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Anyone had an adoption fall apart before placement? How to cope?

17 replies

googler · 11/02/2008 15:55

Sadly, right before Christmas I was told the child I was matched with, would no longer be going forward for adoption (for a variety of reasons). I've had a supportive SW and LEA but I can't tell you how hard this is. I had her room ready and should have been starting adoption leave about now.

I just feel so inextricably sad about the whole thing, I keep getting questions from people (I had held of to tell most people until the time I was told it was "safe" and now everyone knows), work etc.

Everywhere I look, I see what should have been - I'd bought a bigger safer car, an adorable booster seat, highchair, bedding, books, toys, clothes, things for the garden, booked a child friendly holiday for the summer, even puchased a small piano so I could teach her as she loves music and I used to play piano as a child/teen etc. I've packed up almost everything and put it in my loft, but still have an incredibly empty feeling.

Has anyone else been in this situation or does anyone have any advice?
Thank you

OP posts:
theowlwhowasafraidofthedark · 11/02/2008 15:59

I've no advice but I'm so sorry. It must be heart wrenching.
Thinking of you

bran · 11/02/2008 16:00

Oh googler, that's just horrible.

I'm just about to walk out the door to pick ds up from school so I will come back and post later this evening. We had one that went wrong before we got ds. I had already started adoption leave, it was really dreadful. I feel so sorry for you going through this.

littleolwinedrinkerme · 11/02/2008 16:01

Hello - no experience or advice but felt had to reply and send you big hugs - it must be so terribly hard for you. Assuming you are still hoping to adopt, I just wanted to say good luck

googler · 11/02/2008 16:41

Thank you so much for your support all. Bran I'm sorry to hear that happened to you too. I posted in another topic and am now feeling like I've had to defend why I wanted to adopt, I'm not sure I did it very well or gracefully, I hope I wasn't too harsh on the poster, I'm new to mumsnet etiquette...sigh

Again, thank you it's so nice have even a few words of encouragement. Hopefully someone might be able to offer some advice!

OP posts:
googler · 11/02/2008 16:46

yes, I do still hope to adopt, can't face it right now though (hope that doesn't sound weak?!), trying to decide if I should make some major life changes first (job, location etc)

OP posts:
bran · 11/02/2008 20:01

Right, dh is supervising the bath so I have a few minutes.

I had a look at your other thread and I have to confess that I had a bit of a giggle. Getting a bit snappy with Anna8888 is a MN rite of passage. She means well (I think), but she sees things in black and white. She feels that what she does is right, so if she wouldn't choose to do something (be a single mother for eg) then, by definition, it's wrong. Add in that her moral stance and lifestyle seems to have been timewarped directly from the 1950's, and she has managed to get up quite a few people's noses. To be fair I think that there are aspects of her life that are not what she hoped it would be, and keeping up this front of always doing the "correct" thing (and condemming the "incorrect" thing) is what's keeping her going.

Generally on Mumsnet, like real life, there will be opinions that you won't agree with, and there will be some people who will make assumptions or snap judgements without knowing all the facts. Don't take it to heart, often their opinion has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their personal history. State your case if you want to, but be prepared to agree to differ.

Anyway, back to you. It does sound as though you are generally a bit down, and just having an adoption snatch away from you at the last minute is enough to make anyone miserable without all the background issues. You really need to be kind to yourself for a while, and perhaps don't make any big decisions about moving or changing jobs until you feel on an even keel. Although, given that your boss is a bully and not supportive, if you did happen to see a job come up in another school without having to move house do you think it might be worth going for?

I have to say that I was completely miserable and quite useless at work for about 8 weeks or more after our adoption fell through. I had left work on leave a week before the handover was due to start, and on the Friday of that week (handover due to start on Monday) we heard that the foster carers had decided to adopt the child. I went back to work a fortnight after I had left. I asked the HR director to send an email to everyone I worked with telling them that the adoption had fallen through and that I didn't want to talk about it, because I really couldn't talk about it, or even think about it, without bursting into tears. I was lucky that everybody at work was very kind and put up with my constant errors, and my friends were very supportive.

Do you keep in touch through email with your friends who have emigrated? Perhaps pouring it all out in written form might help to sort things out in your mind. Do you have a good break during the Easter holidays? Perhaps then or in the summer you could go an visit some of your emigre (sp?) friends, or your friends in London and get a change of scene.

I'm sending you through the web because you need them (normally I don't go in for this girly hugging lark at all ).

legalalien · 11/02/2008 20:36

googler - just wanted to add my support. I spent the first 24 weeks of my pregnancy waiting for test results that would tell me whether it was viable for full term or not, and although that's not an identical experience I, at least, can see some similarities in terms of emotional investment. I can only imagine (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that what you're going through is partially grief for a relationship that is not to be.

And, on a more positive note, to say that in my experience, life began at 28, and in my BF's, life began at 34, and that 40 is the new 30. Or something.

