Today is an interesting day. I have lots in my mind, but for one of the first times ever, I’m just not sure how to get any of it out. And, I’m not sure that I will even be able to finish a post before I go to bed tonight, or even before 7am on Friday when I typically post.
So bare with me, this might just turn into a giant rambling rant, but I’m just going to go with it as I write through everything that is on my mind.
My career crisis is still top of mind for me. I am really at a loss for what to do, and I’m really struggling with being so lost. It’s just not a scenario I’m used to. While doing contract work from home has some perks, it also has a pretty big drawback – I don’t have much of it. Ideally I’d like to find a way to be confident that I could be working a solid 1 or 2 days a week, instead of my current situation where I have no idea if I’ll be working at all on any given week. And, when I do look for professional part-time work, it’s impossible to find, at least from a standard job ad perspective. If I want a part time job at Starbucks, or as a trucker, I can find that work very easily, but I know that’s not the type of work I’m looking for. So, what am I going to do? I have no freaking idea – hence the stress!
I’ve been trying for a few weeks to write a post about a thankful list – I’ve read a few others on other peoples blogs, and each time I try to write I get stuck on the fact that I am so unbelievably thankful for all of you, in the blogging community. The last few months have been particularly hard for us as we’ve closed one door and are opening another. It’s not that I’m not thankful for a number of other things, but right now, its the support that we’ve received through my blog that has meant so much to us. I’m so unbelievably thankful for all the support we have received from each one of you. Quite literally, as I was writing this paragraph, I got the nicest picture about adoption from another blogger – it is simple, kind thoughts like this that just make my heart melt. It’s not enough, but all I can say from the bottom of my heart is thank you to every single person who has supported us through everything, through comments, emails or silently. Please know that I am honoured to have you all in my life.
On the adoption front, we’ve been busy this week. We’ve talked to our three references who were all super excited for us and honoured to be a reference. We’ve told a few more friends and a few family members. We’ve submitted the reference paper work to our local agency who will be doing the front end home study work with us. We paid our official application fee with the local agency. We have spoken to multiple agencies in the USA, and as of this moment we are 98% convinced that we will be going with an agency in California.
We’ve noticed an interesting trend that most people are asking what race of child we will adopt. We haven’t made our minds up on this one, and are really looking forward to working with our agency on the home study to help determine exactly what we will choose. (I still find this odd, but it is a choice we have to make so we will).
We’ve also noticed that people are shocked that we’ve chosen to go to the USA. We were told to expect this, as most people assume an international adoption will be from countries such as Russia, China, Ethiopia, etc. And, just like us, most Canadians don’t realize the USA is even a viable option. If we are comfortable, and we have been so far, we simply explain some of the reasons why we’ve chosen the USA and so far everyone has been very supportive of our decision.
As for all our Recurrent Pregnancy Loss stuff, we are pretty much done with trying again. This is probably pretty clear given my posts lately on the subject – as from a psychological perspective I know I cannot try again given our prognosis. But, and yes, there is a but. We are really frustrated with Dr. Braverman and his staff. We should have had our results a week ago, and we have heard nothing. I’m pretty sure I paid Dr. Braverman for a response and a protocol design to be done in a timely manner. Honestly, I would respect and be happy with having an honest response of just being told that they cannot get our results to us in the estimated timeline for whatever reason, instead they have been giving us the runaround. When I’ve asked for an update, I’ve been told 6 weeks usually and you’ll get them when you get them.
This type of disrespectful response is what I have come to expect from my Canadian doctors, but I am not okay with getting it from a doctor that I have paid a sizable amount of our hard earned cash to! And since he missed his promised time frame, we ended up having to cancel our appointment with our local RE because there was no point on going to him without knowing what type of treatment options we wanted to discuss regarding what he would or would not make available locally (remember, our expectations are really low, but we wanted to confirm). And to make matters worse, they’ve even been incredibly unresponsive to my simple request for a formal receipt for our appointment! I need it for tax purposes, and while it’s not yet an urgent matter as tax season is still months away, it really shouldn’t be that hard to get me a receipt! So, all I can say right now, is that we are pretty frustrated with Dr. Braverman and his staff.
And, I have finally figured out one of the things that has thrown me off balance this week – we haven’t been cooking much. We’ve been so busy spending our evenings butchering and processing the 2 deers that Mr. MBP and his friends got, that we haven’t had time to actually cook meals. I have a horrible habit of eating quick meals (aka poorly) when Mr. MPB isn’t around (i.e. Kraft Dinner, cereal for supper, etc.) and then we’ve been ordering delivery the other nights. Our bodies are not used to process food, and I think we are both feeling it now. I finally got my act together and made venison chili, and we’ve really enjoyed it since it was pretty awesome. I think I need to get back to making an effort to cook fresh meals.
Oh, and I cannot forget to mention our dog. She’s been on my mind a lot this week as she’s been off which clearly stresses me out. She didn’t eat for an entire day, and when she started eating again she would only do it if I am in the room and watching. She won’t even keep eating if I start doing something in the same room, I literally have to watch her eat. So, needless to say this is very peculiar. She’s 80+ pound dog, who loves food. Mr. MPB thinks that she might be boycotting her food as she’s been used to getting deer meat treats the last few week and now we are out. Needless to say, I’m just confused, and am trying to convince myself that as long as she will eat and drink then she’s okay, even if annoyingly fussy.
