Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
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Scared and Confused(15 Posts)
I'm afraid this is a bit of a long story, but rather than drip feeding want to put it all out there.
I'm 37 and DH is 46. We have had 3 rounds of IVF with no success. We are just about to complete out 4th and final IVF, but are not really hopeful as I have appallingly low quality eggs.
We have discussed adoption before and have been to an information evening, but the more I read about adoption the more scared I became about the potential issues of children in care and really went off the idea.
We've just returned from holiday with Sister, BIL and their 3 year old daughter. Whilst it was full on with Niece, we had a really fabulous time and really enjoyed having DN around us. She has so much energy and makes us laugh all of the time.
Although we did enjoy our time away it did come at a very tragic time in our family. In December our other DN died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome at 16 months old. We have all been devastated by this as you can imagine. I still cry every single day at her sudden and cruel loss and I'm just her Auntie. I honestly don't know how her parents are coping, but they are doing amazingly and are such an inspiration. Our older Niece has saved their sanity I'm sure.
So after this holiday DH has said that if our 4th IVF doesn't work he definitely wants to explore adoption again. He said he saw a glimpse of what our life could be like whilst away with DN and feels like we would be happy just us two and our beloved pooch but feels we could have so much more.
I agree with him but my goodness I'm terrified. Whenever I'm scared about something I tend to push it to the back of my mind and focus on other things. I suppose its self preservation or something like that.
I suppose I've read too many horror stories (there aren't many people who post to say you know what we're just a normal family with normal problems), the only stories you tend to read are the ones where people are struggling massively.
I'm scared and confused, I look around at all of our family & friends and want what they have, but I suppose each others path is different to their destination.
Did anyone else feel this scared about deciding to adopt?
When you start the journey you will be given a lot of information, and I found most of it quite negative, but I think that's more to prepare you for the worst. I did a lot of reading online, on forums, and yes there are terrible stories but also lots of really positive ones.
There is a high risk an adopted child will have some issues - medical, attachment, trauma etc - but in training you are made aware of these.
The process is very frustrating at times, and they look into every aspect of your lives - health, finances, home etc - and your DN death will be something that will be investigated at length, just to make sure you are mentally ready to take on an adopted child. You could get asked to go to counselling and things be put on hold, so prepare yourself for this, but it also would probably do you the world of good to do this.
You would also need to have a break of 6 months after your last IVF cycle before starting the adoption journey, but this could also be a good healing time after your DN death.
We have just been matched with a 7 month old, we've been told there's no medical 'issues' but we also know down the line things might surface. It's the risk you take, but you do that with a birth child. Recently a family member child was diagnosed with cancer, and also my best friends teenager, but as parents you deal with it, which you would do with an adopted child.
thank you for your reply @howmanyusernames
I know that any social workers will want to go into our DN's death quite intensely. I understand the reasons for this but it does scare me to death. I'm an emotional person, when I say I cry each day I don't mean that I sob, just that something can catch me unawares and I find myself tearing up a bit.
You are right that things can happen with birth children, well look at our niece, my friends nephew has just been diagnosed with leukaemia at 12 years old - there are so many things that could happen that you could never plan for.
If our 4th round of IVF wasn't already paid for I seriously doubt we'd be doing it, but we're trying to be as positive as possible.
The clinic do offer 3 counselling sessions with each cycle so I may well take advantage of that regardless of the outcome of this cycle.
Best of luck with the match with the 7 month old, I really hope it works out for you
Before I started the process of adoption I had a very positive outlook - not because of lack of experience of adoption but because of lots of personal experience. I have adopted sibling as well as close friends and family friends that are adopted - mostly well adjusted and happy adults. I know a couple of adult adoptees who have struggled, but this has been the exception rather than the norm. To me adoption was just another way of becoming a family - one which was my first choice.
I then started reading (which I did a lot), going on the prep course and reading forums it all seemed doom and gloom and very different to my experiences. However, this was really important in making me aware of the very difficult backgrounds that children come from. It also made me really think about what I can cope with, how I'd look after a child with lots of issues as well as examine my reasons for wanting to adopt. This was really important to do.
I do think forums and the prep courses are a bit bias - the courses they need you to go in to adoption with your eyes wide open, forums in their nature are there for support. However, the stories are also real and adoption can be a very tough road.
A year on since my lo came home - he is an absolute delight and joy and I love him more than I'd ever thought possible to love anyone. He is still young and there is always uncertainty but I take everyday as it comes.
Sorry if I've gone off point. But I guess I just wanted to say:
- it is ok to be scared
- you do need to really want to adopt
- there is always uncertainty and you need to really think what you can cope with
- there are many stories of joy and amazing children: also what is positive looks different to different people.
