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When did you know he/she was the one for you?

(8 Posts)
chocolatedays Wed 30-Sep-09 17:39:42

Some wonderful friends are being matched to a uk child currently. They are going through the process rothe first time - and several couples have been short listed for a child.

They have seen a few photos and life story of a lad (just over 12mths) and are unsure whether he is the one for them or not. Next step is to see video footage.

IMO it is not surprising they don't "know" if he is the one.... just as you wouldn't know a partner is right for you just from a few pics and words. Is that fair - or did you "just know" from the start?

They have asked me whether they think they should be feeling differently. I'd like to give them as much support as I can and pray the child and my friends all find the best outcome in the end.
All thoughts and guidance appreciated.

NanaNina Wed 30-Sep-09 19:41:17

Hi chocolatedays - I am an independent sw with many years experience as an adoption sw. Of course your friends won't "know" this stage how they feel about a particular child. It is quite an anxious time for them in the process. The thing is that the final decision about matching a child with prospective adoptors is usually taken by the child's social worker and not the adoption sw though it can of course (and often is) a joint decision. If there are other couples being considered for the same child, then the child's sw will make a decision about the "right" family for the child.

As far as your friends are concerned, they need to keep an open mind at this stage and I would urge them to discuss whatever they are feeling with their adoption sw. It is quite normal for prospective adoptors to feel all sorts of emotions at this time and adoption sws will be willing to discuss any issues that arise. Attaching to a specific child is a process like anything else and there is usually a period of adjustment and during this time, the pros ads might feel doubts or anxieties and this is completely normal. Sometimes there is a mismatch with a couple and one may feel more attached to a child than the other. Again please suggest to your friends that they discuss their feelings with their sw. The Adoption Uk website is a mine of information and they will get very helpful info there and there will be reading material that will also help inthis stage of the process.

I have known cases where it has taken many months for adoptors to feel they have fully attached to a child and this is again very normal. Urge your friends to relax and try not to feel that there is a "right and wrong" way to feel but the main thing is to be honest about their feelings and discuss issues withtheir sw.

I wish them well.

chocolatedays Thu 01-Oct-09 11:25:40

Thanks. They are very open and honest people... though I can imagine many would feel unsure about expressing concerns to the sw for risk of putting doubts in their minds.

bran Thu 01-Oct-09 11:44:58

I've never seen video of a child that we were linked to. Actually with both adoptions that we have done we didn't ask to see any photos until we had decided to whether to go further with that child. TBH even after we saw photos of our DC they just looked like photos of children, neither of them were ours until they were with us.

I have some friends who adopted and fell in love with their DD the instant they met her. With both my kids I liked them a lot but I didn't have that overwhelming lay-down-my-life type of love for either of them for a few months. Once the child is placed everybody changes gradually and you grow into being a family without even noticing it happening. On our training course they said to behave as though you feel the love until you do feel the love, so I think it's fairly common to not fall in love straight away.

I would say to them from my experience that if they have no practical concerns about how they will cope with the child then go for it, the love will come. It's probably wise of them to protect their feelings a bit at the moment if they are on a short-list because they may not get the child. I would also say to them not to have any particular expectations about family life as I can guarantee that it won't be exactly what they imagine and that can be a bit deflating at first.

chocolatedays Thu 01-Oct-09 13:21:20

Very helpful - thanks Bran... and congratulations on becoming parents - (even if it was ages ago!!)

Kewcumber Thu 01-Oct-09 14:03:44

I was a great shock to me when I didn't fall in love instantly with DS (then 11 months) because everything I'd read was people raving about how their child was the one, love at first sight etc.

It took me a good couple of months to feel a reasonable bond and it didn't really start to develop fully until after he was home with me. I did feel responsible for him - I just didn't feel I loved him.

Someone gave me a great piece of advice "just pretend, the rest will come"

And it did - I made the decision to go ahead with the adoption based on the hard facts that there was really no good reason NOT to go ahead.

Now 3 years later, I can't watch ambulances coming out of the childrens A&E near where I work because even the thought of him being ill makes me feel sick.

namechange2009 Thu 01-Oct-09 19:51:02

When we first saw a picture of DD we thought she looked lovely but felt very detached from her. When we actually adopted her I felt nothing but anxiety for a long time. Luckily I had a wonderful friend who told me that when she gave birth to her first daughter she felt nothing but overwhelming panic at having this small baby depend on her and wanted to run away, the love came much later - which btw is exactly my experience.

The myth about love at first sight with babies/children can be damaging for anxious parents (though it is lovely for those who manage it)

maryz Thu 01-Oct-09 19:54:44

I didnt' get a choice with either of my two - I met them and took them home 20 minutes later. I do remember thinking that ds1 looked very peculiar the first time I saw him. By the time I had held him for 10 minutes I felt sorry for him, by the following day noone could have taken him from me. dd was similar, but quicker to take to because I knew more about babies.

To be honest I found it harder to bond with ds2 after a long labour and emergency CS. The first time I saw him, I thought he was very strange, and it was a couple of days before I really felt attached.

Stress and exhaustion can play tricks with you, and no matter how prepared you are for adoption the realily of an actual child, not the idea you have had for years, can be scary.

I agree with Kewcumber and bran completely (as usual).

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