Pandora’s Box

I have NEVER experienced anxiety in such an extreme form as I did during the 60 day waiting period when Ava’s birth mom could have with drawn her consent. I don’t think I can really describe it to anyone and I believe the only people who could understand that level of anxiety are mothers who’ve either had to give back adopted babies when consent was withdrawn or mothers who have lost babies at birth or shortly after birth.

I know all women experiencing the bonding differently. For some it is instant and for others the bond takes time to develop. For me, it was almost instant. In the second Ava was born, I felt something change instantly inside of me and I felt a love so intense that I didn’t think it was possible for it be any stronger even though in the months since her birth that love has, seemingly impossibly, grown stronger and stronger. But what really took my breath away was the sense of protection I felt over Ava, it was/is so strong that I know that without a shadow of a doubt that should my child be under threat, I am capable of committing the most heinous acts of violence without so much as a shred of compassion for the being on the receiving end of said violence.  I knew, the day after Ava was born, when I woke up that morning and looked into the carrycot at the sweetest little baby in the whole word, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I would stand in front of a speeding train to save my child, I knew I would fight with every breath left in me to save my child, her life is so much more important that my own.

So now, imagine that intense feeling of love and then living with the knowledge that someone could within the next 60 days, come and take her away from me and I would have to resist the natural instinct within me to not kill, mame or violently destroy whoever that person was.

Last night, I like to many other Mom’s and Moms-in-waiting, watched Carte Blanche with a sense of horror at the details of such a cruel adoption scam unfolded. My heart broke for those children who are being treated like puppies, stuffed in a cage in a pet shop window, enticing customers to come inside. And of the couples involved. Infertile, sad, broken, hurting desperate couples who just want their aching empty arms filled, being lied to, being deceived, being manipulated and used and I felt sick and I felt heartbroken.

But most importantly it reminded me of the risks involved with adoption. Granted, as long as one tries to follow ones head and not ones heart and always always always work through a reputable social worker, the risks are substantially reduced but still. These are innocent children and our fragile hearts on the line and Pandora’s chest has been once again opened and all the anxiety of our application to adopt again has been let out to wreak havoc on me.

I’ve worked hard at keeping my fears locked deep inside me, especially with our second application getting closer and closer. I’m really terrified of facing the 60 days again. Of all the uncertainty during that time. Of wanting to protect my heart from being broken, but of wanting to love that tiny baby with all abandon.

I’m really really scared.

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  • Reply tzipieastwest

    Oh Sharon,
    To me, adoption is such a beautiful thing but there is so much scope for horrible and difficult and painful things to happen in the process.
    I do not know what system is best:
    Like in SA (or USA) where a birth-mum choses the adoptive parents and you can meet her and be there at the delivery, which I think must be really wonderful but after that you have to cope with these terribly difficult 60 days, in which unrestrained bonding must be so difficult !
    like for international adoption, where you are matched and then a baby is referred to you and the judge gives a sentence before you even go and get the baby. So by that time, it is irrevocable. This is “easier” but on the other hand, between your baby’s birth and that moment, you just do not know what happened and how things happened (where was my baby born, how has s/he been abandonned and why, what’s his/her health condition, abuse ?, how many orphanages, who were the caregivers, what is his/her exact date of birth, exact age ? …). So many unknows that interfere with bonding too.
    I just hope and pray that along the “adoption chain” and during the process, the interest of the babies comes first. They are indeed so vulnerable, we adults should do our upmost effort to protect them …

    February 21, 2011 at 11:15 am
  • Reply Nisey

    Sharon, you can imagine the horror Heine and I felt watching that show last night! I imagine that a lot of money has been passed around in that situation and those children were clearly a commodity rather than living breathing human beings.

    When our process started the BM who had never met us told us to just come and fetch J – naturally alarm bells started ringing and we immediately called our SW (same one who is helping us finalise the adoption) – she obviously told us under no circumstances even meet him until everything has been sorted out and that’s what we did.

    Naivete and desperation make you do funny things and I think if if wasn’t that we’d already been screened and met the SW I too might have fallen victim to some unscrupulous human trafficer.

    It is truly despicable the way people will exploit innocent children and desperate infertiles.

    February 21, 2011 at 11:44 am
  • Reply darylfaure

    It was shocking to see such blatant exploitation and so little care by the authorities and all those involved in the scamming. I can only imagine what terrifying thoughts it awakened in you, but try not to dwell on them.

    February 21, 2011 at 12:10 pm
  • Reply To Love Bella

    It broke my heart. To see what these people are going through right now – children and adults. It’s just not fair to anyone concerned.
    As I said to you earlier, I was ‘cocky’ about our 60-day wait and when it turned on us a wee bit, it was a tremendous wake-up call. And when the wait was over and done with, I breathed SUCH a huge sigh. A sigh that I didn’t even realise that I’d been holding in all that time. I can’t tell you how much I cried and PANICED when I heard that the BM had never signed – we were mere DAYS away from the 60-day expiry. Unless you have been there, you have NO idea of how it feels. It’s always ‘There’.
    I must be honest, I took a few days to properly bond with Isabella. I was still living in a surreal zone since receiving the call from Wilna. And then of course, having to deal with all the wishes and such, I just didn’t know my @rse from my elbow (sorry!). Nevermind the fact that I really had NO idea of what I was doing! I had delusions of grandeur.
    I am sure that your next adoption will be fine, but I know that no one can take that angst away. Our SW’s are downright awesome and professional – and I distinctly remember you telling me a short while ago that at times that I feel unsure, I should just give Wilna a call 😉

    February 21, 2011 at 12:32 pm
  • Reply waiting4amiracle

    I was shocked! That woman has damaged and hurt so many people from the BM to the adoptive parents. But I feel mostly for those children. Its really criminal.

    February 21, 2011 at 12:44 pm
  • Reply natshenman81

    Ah Shar, I felt the same! Fear and sadness all rolled into one! It was terrible…thinking and praying for you xxx

    February 21, 2011 at 3:40 pm
  • Reply suestuart

    I was horrified and heartbroken watching it. Poor Mark and Michelle Holtman, my heart went out to them. Giving Nathan back was the single most difficult thing I have ever done, and very few people “get” what it is like. They should jail “Elischa” and throw away the key.

    February 21, 2011 at 6:10 pm
  • Reply orbit365

    I’m sorry that you are feeling anxious. Sending you hugs and lots and lots of love.

    February 21, 2011 at 10:52 pm
  • Reply marina1605

    Damn, I missed the show, but I can only imagine how it must’ve made you feel. Hope this adoption process runs just as smoothly for you again. xxx

    February 22, 2011 at 9:10 am
  • Reply mrssee2

    I think it was fate as I happened to turn on the TV to Carte Blanche just at the right time. We were both glued to the screen. It is unbelievable to me that this kind of thing happens and is heartbreaking for everyone involved. But you have to take comfort in knowing that you are dealing with a professional SW who will do everything in her power to make sure you aren’t hurt again.

    I am so excited for you with your second adoption!

    February 23, 2011 at 12:21 pm
  • Reply yvettene

    I can only imagine what you go through in those days, it it were me I think I would be catatonic with fear.

    February 27, 2011 at 11:36 pm
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