Thanks Bertie I feel part of a privilaged group in a way, who are embarking on this journey which is so often spoken of in quite negative terms but I have heard so many positives too. It must be a balanced picture, I feel, the good and the bad, not rose-tinted but realistic.
That is lovely Italian! It really captures the authors feelings well and highlights that there are things that will go wrong as well!! Who knows what the future holds for any of us, whether we have birth children or are lucky enough to be entrusted with the life of an adopted son or daughter- all we can do is give our best and deal with each day as it comes
Thank you Kippyvonkipperson for linking to this article. It's about activity days but the second half is the most Beautiful expression of what adoption means to the annonymous author or the article. Well worth a read - not because I am 'advertising' adoption parties', but because I love these words. They are so fresh and vibrant and full of life....
"Later today I will be talking to a group of people who are at the beginning of their journey to become adoptive parents. There won't be many of them, but while their childless peers continue to plough the IVF furrow, struggling on with the injections, the drugs and the disappointments in the hope of a "baby of their own", these adventurous few want to hear more about the reality of adopting.
This is one of the ways local authorities try to prepare couples (and individuals) for the adoption process. When I first adopted I remember attending a similar event, and I hung on the adoptive mother's every word – gosh, here was someone who had actually done it and survived to tell the tale! And I suppose what I want to convey, all these years on, is just what an extraordinary, brilliant, challenging, gruelling, inspiring, vital, life-affirming experience it has been.
My kids will have their own versions – of course they will – but from my point of view, this has been the greatest thing I have ever done, or am ever likely to do in my lifetime. Better than scaling Everest, better than winning an Olympic gold or a Euromillions roll-over, it has stretched me, challenged me and rewarded me in every conceivable way.
It may well be the same for any old biological parent, but (I know I'm prejudiced) I can't imagine it. For me everything has been – and continues to be – a surprise, an adventure, an unexpected bonus and a thrilling voyage into the unknown. My life since adopting children has been lived in brilliantly vivid, HD, 3D, surround-sound Technicolor. Things have gone wrong; I have done things wrong, and things will go wrong again. If the process has taught me anything it has been to expect the unexpected; we think we have some measure of control in our lives, but of course we don't. Things go well, things go badly, and they can turn on a sixpence.
So why don't more people do it? Well, there aren't many babies and people usually want babies (my children weren't babies when I adopted them but they were all under four); there's IVF, of course, with its promise of a peach-perfect newborn baby at the end; there are the bureaucratic obstacles would-be adopters apparently face that we read about in the Daily Mail (too fat, too middle-class, too white); then there's that weird suspicion that surrounds the whole idea of bringing up someone else's child, a child that doesn't share your genes or your background, or anything, in fact. Which in my view is one of the most exciting things about the whole process, though I know others are freaked out by it. Then there's the whole care system that gets a persistently bad press, and social workers (so often underpaid, undertrained and overworked) who are habitually pilloried.
Adoption necessarily brings you into contact with different worlds and people who you would otherwise never have come across. There are painful stories and experiences to accept and absorb. It's a difficult, but great thing, to meet your child's birth parents face to face. (I have done it for each of mine, and although it is always incredibly hard – probably the hardest thing I have ever done – it is a profoundly moving and rewarding experience. Everyone in their best clothes, on their best behaviour, trying to do their best for that same child.) And it is quite a thing to get your head around, that this child, who you love and cherish and invest so much in, has a whole other family out there, always and for ever.
Adoption isn't easy, and it's not ordinary. But who wants to be ordinary?"
(for full article you can read it at www.theguardian.com/society/2011/oct/01/adoption-parties-solution-to-placement-crisis
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