Lots of people say it, Love is not enough! So what is, to make a adoption a success. (Maybe I would need to define 'success' but I think you know what am asking. What aside from love do I need to give/do/be?
But you can't ever KNOW - no one can predict exactly how everything will pan out, how you will react, what kind of environment you will be in. For eg, I got a dog, my mum told me major horror stories about poo, barking, walks etc. The reality is a bit like what she said, but I could not predict how I would cope, until I was coping.
I think the issue is expectations. If your expectations are very far removed from the reality, then not only do you have to deal with harsh reality but also the shock of constantly re arranging your preconceived ideas.
I knew having a dog was a responsibility and I was prepared for that. I knew it wouldn't always be wonderful. But the good bits have been good, and the bad bits not nearly as bad as I feared.
I really worry about people who say for eg they tried IVF for ages, it didn't work and now they want to adopt a baby. That suggests to me that they are hoping for something they might not get and that is going to make any bumps in the road so much harder.
I think ignorance is dangerous but nor can you expect to know and understand every thing in advance. You just need a rough map of the terrain and an honest appraisal of your resilience and ability to step up if needed.
I think that is why it has taken me so long to feel at home with the idea of adoption. Although I have wanted to adopt for so long it has taken a long time to come to terms with the potential reality of the situation (NO offence at all to people who have adopted - I have friends who have had relatively easy times adopting but have already read of some difficult situations etc too).
I have often thought that the combination of people who have had a very difficult ride in terms of failed fertility treatment etc and the combination of children in need of a suitable and loving home was not a natural connect! Although at other times it does, of course, seem a natural way of of things!
Part of the journey for me has been trying to put aside that needy bit of me (having acknowledged it) that needed another baby and finding the part of me that can offer (with my dh and dd) a home to a child who we really hope we will all become a new family with together. It has all been a part of the journey, letting go of the unrealistic expectations etc and dealing with my own disappointments in fertility have helped. I now feel those disappointments have made me stronger and maybe more understanding and so better able to parent affectively, but as I say it is not automatically a natural pathway because some people might never come to terms with the disappointments of repeated failed treatment. I am very lucky that I have.
Just to clarify I am only speaking on my own behalf, not judging anyone elses situation at all. And I am so grateful for experienced adoptive parents who have helped me along this journey.
Thanks you, please do keep you comments coming; I am hopeful this will be helpful to other prospective adaptors, as well as myself, seeking to make sense of the journey and be as prepared as I/we can.
I think one of the most worrying issues is the lack of consistent post adoption support for traumatised children. It is probably this that explains the rate of adoption breakdowns.
I don't want to scaremonger, but this does seem a pretty common and widely made complaint. So it would also be good to be very clear what kind of support, at what level, may be available for you post adoption. Assuming that help will be available when perhaps it will not, could be a horrible shock if this discovery comes at a time when you are already stressed and worried.