Wednesday, March 01, 2006

kids

I am thinking about adopting kids.

Well, I mean, I've been thinking about it since I was a kid myself. But I just got assigned my social worker (we're playing phone tag) It's freaky.

I have friends who are further along in the process than I am - their homestudy is all written, but they haven't discussed any specific kids yet. We're both doing the county adoption program, so we're not looking at babies, and we're not necessarily looking at only one (though I only have one extra bedroom, and am only one person, so I may not be allowed to adopt a sibling group).

They talked about how freaky it was to have someone evaluating their ability to parent. Usually people don't get to pass judgement on such an intimate part of your life, and especially if you're not actually intimate with them.

I didn't really get it, but now I do. Even though it hasn't started yet. I'm terrified to sort of lay it all out there for this woman who I don't know and have her basically "grade" me as a potential parent.

And that's not even the half of it. How much does your life change when you have kids? It seems unfathomable. And then, what if they're not even people you got a chance to "know" in utero, before you could really know them? And then what if they actually have 2, 5, 10 years of life experience that didnt' include you? and all the pains and fears and walls that come with some of those experiences (if it had been a rosy experience, they wouldn't be looking for new parents), and what if there are three of them? And how do you ever feel ready for that? How do you find the fortitude to do it even though you never really feel ready?

Whoa.

Pam

7 comments:

Heather B said...

What a brave decision ... good luck!

earthfreak said...

Thanks!

I just made an appointment with the social worker!

I'm excited and very very nervous!

peace

Pam

earthfreak said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul L said...

You ask: How much does your life change when you have kids? It seems unfathomable. It is. The change is so deep you literally can't fathom its bottom. But so is the love that comes with it. A rabbi friend tells me that God's relationship with human beings is that of a parent's relationship with a child, and that rings true for me.

And then, what if they're not even people you got a chance to "know" in utero, before you could really know them? And then what if they actually have 2, 5, 10 years of life experience that didnt' include you? and all the pains and fears and walls that come with some of those experiences (if it had been a rosy experience, they wouldn't be looking for new parents), and what if there are three of them? And how do you ever feel ready for that? How do you find the fortitude to do it even though you never really feel ready?

I don't know. I literally cannot imagine how adoptive parents do it without that long biological preparation period. But they do, to my constant amazement and astonishment. It's one of those things that shouldn't be possible, but is.

Robin M. said...

It's f****** hard work. (I went back and forth on spelling out the f word. I figure you probably wouldn't be offended, but I didn't want to bring down the wrath of anyone else on your tender post.)

The main thing I worry about is the lack of backup if you're a single parent. You can have lots of friends, family, etc around you. But if there's no one there when you completely lose your temper or your mind, what do you do? Who says to you, "I'll take care of this, you need a timeout?" I also know that there are plenty of families that technically have two parents and still don't have this kind of support system going on, but I can't imagine parenting without it.

Marta's Musings (another blog) recently quoted "The greatest advantage of not having children must be that you can go on believing that you are a nice person. Once you have children, you realize how wars start." from Fay Weldon

How will you handle those crazy making moments? Are you ready to compromise your needs for a child? This is more important to me in parenting readiness than how many bedrooms you have. And there is no way to know the true answer until you start.

Best wishes for the discernment process (remember that while they are studying you, you get a chance to study you too). I have friends who have gone through this and have come out very happy. Well, maybe still frustrated with the system but happy with their children.

Much love and Light,
Robin

earthfreak said...

Thanks Paul & Robin for your responses.

I think it's so important and so scary, that it's not about figuring out what will be required ahead of time, but discerning whether I can commit now to whatever will be required later, blind. It's an act of faith.

I have my second meeting with the social worker in an hour.

!!

Pam

Anonymous said...

Hi, single parent talking here.
Once you have children, your head will literally fill up with that role. You will not have time to re-evaluate yourself and how you live your life as much as you do now. Wondering whether you will be good enough at it will stop you in your trato it. Much of parenting is surrender anyhow - realizing you cannot change people, even if they are only tiny people. Later when they are teens you might think you had more courage than sense getting into this, but you sound like you want a full life. This will do it for you! I recommend one book: "Whole Child, Whole Parent" by Polly Berends. I wish I had read it more often when mine were small.
Enjoy the trip!