to
get in the car yesterday when you were already running late for an
appointment thanks to the last minute unexpected nappy change. The same
monkey who screamed the place down in the supermarket because....well
g) Being assessed, grilled, prodded and poked by what feels like every social worker that ever existed and then finally approved as an prospective adoptive parent and then realising that sometimes, you really suck at it. That!
- mummy in the baking
- This blog is about me and my voyage to becoming a mummy. Ironically called “mummy in the baking” as together with my passion and obsession for all things cake related, I will never be able to have my own "bun in the oven." Years of fertility treatment have taken their toll and I now find myself on a new..eek, i hate this word...journey! The crazy train to adoption. I hope you will join me while I bake my way to becoming a mummy. I want this blog to be a source of information as well as a comforter. I hope it will inspire and help anyone who is considering adoption or who has in fact already bought their ticket for this..here I go again...journey. Cake makes me happy and I hope you will enjoy sharing my love of it. I want it to help lift your spirits and hearts through what can only be described as 'the trials and tribulations of the adoption process.' Along with my desire to be a family, I love my dogs, have an unhealthy love of sausages and chenin blanc, adore my land rover uber-nerd of a husband and continiously dream of balmy summer evenings. Baking in progress…..