What exactly do we do with ourselves after the adoption preparation groups?
You will learn from my posts, if you don’t know already, that a lot of the adoption process is waiting; waiting for the agency, waiting for social workers, waiting for medicals, waiting for your CRB check and most importantly, waiting for a child. It is difficult to communicate effectively how frustrating the ‘adoption waiting game’ actually is.
Having said that, I refuse to pay lip service to what many people call a broken system. I have listened to countless people moan and groan about adoption taking too long, but I have heard few suggest an alternative.
I subscribe to the school of thought that if you identify a problem, and you want to chew someone’s ear off about it, you should at least, present them with a valuable solution.
It is without doubt a frustrating system, and as well as the prospective parents like myself and my wife having to wait, the shameful truth is that the longer children stay in care, the more susceptible they are to damage, be it emotional, mental or otherwise.
However, as I write, I cannot give you a better way of doing it, so for now, waiting is a part of adoption that we have to learn to live with.
So, what do we do during the wait?
Of course, you can fill your time with menial tasks; go on holiday, read books, paint your house or break your toe.
That’s right – the Saturday after preparation groups, I broke my toe. In fact, as I recall, my wife booby trapped the upstairs landing with a piece of furniture that did not belong in the hall way, and as I walked in to it, with some considerable force apparently, my middle toe on my right foot suffered a spiral fracture.
I was writhing around the floor and cursing my wife for leaving a shelf in such a ridiculous place, but I was hastily reminded, it was me that failed to put the shelf up.
Of course it was my fault love. How senseless of me to walk into your book shelf, which was so elegantly and thoughtfully placed on our landing.
There is no distraction like physical injury
The Saturday that this happened, we were looking after the boys, so as I lay on the couch with my feet wrapped in frozen peas, I fear G and H may have learned a few words no human under the age of 21 should hear. Children’s brains are like sponges apparently, so they must have soaked up my profanities good and proper.
With my sailor talk resonating throughout our lounge, poisoning the innocent minds of our guests, I was at least, not thinking about adoption.
Maybe, it has been suggested, my sub-conscious intentionally manufactured the toe brake debacle so as to protect myself from the frustration that adoption waiting causes – maybe, but probably not.
If that was my subliminal plan however, it backfired spectacularly.
With a broken toe, there is little you can do except hobble around and complain, which I have a particular penchant for, I admit, but as the pain subsides, your physical options are limited, and so you fall back to your thoughts.
Of which, mine quickly turned to adoption. So in my six week recovery time, not only did I fill the ears of the local youth with my lurid vocabulary, I pondered how long it would be before the adoption home study started. Square one beckoned.
The waiting is inevitable, despite my pitiful attempt to distract myself through personal injury, I remained thoughtful about adoption. It is after all, a big thing; the big thing in our lives.
You can try and distract yourself, by all means give it a go, but remember – broken bones make the waiting worse. Take my advice – watch out for the furniture.