Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
Information Overload(13 Posts)
As a prospective adopter (with my husband)
I've been doing my research reading various books related to adoption, dealing with infertility, primal wound, attachment disorder.
I now feel deflated, I still want to adopt but feel overwhelmed with the many negative messages I have read and constantly worry that I wont be up to "the job" of being an adoptive parent
Is it just me? I need some positive but realistic ideas of what being an adoptive parent is really like
No it's not just you. I'm not in the same boat as I'm adopting my step son, but I'm finding it quite emotional. It's stupid really as I'll still live with him no matter what and he'll still think I'm Mummy (his first Mummy died when he was three and she's known as 'Mummy up there').
I constantly feel like I'm not a good enough Mum and that was before we started the adoption procedure. DH on the other hand tells me we're all happy and love each other and have fun. He's right that they're the most important things but I still find it tough. I know I'm impatient, I know I can be stroppy if tired, I know I'd sometimes have a bit of peace but on the positive, I do youth (and sometimes childrens) work in my spare time so I guess I know part of the reality. Have you thought about doing some work with children or something like that? It might make you feel more confident. Obviously, it may be that you already deal with children a lot and it's the 'seriousness' of the adoption that's making you worry.
I've had to answer questions on family history and things that quite frankly, are irrelevant. I've now got to the 'block it out and don't think about it stage'.
On the up side, the social worker told us last week that we should consider fostering once our family is 'established' so they obviously think I'm better than I do . I also hate the terminology as it seems so 'legal' and unrealistic that I feel it's tainting my family.
Don't know if this will help, but just wanted you to know that although I'm not in entirely the same boat, there are people who understand.
thanks for your words of support, I'm looking forward to reaching the "block it out don't think about it stage". I live with my stepson (now a teenager), although not adopted him as his mother is very much a part of his life.
I'm just worried that they 'adoption panel etc.....' are looking for this ideal person and I'm ok but definitely not perfect. Also worried about support networks as my family live in a different part of the country. Although I have friends in the local area including very good neighbours is this enough?
I'm just a bag of nerves about the whole process, in all other aspects of my life I'm quite confident.
I go to church so I put one of the ladies there as my reference so it looked good as she'd known me for life but also knew that I do 'good things'. Have you got anyone who could do that for you?
They're not looking for ideal, they're looking for stable and normal (whatever that is). With us, their main concern has been about DS knowing about his birth mother. Except of course he does because he remembers her.
One of the things she said was about us being inclusive (we literally end up involved in peoples lives due to 'helping out') and they were impressed about a teenager who I look after and do school meetings for etc. It meant I was capable of loving a child who is not 'mine' (if you told this teenagers= she's not mine she'd tell you where to stick it). Having your step son will play a big part in your family and also your relationship with him. If that's good, they'll know you'll be a good adoptive Mum.
As for being perfect, no-one is. If they thought you appeared perfect, they'd probably worry what you are hiding!
ADopting a child is a huge undertaking and you'd be a bit odd if you didn't have significant doubts about both your ability and your desire to do it from time to time. If adoption panels were looking for perfect parents then they wouldn't have any approved at all - they're looking for realistic parents who have done their research and who have a reasonable amount of support around them.
I have to say if you want to feel good about adopting "The Primal WOund" probably isn;t the most comforting book! NOt every adoptee agrees with her premise that they weren't able to recover from the primal wound of adoption.
DOn;t lose heart - I'm still in the honeymoon stage - DS really is barely aware that he's adopted yet and so I still have many issues still to come, but I sometimes think/hope that the joy I have had from these early years alone will have made the whole experience worthwhile.
Oh lord, YES - I would be surprised if any prospective adopter didn't freak out a little once they started researching the issues. (You wait till you start reading the threads of adoptionuk - totally depressing!)
I'm several months ahead of you in the process, and I'll admit there's been many times when I've thought, "Why would anyone do this? All they're offering you is trouble and heartbreak". And you DO need to understand the problems adopted children face, and how adoption is different from having a birth child.