And I will be off to check the other thread - FWIW, I think posters have been a bit harsh on Anna8888 recently (not that she probably cares one way or another). On my initial post on this site, where I was extremely depressed (try and resist the temptation to track it down) I had a similar view to some of the other posters here, but now that I've dug myself out of the whole, I see things from a slightly different perspective - anyway, will reserve judgment until I've seen the thread.

Bran - look forward to meeting you!

TotalChaos · 11/02/2008 20:42

no real experience or advice to offer, but very sorry you went through such a disappointing and upsetting experience, I imagine you must feel rather bereft by what has happened.

legalalien · 11/02/2008 20:46

just re-read - that would be "out of the hole" (ouch!)

Kewcumber · 11/02/2008 20:49

oh googler - if you think that is getting harsh with Anna then you really haven't been on MN that long! She was quite breathtakingly insensitive to me (and anotehr person not even able to defend themselves not being on MN) so I'm afraid I have a short fuse with some of her opinions now and generally try to avoid a thread where she is active because I lose all persopective. Ultimately she lacks empathy with people who do not have a similar life to her and make decisions that she doesn't understand.

I didn;t think your reply to her a
was unnecessarily snappy just to the point.

I think a failed placemnet must be like a late miscarriage. I was lucky that my matching with DS when through OK. Taking a few months/year to recover is perfectly natural though in fact it would possibly take that long to get rematched anyway - so you could (if you were a cold-blooded cow like me ) do your grieving whilst you waited.

I think you should consider looking for alternative jobs even if half-heartedly. There are pros and cons to moving job - the thought that you might get away from your bullying boss might keep you sane on the other hand no fun trying to settle into a new job and deal with the adoption process.

You may also find that your relationship with your parents changes when you have a child... smothering can become baby-sitting! Also I have foiund that I am much more prepared to say no to things for the sake of my DS when I wasn't prepared to say it for myself. EG No I can't come over now DS is having a nap.

Are you able to have an honest conversation with your paretns..."I'm concerned that you are very dependent on me and I won;t be able to cope with it when a child is placed"? I know it sounds blunt but it may be worthwhile. Better than feeling hunted anyway.

Otehrwise if you're stuck in the area for a while, have you tried finding out if there are any other MN'ers in the area who might like to meet-up. I joined MN to meet other parents prior to my adoption of DS and I have made some great friends this way.

Finally - you won't ever be able to explain to people who don't understand how you feel about your child when they are adopted. I find a nice smile and changing the subject is the best approach. Once you have a child IME people stop asking about it.

legalalien · 11/02/2008 20:54

KewC - think we just cross posted and agree - generally

Kewcumber · 11/02/2008 20:58

you might not beleive that I temper my views when Anna posts legal, but I do, honest I do! IfF you had seen the famous thread when we had our run in you would think me a model of restraint!

legalalien · 11/02/2008 21:01

missed it and (in the interests of open mindedness!) won't look!

I do think generally (and with no comment on the particular thread) that there is a lot of room for alternative interpretations of stuff that people post though - I've definitely re-read things and had a completely different take on them depending on my view. I do, however, have pretty impressive mood swings!

Kewcumber · 11/02/2008 21:06

look away - you won't find it - Anna asked for it to be deleted, her thread, her choice. I don't consider myself to be easily offended and on the whole I can't summon up the energy to care what anyone else thinks of me. However on that thread I went out of my way to help her find out some information about adoption and it subsequently became obvious that the thread was a thinly veiled attack on single parents who adopt. Obviously I had an opinion though (even more obviously) thats only my take on the thread in question. I haven;t held a grudge before or since on MN but I find myself making an exception for that one! So I just find it best to try to avoid getting into debate with her. I get very childish otherwise

CalifrauQuoteoftheWeek · 11/02/2008 21:30

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bran · 13/02/2008 15:10

How are you doing today googler?

jeanc · 18/02/2008 16:39

Dear Googler

I had a similar experience to you - I am a single adopter and had been matched with a child - a little girl of 6, we spent 6 months finding out about her meeting her foster carer and school etc. - I went through matching panel and had left work to go and meet her and then she was withdrawn after I had got her room ready got things with her name on in her favourite colour ( pink) etc.

It really was heart wrenching,some of it was due to my having asked for and got some therpetuic support for her at matching panel - they became involved prematurely not through my choosing and were very judgemental basically about my being single and after it had all been agreed and everyone including the child's social worker was happy with it they re assed me without telling me that was what they were doing, and put the spoke in.

I don't know what to advise - I have kept going through the adoption proccess but it is now two years ago and I have not had another match which has gone ahead.

There seems to be a lot of judgement around being single - I am now looking at abroad and have joined this to find out if anyone can help with kazakstan.

If you want to e mail privately I would be happy to do that - it is a relief to read something from someone else this has happened to. I didn't know where to turn, and was told that basically I had no rights.


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