A Circus Run By a Cackle of Hyenas
I have decided that international adoption is the equivalent of:
a circus run by a cackle of hyenas.
And maybe better yet, it is like:
a circus run by clowns with the maturity and common sense of a cackle of hyenas.
Needless to say I am frustrated.
On more then one occasion in the last week I’ve even said to Mr. MPB that I’m ready to call it quits. I’m ready to go back to trying on our own. The idea of enduring more miscarriages isn’t so bad when I think about enduring the international adoption process for even another moment.
We were told adoption is not for the faint of heart. We were told international adoption is even harder. We were told when we chose international adoption that no-one holds your hand through the process, and we are left to navigate the waters on our own.
We were warned more then once.
But we decided that we can do it. We made the personal decision that the benefits of international infant open adoption far outweigh the risks of the more complicated process. We decided that we have the ability and know-how to manage almost any professional and personal situation, so we decided can do this international adoption thing. We have each achieved top academic grades throughout our lives. We each have a couple of university degrees. We each operate as professionals with integrity. We’ve survived 5 miscarriages. We’ve navigated a medical system which does not support miscarriage diagnosis. That said, neither one of us are the next Aristotle, Charles Darwin or Albert Einstein, but we were pretty sure we could handle this. (hmmm…side note, why aren’t there more women in the list of great historical thinkers?)
So, why is it that the adoption process is taking over my life and driving me crazy? Honestly, there is no way to say this without sounding arrogant, so here it is: I think it’s because I expect common sense. I think it’s because I see nuances in the system that simply do not make logical sense, that others seem to overlook. Simple things like:
- I think something like a list of requirements is easy to put together and is a common sense starting point.
- I think making sure the documents that are requested actually exist is critical. It just makes sense as a practical approach to determining the list of requirements.
- I think it’s crazy to be changing the requirements every few weeks. Unless the laws change, which they will from time to time, the requirements should not. And they most certainly should not be changing every few weeks. (Although the constantly changing requirements does help explain why no reliable lists exist anywhere).
- I think it’s absurd that fees rise every few months and I cannot understand for the life of me where all the money is going. I do not understand how there doesn’t appear to be much/any accountability or transparency in the financial side of international adoption, even through I believe the Hague Convention aims to help deal with such things. (I suspect there will be many more posts on this subject in the future).
All of this means that I’m spending a lot of my energy and time reminding myself that:
- I do not have to fix the system, I just have to get through it. I can work to fix the system when the time is right, but while we are living inside of the system, and dependent upon it, I must accept that we just have to preserver through it. It is hard for me to let go of something that clearly should be changed, and this is taking a lot of effort for me to let go of it.
- Just because I realize a particular nuance does not mean that everyone else does and more importantly it does not mean that the nuance means anything to anyone other then me. For example, terminology is very important to my technical brain so the difference between words like request and waive is critical in my mind, but interchangeable to others.
- The power dynamics within adoption feel to me like they are paramount. This means I have absolutely no control over this process, and no ability to positively influence it. This is my biggest challenge right now. I think it says something pretty significant when I feel like we had more control when we were going through RPL!! I cannot voice a concern. I can not point our the obvious. I cannot request an update. If I manage to piss off the wrong person, the end result will simply be that we can not adopt. I think my anxiety and frustration is drastically increasing because I feel like I’ve been handcuffed and muted.
So, while I currently think the international adoption process is beyond frustrating, I also know that quitting isn’t really an option at this point. I know we are going to have children, living childfree is not something either of us want. Given our medical diagnosis, the idea of going through more miscarriages is not something I’m prepared to do to another baby, myself or Mr. MPB. So for now, I just need to keep reminding myself that a few more months and we should be through the approvals and paperwork. And eventually, our child will be worth every single moment of stress, every single white hair that I now grow and every single tear I have and will shed.
And in the meantime, I am just going to start picturing these clown hyenas whenever I get frustrated and feel my blood pressure rising.
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