I was joking with another pre-adoptive parent the other day about how, at the beginning of this adoption process, I was like a unicorn fairy spreading the joy of my adoption to all that I came into contact.
Cut to today, where if you tell me how wonderful adoption is, I’ve become like a grumpy old curmudgeon. I may offer one of the following responses:
– The adoption process sucks my big toe.
– The adoption process is so stupid that it threw a rock at the ground and missed.
– The adoption process is so stupid that it bought tickets to X-box Live.
– Leave me alone or I will fart in your general direction.
Okay, actually, I wouldn’t say anything like that but I might scowl a little.
Think of the adoption process like a boxing match. On one side, there’s the adoptive parents who are fighting to bring their children home quickly. On the other, the adoption world (agencies, governments, etc) are (supposed to be) fighting to make sure that the children are being advocated for and placed in the right home. It can feel a little adversarial at times, but both sides bring something to the adoption equation.
At the onset of the process, you might feel like you’re doing pretty well- you’re full of energy, you have “good intentions”, you’re going to kick this pig. But then, the process starts to wear you down. You start taking hits. You hear the answer “no” more often than yes. You think you can see the end and then the process punches you in the throat. Again and again, you’re knocked down but you get back up. Keeping going. Not done yet. You keep shuffling around, staying in the game, but…
Eventually, you get to the point where you expect the bad answer. You protect yourself by walling your heart in. Whenever you have to interact with your agency, it’s all hands on deck.
BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES! GIRD YOUR LOINS! WE’RE GOING TO ASK…
The CPS adoption this past month has been rough. After four months of one sentence replies to our questions, we were told, yet again, that we would have to jump through more hoops, wait more months, do more trainings, drown in bureaucracy. Blow after blow just wore us down and down and down. Alex had to take over communicating with the agency because I couldn’t handle the emotional stress anymore. I just couldn’t take one more negative answer; one more “You thought you were done but you have to do this and this and this.”
We got a positive response to a question today. We’re going to be assigned a case worker for our home study. After six months of weeping and gnashing our teeth and wallowing around in the unknown and having doors slammed in our faces, we have been told that we’re nearing the end of the licensing process.
Our process is moving forward. The end is in sight.
I know that doesn’t seem like a very big victory. It’s nothing like being matched with a child or bringing someone home with you. I know that we have more hard times ahead of us.
But today, after months and months of feeling beaten down and beginning to wonder if we were ever going to bring our kids home, it just feels good to win one.
Today, I’m focusing on this small victory.