Why I think the adoption process has made me a better person

April 21, 2013 14 Comments

three children in the adoption processCast your mind back to school. You remember the weird kids, the ones who acted a little differently, who struggled a bit more in school; the naughty ones. I don’t think I gave them the time of day, but maybe if I did, I would have found out that they were part of the UK’s adoption process.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a bully per se, but the school grounds are harsh terrain, and cultivates a brutal mob mentality. My strategy was to play it straight, and stay out of trouble, but not everyone can do that.

The UK adoption process, for all its faults, has at least made me a lot more introspective about how I view people. I am a little slower to judge, and a bit quicker to forgive.

I wish I had known back then what I know now, although maturity probably plays its part as well with that sentiment.

The mystery of the adoption family

I remember three kids in particularly, two boys and a girl. Back then they could pretty much secure a section of the bus without being bothered, all three acting in ways that the rest of us simply didn’t understand.

It wasn’t until about three years ago, rather sadly I admit, that the memory of this family of outcasts came flooding back, right in the middle of my own experience with the adoption process.

Their behaviour, demeanour and attitudes showed all the classic signs of children in care. The boy who misbehaves for attention, the boy who can’t look people in the eye, and the girl with an appetite for impropriety all shared the same foster carers.

The adoption process comes full circle

I have presumed, perhaps naively, that society has changed. We are now more tolerant, forgiving and understanding. Families no longer consist of mum, dad, brother and sister. Not exclusively anyway. Family life has taken a turn for the adventurous, and now expresses the variety of half-brothers, step sisters, and I hope… adopted and foster children.

So why is it then that the sniff of guilt I have about these three kids and my ignorance towards them, is poking at my conscience a little bit harder now?

The adoption process has come full circle. The hole that was my ignorance has been filled in by my own fate. My inability to father a child naturally has given me the power to father one properly. I can’t change the future of those three kids, but I have been given the opportunity to change the life of someone.

So it is, that where I once turned a blind eye to adoption, I now have been thrown at it with my eyes wide open. I am genuinely glad too.

I am all the better for it, that is for sure.

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About the Author:

Andrew is an adoptive father, and stay at home dad. Having adopted his son in January 2013, he is a new adoptive parent, but well versed in the adoption process. He is a married, coffee drinker, Xbox addict, and a Marketing graduate. Andrew McDougall is an alias he uses to protect the identity of his adopted son.

Comments (14)

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  1. Stix says:

    Interesting post, I too remember similar kids at school, and recognise others at my son’s school now.
    Where I would have turned away from ‘those kids’ back then, I now turn towards them. My teenage ignorance has turned to adult empathy, and I thank the adoption process for opening my mind and educating me.

    Thanks for linking this up to the Weekly Adoption Shout Out x
    Stix recently posted..FlatMy Profile

  2. Mummy of Two says:

    I don’t know anyone that has been adopted but see the way they are portrayed on the TV all the time as ‘naughty’ children. Congratulations on your recent adoption.
    Mummy of Two recently posted..Oat so simple messy playMy Profile

  3. Notmyyearoff says:

    My friend has two adopted girls and they are perfectly fantastic kids but when they are naughty she sometimes has to stop others from implying its some left over hang up from pre-adoption or adoption itself, everyone turns into an expert then.
    Notmyyearoff recently posted..Anisha Goes To Bangladesh – A Book ReviewMy Profile

  4. “My inability to father a child naturally has given me the power to father one properly.”

    Such powerful words.

    Pretty much everybody I know has spoken to me about how their eyes have been opened since I started fostering, and then adopted. It’s not just the children, but their birth parents too – many find it easy to see them as monsters, but the truth is so much more complex.

  5. Sarah says:

    I really understand where you are coming from with this. I help organise some of the youth activities in our local Amateur Dramatics group. I was advised once to not include a boy due to his bad behaviour in school. I instantly decided he was a child I was definitely going to include as I could imagine him being my own son. At school I would have found his slightly odd behaviour and unkempt appearance very off putting and stayed away. A really great post.

    Thanks for sharing on The Weekly Adoption Shout Out.

  6. A really thought-provoking post. I would also like to think that society is more tolerant now, but there are times I’m not so sure. I think it’s up to everyone to try and make a difference and not to judge.
    Congratulations on becoming an adoptive parent,I hope everything is going well for you.

  7. Hi, it is difficult sometimes I think. Had it would not have been for adoption, I don’t think I would have known any better, but fingers crossed that the winds of change are close??? Thanks so much for your comment, very much appreciated.
    Andrew McDougall recently posted..Win a £10 Amazon voucher courtesy of theonehandmanMy Profile

  8. Lindsay says:

    I was just having a similar conversation with my husband; I’m particularly sensitive around conversations and comments about mothers since I lost mine when I was 20 and I now am a mom and step mom, as well as conversations around disability and needs because of my own kids needs and the work I am in. But I am that way because of my experiences. And so I wonder what I am saying that may be preceived as insensitive to somebody else simply because I haven’t had their particular experiences and I’m simply aware, just as you were not aware when you were younger about those kids situation. I suppose that that is part of growing up and sharing out stories with others and learning from them. Thanks for sharing:)
    Lindsay recently posted..If Mama could see me now!My Profile

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