And for the first time in a long time I’m feeling really excited. Impatient! But excited! And I have this feeling (please God, for once, let my gut be right in all things family related) that its not going to be a very long wait!
Yesterday, W and I met with the social worker we have selected. What an amazing, wonderful, kind, compassionate and friendly woman. It felt more like a day spent with a friend, eating and chatting, than our actual adoption screening. We arrived at 09h30 and started with muffins and coffee and a chat about who we are, what we’ve been through fertility wise and what our hopes are in terms of adoption. After that we had to did the Eco-Metric testing, which was a fairly quick multiple choice questionnaire consisting of 236 questions that were clearly aimed at discovering if either W or I had suicidal tendencies or drug and alcohol problems. The questions went something like this:
- Do you require something to help cope with stress?
- Do you think others would be better off if you were dead?
- Do you cope better during stressful times with something?
- Do you have thoughts on ending your life?
- Do you need something to help you cope?
- Does your life seem meaningless?
Pretty easy stuff and thankfully, in spite of all the shit we’ve been through this year, we’re both still fairly positive people who don’t have thought of suicide and aside from the occasional bottle glass of wine or two or three, we don’t have any substance abuse problems. Obviously I’m being slightly facetious, the test was a bit more in depth than that, but you get my drift, no biggie at all!
After that we had to complete the Psycho-Social Assessment. That was a tough one, 19 pages and took two hours to complete. We had to answer some very tough questions, things I’d never actually thought about until yesterday, questions like:
- What would we like to ask the birth mother?
- Would we consider a child of a different race? A child conceived via rape or incest? A child with a physical disability or health problem?
- Why would we make good adoptive parents?
- How do our families feel about us adopting?
- What do our friends think about us adopting?
After that we took a break for lunch and were served a delicious lasagna, with salad and bread rolls and Iced Tea. The remainder of the afternoon was spent discussing things like where they find the birth mothers, how the birth process would work, the legal issues, the financial aspects, the type of adoptions etc etc etc.
I’m very excited about the following:
The adoptions are closed! Our only requirement is for the first two years to send the Social Workers a letter with some photo’s every couple of months so that should the birth mom wish to see, she can.
The actual process is so beautiful, that is of course unless we’re not surprised, which is also a strong possibility. See, depending on how the social workers get the birth mom’s, sometimes, they get phoned calls from the hospital, after the babies have been born, then it will be a made dash to get there if we’re selected. But other times, the social workers will work with the birth Mom’s from the time she’s around 3 months pregnant. Of course, they will only notify us of our selection about 2 months before the baby arrives. This means that I will be able to go onto the medication that would allow me to breast feed our baby once she arrives. The birth mom’s deliver the babies via C-section at the MediClinic and the most exciting part? We get a fair amount of participation! If the Birth Mom agrees, we will be allowed into the delivery room for the actual delivery of the baby. The birth mom is then booked into the gynecology ward and I will be booked in as a patient into the maternity ward!!!! So exciting!!! I will stay in the hospital for about 3 days, where the nurses will treat me as the mommy, teaching me how to breast feed, change nappies, bath and dress baby! We will also spend some time alone with birth mom, giving her a chance to see us with baby and to let go and say goodbye!
It was so beautiful, when we discussed this part yesterday, my beautiful amazing incredible husband started to cry. These HUGE crocodile tears rolled down his cheeks and when the social worker asked if he was ok, he started to really cry and he told her he cannot even put into words what it would mean to him to be in a maternity ward with me and see me holding our baby and see the look on my face when this all happened. Of course, this floored both the social worker and I and tissues had to be handed out while we all had a good cry.
She also addressed my concerns about the 60 day cooling off period, its not quite as terrifying as I expected that it would be. She explained that should there be in doubts in their minds they will put the baby into kangaroo care until they’re certain but that in all the adoptions they’ve done this year only ONE birth mom withdrew her consent. So I’m feeling slightly less stressed about that.
Now we have to complete our health clearance this week and fill in our financial statements. Our social worker has put us under a bit of pressure, requesting that we get our profile done and dusted and submitted to her by Monday, which I’m secretly (ok not so secretly now) hoping means that potentially she may have someone in mind for us? We were explained that there is no way to estimate the wait, they’ve had couples wait as long as 5 years and they’ve had couples that waited a month, they even had one couple that got selected the same day they had their assessment so anything is possible.
We are on alert and ready to go!