Clearly, as this post exemplifies, I’m feeling a bit out of sorts and my mind if running with a million different thoughts. So, hopefully I can find some calm and peace this weekend and put my mind to rest even if just for a few hours.
Anyways, that concludes my overly long ramble. I’m impressed if anyone made it this far…
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I read a post on the subject of adoption and the concept of a single story. The post talked about how the idea of a single story cannot be extrapolated to represent an entire population, using adoption as the specific example. Rather than me paraphrase, I recommend reading the post yourself on The Adopted Ones Blog (and watch Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk too, it’s worth it).
While, I was struck by the idea that no-one would expect a non-adoptive family to share the same birth story, so why would people think that adoptive families and children should all share the same story? Throughout history there is always a dominant narrative, often written by those with the strongest voice (and usually the deepest pockets) or those who won the battle. Yet, if you dig deeper, there are many, many untold stories and a much wider reality then what is often portrayed in popular media.
But honestly, that’s not my point today. What I want to share is actually 6 words this blogger shared with me in the comment section. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about these words since I reading them a few days ago. This means Mr. MPB has had to listen to me verbally think through it which in turn means that I needed to write about it. So, now its your turn to follow my thoughts, if you so choose.
“…adoption starts on a foundation of loss…”
This comment has really resonated with me, as I think about the 3 sides of this comment. (Note that in this post, I am only speaking to open adoptions, not closed adoptions).
1. Most Adoptive parents turn to adoption after years of loss.
This is really the only one of the 3 sides I can truly understand and relate to, as it is the group that Mr. MPB and I belong to.
My initial thoughts were about why, when and how adoptive parents choose to turn to adoption. Mr. MPB and I turned to adoption after 5 miscarriages / 5 losses. In my research it has been made clear to me that the vast majority of people turn to adoption after struggling with infertility of some sort (I do acknowledge that this isn’t the case for everyone, and some people choose adoption for other reason). For the infertility crowd, regardless of the exact timing of our decision to adopt, the vast majority turn to adoption after they suffer financially, physically and emotionally through intense infertility treatments and trauma and the grieve of losing there assumed family. Once the loss has become great enough, we start to look at ways to overcome our problematic biology that stands in the way of our dreams to become parents.
For us, we began exploring the choice to remain childless, the choice to turn to a gestational carrier / surrogate or the choice to turn to adoption. We have spent months investigating and researching every potential option and trying to figure out what is best for us. We’ve been searching our hearts and our souls to try to figure out what our preferred future is. We realized very early on our choice to adopt extends beyond us, so we’ve also spent months thinking about what adoption means for the adopted child, and the birth parents and even our extended families response. We think we’ve done a pretty good job of doing our homework and really understanding the benefit and long term values of a healthy open adoption. (That said, I also fully acknowledge we are just at the beginning of the adoption journey and we have a lot more to learn along the way). And I suspect most perspective adoptive couples are very similar to us.
2. Birth parents turn to adoption for a number of reasons, but end up at a place of loss as they place their children with an adoptive family.
I firmly believe the decision of a birth mother (and possibly father depending on the circumstances) to place a child with an adoptive family is usually the greatest gift that they give to their child. I make the assumption that typically there are reasons that they cannot care for them adequately and they want to provide the best future possible for the child.
Yet, to actually sign the paperwork, often within hours or days of giving birth, means they go home without a child. With this one act, birth parents must face losing such a significant part of themselves, their child and their future. I cannot even begin to imagine this type of loss.
3. Adoptive children often start life without an instant bond, and many live their lives are started out of loss.
And there is a third party, that has no decision making power in this process that will live the lifelong consequences of the loss of the birth parents and the adoptive parents. The adoptive child. The adoptive child starts life in an incredibly interesting way as they are transferred from their birth mother to the adoptive parents. Their very beginnings are that of losing a close an intimate bond with their birth mother, the bond that all children who are not adopted begin instantly.
And from there, they will likely have a lifetime of questions to which the answers may not be easily accessible sometimes even in open adoptions. I believe open adoptions provide the potential for answers more so then a closed adoption, but I know it’s still not perfect, and often the adoptive child will have questions throughout their lives that won’t have easily accessible answers, or any sort of answer at all. For example if the birth father is not in the picture, there will also be something missing as there will be no family history, genetic history or relationship with the birth father. And the birth mother may choose not to be a significant part of the child’s life, and the adoptive parents may also choose to limit contact if it is an unhealthy situation.
All parties in the adoption process come together through loss. And when you think of it this way, no wonder adoption is so hard! With adoption, from the very start every single person involved is facing fears, loss and love. Typically the second the pregnancy starts there is concerns and the second the adoptive parents turn to adoption there are concerns.
Whereas with a more stereotypical planned traditional family, usually they start from a place of joy, excitement and love. The very second the pregnancy is confirmed there is excitement and love, and the second the baby is born this continues.
Fear / loss and joy / excitement are two very different foundations to build a family on.
Yet, I also cannot help but point out that I believe both typical family and adoption family (including birth parents, adoptive parents and adopted child) all build their families from a foundation of love. And, I cannot help but hope that the foundation of love is the most important aspect of building any family, and should ultimately mean more in the long run. Now, I’m not naive enough to believe that with love everything will be perfect, for an adoptive family or a traditional family. Life isn’t perfect, adopted or not, children may not be happy with their parents, parents may not be happy with their children. But, I do hope that so long as love is the main building block at the very foundation, a family, any family, is setting itself and the children up for the best possible future.
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