Somehow, you then have to balance that with needing to have some hope and belief that by adopting a child you will experience happiness and fulfilment.
And then you have to take a leap of faith.
I don't know how anybody does this. I just know that they do. And that there are many, many happy adopters out there.
Talk to some of those happy adopters, go to the prep course, engage in the process, and see what feelings emerge.
Thank you all for your advice. I'm glad to hear that there are happy adopters out there, I was starting to wonder why anyone would bother to adopt if all they were going to get was rejection and grief.
Glad to hear that "primal wound" is not a universally accepted tome, it has certainly wounded me!!! Having said that I've highlighted some key passages, so it can't have been all bad. Think I'll give myself a break from anymore reading for the mo.
If any of you have advice about building up support networks in my local area, I'd be grateful
Just wanted to say good luck, wymee. Someone who didn't have any doubts would be someone who was overconfident, IMO.
I'm not in your shoes but have very happy family experience of adoption and also have friends with very positive experience of adoption. It really CAN work, and the fact that you are thinking about it so deeply suggests you are on your way to being the best parent some lucky little boy or girl could find.
Just been away and catching up but would like to say we're extrememly happy adopters. Have had so much fun,joy and fulfillment from our children - more than we ever dreamed would be possible. We were I think fairly realistic about the differences between adoptive and natural parenting and have always had good support networks but never parents living closeby.
There are some scary stories out there and some people face greater challenges than we have so far experienced - but ours are now both teenagers............
Support networks - friends with and without children, those who have also adopted - local Adopt UK support group?? Social Services usually have post adoption support groups (coffee mornings etc), relatives who are prepared to learn more about the particular needs of children who have been adopted, usual toddler groups, contacts made through schools and childrens' activity groups. Of course many of these will not form part of your support network unitl your child is with you but bet that's the case with many of us - these are often the people best placed to offer most practical support though and of course it's usually reciprocated!
I think its much better you approach adoption with the feelings you have, rather than believing its all going to be just fine.
You wouldnt last five minutes if you did
Also things 'on paper' always look worse than in RL. If you wrote down my DS's issues you wouldnt touch him with a barge pole. Actually he is perfect and wonderful and just lovely.
I have found Primal Wound very helpul. Our DS was only 8 weeks old when he came to us straight from b.mum. Any potential truma is usually dismissed as he was so young. Its good to have some reference that I can relate to. It can be quite though. I dont look at it when I am feeling fragile.
I only discovered this site a few days ago, having googled "primal wound". Even if I found the book depressing the advice I've received over the past few days has given me more hope than I've had for ages about the whole adoption process.
Is adoption uk a must for prospective adopters?
I would say so Wymee.
Be warned though - people tend to post when they are feeling upset, overwhelmed or things are going wrong. You can get a tilted view of adoption
But there is sooo much knowledge on the forums and people tend to be really helpful.
Hi Wymee - being an adoptive parent is fab . Most of the time!
Our DS has been with us for years now and generally things are going great. But be prepared for curveballs that are out of your control. We had a really positive experience til we met our wee ones foster carers . Then despite the fact that you think you are settling into normal family life things raise their head when you least expect them (e.g. where were you mummy when I was being born in the hospital? why did that lady (birth mum) not like me??) but its one day at a time.
We don't talk about adoption every day but DS knows that he can talk to us at any time about it and has photos etc that he can look at of birth mum. The no secrets/surprises approach works best for us.
Please don't be deflated and as for being up to the job ask any parent about that. Adopted children just add another layer!
I read lots too but to be honest put the books away. Don't know if you have other dc's but if not go on holiday, sleep lots and drink wine. Far more useful in real terms .
Don't know where you are in the process but it's likely you will have to undertake preparation group sessions. If so please keep in touch with the other folk you meet there. It might not seem like it at the time but once you have children placed they are sometimes the only folk that get it.
Lots and lots of luck!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.