Hi the first time I started reading about adoption and ppls experiences of attachment disorder I burst into tears. It was scary! I now have a nine month little boy who joined our family at ten days old on a foster to adopt placement. He amazes me everyday! The whole family love him to pieces. He may have challenges in the future but all parenting is challenging. My three year old birth son tests my patience on a regular basis but also makes me cry with laughter. I think you just need to be prepared for the lows as well as the highs. Adoption isn't an easy road (neither is IVF) but when I look at my kids I know it was absolutely worth it.
@bridgetjones1 (fabous name)
I agree with all the others. The scare stories are there so they can scare off those not emotionally and physically resiant enough!
Ok. I will say it "...we're just a normal family with normal problems..." Actually, so far the more difficult problems come Fri. Our teenage birth daughter and not our adopted son! Our Don came to us at 3, nearly 4. I could not love him more if he had popped out of my own body. Honestly.
It's not easy, BUT information, preparedness and working as a team 'you and your dh) all helps.
Oops dropped phone and posted!
My view was that even with a pregnancy there are so many things which remain uncertain, that i would just deal with whatever my child would bring.
And unfortunately losing your dn has highlighted that.
It sounds like you’re coping with your bereavement just fine - I’d be surprised if things didn’t catch up off guard and leave you tearful, such a hard loss for your family.
I’d strongly suggest you do go into therapy - by all means use the free sessions offered, but really consider finding someone you can work with over a few months. It’ll help you understand yourself better, which will help with placement of kids.
Our two were placed last summer, so still early days. We’re exhausted and our kids are still slowly settling but I do think we’re as normal as it comes. They do have challenges but nothing we can’t deal with and we’re so very happy. Do pay attention to the gloom stories, they help you understand why it’s important to be led by your head (or what you know you want/can cope with) and not your heart (they look so cute, won’t have anyone else, are a bit older but it’ll be fine). There always some uncertainty but it’s not remotely all disaster.
No idea what my phone is doing.... My post which did post and has now disappeared said i read about the negativity after i was accepted onto training.i always knew i wanted to adopt.
PS @bridgetjones1 I am so sorry about your niece. Being upset is totally normal. Please do avail yourself of any free therapy care of the clinic and perhaps see a counselor aside from that, specifically for grief.
Grief is a big factor for some people in adoption. There is potentially the grief of not having a birth child or not adopting exactly the kind of child you had expected to have (by you I mean anyone).
There can be obvious grief in the life of the child who has lost at least one birth parent (sometimes knowingly two and of course, two in reality), potentially at least two foster carers, or more, potentially birth or foster siblings and additional adults such as grandparents or the parents of their foster carers, and potentially other child who briefly lived with the child.
These griefs may not all be as sharp as each other or as clear and easily identifiable as the loss of your niece is to you or to her immediate family.
So one thing that your getting counselling, about your experience of grief, will do is to enable you to understand, move through, move on etc. You will need to stand up to and experiencing potentially strong emotions from your child (to be).
Having worked through your side of grief, and any feelings of loss you have, will make it easier to handle any the child has. I am sorry if this is all really obvious.
The social workers will understand that things upset you, they will want to see you have worked through things. I cried about our secondary infertility issues when I met our social worker. But I was able to regain my composure and carry on talking and actually I think my response was normal.
Your response to the loss of a beloved niece sounds very normal and I am sure social workers would understand this.
Hi @bridgetjones1 - I think we have been speaking on one of the other boards but wanted to reply. We have just finished our 4th ivf cycle and if I am honest we went into it half hearted and only did it because it was our last funded cycle and we didn't want to regret it.
One thing that I really felt helped was that we went to an adoption info day to get more information - that way we as a couple could see whether it was something we felt we wanted to do if and when the treatment didn't work. For us it was really positive and whilst they continually reiterated how hard a process it was and the difficulties you could encounter it cemented for us the fact that we wanted to give a children/children a forever home and that to us being a family was super important. So maybe worth investigating? We have just registered and are now waiting to see what stage one brings.
I am so sorry to hear about your niece - you sound like you are grieving but I think that is completely expected and you just have to ride that wave- it's such an awful situation.
If you need to chat then pm me - I know with the ivf etc we have had similar issues so am there if you need x
Thank you all so much for your lovely replies.
You have all made great valid points about the counselling/therapy and it is something that I will look into. I think it would help enormously with all of our grief, IVF and our darling niece. Some days I just can't believe that she is gone. My DH is doing a half marathon to raise money for SIDS, I sent out an email to a select handful of work colleagues yesterday to ask for sponsorship and I was blubbing again, just writing that email set me off
We're off to our IVF clinic tonight to see the consultant. As this next round is already paid for we're going ahead with it, but I'm definitely not pinning all of my hopes on this, but I definitely see that we have options whichever way we decide to proceed.
@DLouise2004 - I'm so sorry that your final IVF failed but pleased that you're positively moving onto adoption. I wish you every luck for the future xxxxx
Good luck @bridgetjones1 - I hope this cycle goes well x
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