I thought I’d dealt with the fact that my body can’t do what it needs to do to have a baby.
I thought I’d dealt with the fact that this was just not an option for me.
But then my brother in law and sister in law phoned last night to say that they are 12 weeks pregnant and I cried for four hours. And then I brushed my teeth, went to bed and cried some more.
So it appears that I haven’t dealt with it all. Or maybe I’ve dealt with it as best I could but my instant reaction is always going to be ‘why couldn’t that happen for me?’ Because, when you don’t have to deal with it on a day to day basis, you can kind of focus on what you need to focus on and get on. Then when you do have to deal with it, it hits you twice as hard.
This news (and it is lovely, wonderful news, and I did feel bad for crying all over it) came at a time when I’m struggling. Five weeks ago I phoned our social worker unable to speak I was crying so much because I felt that we couldn’t go on in the way we are. On the day they phoned to tell us this lovely news, the PASW was supposed to be coming out to see us but at 5pm the day before, she phoned up to cancel. (Not to rearrange, just to say she couldn’t come.) So I was not in a good place anyway.
And that’s the thing. And maybe I shouldn’t say this but I’m going to because I need to. I’m currently being hit, kicked, scratched, bitten, peed on, shouted at, controlled, by one of my children. One of my children is hurting me, physically and emotionally everyday. One of my children is dealing with so much and I am completely unable to help her. And a tiny part of me occasionally thinks, ‘What if things had been different…’. Is that awful?
The thing with adoption is, there are so many unknowns. Without going into detail, there are so many possible things that could have happened to our children that we’ll possibly never know their full stories. Generally, this doesn’t happen when you have your own children. You know where they’ve been, who they’ve been into contact with, what you put into your body when they were in the womb, what your mental health status was during pregnancy and after. We can make educated guesses about our children and surmise why they are behaving like they are but we are unable to fully link anything to past experiences. We are stumbling about in the dark about everything, we don’t even know what childhood illnesses they’ve had.
This is turning into a bit ‘get the violins out’ but I also feel that, for us anyway, the process of adoption was not an exciting, ‘let’s phone everyone and give them good news’ time, it was a, ‘well we can’t really tell anyone until we know for definite’ and ‘oh, we have to have this check done and this check done’ and ‘they’re here now but we can’t really have visitors until they’ve been here a while’. Looking back, especially as we only had about two weeks from panel to introductions, everything felt like a huge rush, not an exciting build up.
And here’s another awful confession, and maybe this is true if you have your own baby, I don’t know. Because they came walking, talking, mini people, everyone was able to lay their claim on them straight away.They were able to have conversations, share stories and be an instant grandchild or niece. They don’t feel like they have ever been just mine (and my husband’s I know,but I suspect (know) he views this process in an entirely different way to me!) I don’t even really know if that makes sense and maybe to other adopters it highlights what a terrible job I did at the beginning. Maybe I wish I was more needed/wanted emotionally than I currently am.
So I thought I’d dealt with this but apparently I haven’t. I’ve had a funny feeling in my tummy all day, guilt (more of!) because I spoiled their happy news and because I’m not feeling too happy myself just now, jealousy because they are able to have a baby, panic about how I’m going to be when baby arrives and something else which has just made me feel awful all day.
I don’t really know how to end this. My friend and I used to joke, that as primary teachers we are brilliant at writing amazing beginnings to stories but we never had to take it any further, that was the children’s job. if I was a 9 year old writing this, I would probably realise I was bored, run out of paper or time and write ‘and then I woke up and it was all a dream.’ Wouldn’t that be wonderful? (Although to dream I’d actually need to get some sleep, Little, you listening?!)
This has turned into a definite therapeutic, ‘I just needed to get it out’ post. My apologies, the next one will hopefully be better.