This evening Husby and I visited friends who are also seeking to adopt. We visited the information evening together a couple of months back and this is the first time we’ve really had to chat through what we think of it. It was fascinating to hear their take as well, and great to be able to share our hopes and fears.
They’ve progressed further than we have (as we’re still waiting to find out what might be on the cards as regards a natural child) and are expecting their initial home visit from a social worker on Wednesday – a fairly daunting prospect.
So we chatted about things we’ve discovered/found out/been told/dreamed up so far and laughed and dispelled some of the scariness for each other by sharing our knowledge.
One book I read wherein the author was sharing her adoption experience described the dumbfoundedness with which she faced the question from her social worker ‘Would you let your adopted child see you naked?’ We all laughed at the idea of being asked this, then slightly paled at the thought of answering. In the end we agreed it would depend on the situation, the age of the child, the child’s background etc. Yes, if they were toilet training and needed the loo whilst you were in the shower, or whilst sharing a cubicle at the swimming pool if they were too little to change by themselves; no if it was because we happened to be wandering around the house in the nip (not that any of us make a particular habit of it).
We also laughed when we heard that the New Zealand courts had intervened, making a child a ward of court so that she could change her name, foisted on her by particularly cruel parents. She was called ‘Talulah does the hula in Hawaii’. Other names where the Kiwi courts have intervened and prevented the parents carrying out their wishes included ‘Sex Fruit’, ‘Keenan got Lucy’ and ‘Twisty Poi’, though, bafflingly, they allowed a child to be named ‘Number 16 Bus Shelter’. Go figure.
We also looked in some of the adoption publications and agreed with the assertion made by *someone* connected with overseeing adoption statistics, that oftentimes potential adopters can be put off by the horrendous names parents have given their children. As we went through the children and (slightly, a little bit) tittered at some of the awful monikers we found, we were struck by how many of the children we felt we wouldn’t mind taking home.
We talked about how we had various concerns like lack of garden, lack of central heating, whether or not to adopt a sibling group, whether we’d prefer to adopt a younger or older child, pros and cons of same, what we’d do if our child turned out to be gay (a question posed in another book about the author’s experience of adoption), how to create a smooth transition from foster home to your home for the child, what we thought of the current restrictions on cross-cultural/racial adopting and many more topics
I can’t remember any more too numerous to mention.
Here’s to their visit going smoothly and enjoyably. I have to say, despite the excess of ‘daunt’ the process involves, I’m still excited to know that we’re going to do it and give a child(ren) their forever home. I’ve heard precisely NO opinions from adopters that adoption wasn’t worth the hassle, even in the accounts of adoption breakdowns I’ve read about. Good-O.