The Waiting Game


A bit more of an update on the adoption news… I have been a little cautious in considering what to post here from now on, as one day my child might want to read about my adoption journey, and there is a fine line between wanting to share my experiences as openly and honestly as possible, and wanting to ensure I don’t post anything that might have an impact on my future child.

After turning down my first potential match, I expressed interest in another little boy, the one that I had first seen that I felt a bit of a connection with. I sent them a message, briefly outlining why I think I would be a good parent for him, and waited.

And waited.

After 2 weeks I sent them a second, longer message hoping to convince them of why I would be a really good parent for this particular kid. I was starting to lose heart a little bit, but then I got an automated message saying that they were opening a discussion with me as I hadn’t had a response. I had a surge of hope, thinking that now they would have to consider me!

The following Monday I got another message from the family finder, saying that they were putting the discussion in reserve/on hold, as they are already actively pursuing a match with another family. However they said that they would at least look at my file, so my social worker sent it over to them.

I felt briefly quite angry that my local authority made me wait 3 months before I was allowed to express an interest in a child I had felt a connection with (especially after the first match didn’t work out). The 3-month rule is because your local authority has paid to train you and get you approved as an adopter, so it’s only fair they try to match you with one of their kids first. I understand why they ask you to wait for 3 months before looking elsewhere, but I also feel that this process is so personal and you just can’t choose something like this based on council boundaries!

I hadn’t heard anything for ages so went away for Christmas, and have now sent several messages asking for updates, and still heard nothing. It’s now been over 2 months since I last heard from them, despite sending several messages asking for updates, and my social worker has delicately suggested that if they haven’t asked to meet me by now, then they are probably not really interested in pursuing me as an option for that child and I might need to move on.

At first, I didn’t want to consider looking in the database at any other children until I know for sure about this one, as I have already expended so much emotional energy on it all, but I am slowly realising there is almost no chance of this match working out and therefore I need to mentally let it go and move on.

I find it particularly difficult because I am both a deeply emotional and empathetic person, but also very visual, with an active imagination. Therefore in order to find a child, or consider a child, I have to read their profile and then try to picture them being my child. I have to try and imagine their face as I put them to bed or read them stories, or picture them climbing into my bed after a nightmare. I have to visually see it all happening to try and work out if it feels right for me or not. And these are real, live, children, not just theoretical names in a database. Once you have imagined that actual child being yours, snuggling up to you on the sofa, it’s hard to just move on, and pick another kid. The process takes time, and thought, and care and emotion.

I don’t know how other potential adopters do it, but for me I have to be able to see it, to picture it, to feel it, and so it’s not so easy to just move along when things don’t work out.

Don’t be alarmed dear readers  – if this 2nd potential match doesn’t work out, I know that the right child for me is still out there, and that this simply wasn’t the kid that was meant for me, and I am slowly finding myself able to pick myself up, dust myself off, and go back into the database to keep searching again. But I am learning that this process has an emotional toll that shouldn’t be underestimated, and that, like most things, needs a little time in order to heal.

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