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'The adopted child I'm still waiting to meet.'

by TABITHA THOMPSON

Our friends and family often ask “Any word yet?” and my usual, uniform response is “Not yet, still playing the waiting game.” Having waded through the endless paper work, the information nights, the training sessions, the assessment and the subsequent approval to locally adopt or permanently care for a child, my husband and I had expectations.

These expectations have been slowly dwindling, shrinking to fit the mould of what our social worker had told us in the beginning, “Tthink of this process as a pregnancy”, our own ideas and the actual truth of how long we have been waiting. We constantly ask ourselves: “Are we asking too much? Are we putting our lives on hold for something that is just not going to happen? What can we do to help this situation?” and as difficult as it would be, “Should we find a new focus?”

Every time we each ponder these questions, it shapes us and our opinion of the process we’ve been through up until now. Each time we hear the news of yet another friend or family member being blessed with a baby we hear that little question we dare not say aloud – “Why can’t this be happening to us?” We are not incredibly jealous people, we’re normally much more grounded and content with our lives.

Tabitha

Then another bunch of feelings flutter around our minds such as, “Are we being greedy?” Having already naturally produced a confident and amazing daughter (aged 8), some have suggested that we should be content with what we have. Our answer is, and always has been, “Yes! We are incredibly happy with our beautiful daughter yet we know we have so much more to give.”

Watching childless couples go through this process has been absolutely the most difficult part. We’ve always felt a deep sense of guilt, trying to justify why we deserve a second child when they have not been successful having their first. It breaks our heart and in all honesty, if my body would physically bear a child for at least one of these couples, I would. Yet, our ‘unexplained infertility’ will not ever allow that.

As I write this, it has been two years since beginning this process, nine months since achieving approval for permanent care along with local adoption and five minutes since I began writing this piece. That’s two years of waiting, nine months of planning and five minutes of reminiscing. The longest human pregnancy ever!

These are the constant thoughts that live in our minds on a daily basis. They never leave for a day and they can’t be drowned out by other thoughts and feelings. It’s difficult to grasp that there is nothing we can do, our fate regarding having another child join our family is in the hands of someone else. So we continue the waiting game.

Tabitha is a 29 year old married mum of one. She studies primary teaching full-time and enjoys writing as a past time.

Have you or someone close to you adopted children? What was the process like?

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