Monday, February 1, 2010

Unwrapping Memories and Turning a Page

I am lucky to be a member of some wonderfully supportive online forums ('s Foster/Adopt Board, thebump's Adoption Board, What to Expect's Trying to Conceive Board and Fertility Treatments Board). These forums are for people trying to conceive, undergoing fertility treatments, and now adoption/foster care. A few members of the communities have become amazing friends and I know that I am lucky to have them in life (even if I miss the fact that I can't give or get a hug from them during those much needed moments when that is all either of you want, but I do know that I have a virtual shoulder to lean on in them and I hope they feel the same way about me).

Anywho, the point of the blog isn't to tell you how wonderful you all are (even though it is completely true!) or how I wouldn't have been able to make it through some of my tough times without you(again all true), but to answer a specific question about adoption. Mainly because I seem to notice the this question over and over again on the forums.

"My husband is reluctnant to adopt, even though we've tried everything and it seems that if we want children and a family we'll have to adopt. How did you get your husband on board?"

Well, first of all I didn't "get him on board", beacuse you can't make someone do something that they aren't willing to do. However, there are many men that feel this way about adoption and also about fertility treatments. For adoption the issue is mainly because of the fear of the unknown.. that nagging question "Will I be able to accept and love someone else's child?" For my husband this answer came from a source close to home. His mother has an at home daycare (from my understanding she always has), so this answer is two-fold: LOVE & FEAR).

First lets tackle: F.E.A.R.... As a child, there was a sibling group (little boy and his older sister) that my mother-in-law (MIL) watched... they were in the foster care program. The little boy had some SEVERE emotional and behavioral problems. I don't know the full details, but I believe there was some abuse and neglect in his background which resulted in agressive and violent behavior towards the other children. The sister on the other hand, was the EXACT opposite. We've discussed.. endlessly.. the possibility of having a child like this in our home. It isn't an easy situation and nor is it one that I can honestly say we'd be able to handle, but (as I told him) I have faith in the fact that our Caseworker (CW) will have an open line of communication with us and that if we are placed with a child that is too difficult for us, we will either get the guidance we need to be able to help the child or the child will be placed in a home better suited to his needs. So the answer is FAITH & TRUST.

Now onto L.O.V.E.... Can you really unconditionally love someone else's child? And how do you know that you can give your heart away? Again, the answer was right before our eyes... well, in my MIL's daycare. She watched a big bright eyed two year old girl.. "J.". Well J. had a fond affection for my dear husband, P., so much so that she would want cry if we left and even ask to spend the night at our house. She was a sweetheart and hard not to fall for. You could see it in both their eyes.. they LUV'd each other and she was definitely head over heals for him!! Of course, this was during the time period of our fertility treatments and the possiblity of it never working. So adoption was a general topic of our converstations and those initial questions about loving a child that isn't biologically yours came up. I "unwrapped the memories" of J. and P. and asked "If J.'s parents said that they couldn't care for her anymore and would like us to adopt her, what would you do?" His responded that he'd adopt her. And I then said "See, if you could so easily accept J., why wouldn't you be able to accept and love another child?" The light bulb went on.. he could in fact love another person's child, because he already did.

So with that, we are progressing forward with our plan to adopt through the foster care system and also become foster parents. We have scheduled our P.R.I.D.E. Training for this month. I am.. well we both are excited and nervous!! But we are turning a page!


  1. All in all, I agree--there is no 'getting him on board'. I think that he has to come to the decision that adoption is right for him, for the couple on his own. That's where knowledge is power and ultimately, he should educate himself on the whole of adoption before making a final decision about what he wants. That's how we ended up where we are today!

  2. Maddie- thanks for sharing that, it certainly sounds that you have both arrived at the same destination through your own journeys and I guess that is what you are trying to cannot force it on someone.
    sending you positive thoughts for your training!



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