Thursday, 2 March 2006

conversations with my mother #060302

In synopsis ...

Ma: How are you? I've tried to phone you last night after the sheep died, but you weren't in.
Me: We're okay. We've been on the preparation for adoption course the last few days.
Ma: Oh, good, I thought it was about now! Tell me all about it then.
Me: Well, it was really informative. But very gruelling. Bits of it were quite traumatic. For example they did half a day on the different kind of sexual abuse that a child coming in to care might have experienced.
Ma: Oh.
Me: Yes. And they had a foster parent in to speak to us; and some adoptive parents. So it was really tiring, but we've come away feeling very positive about it.
Ma: Good. But I do wish you could have one of your own. What happens next then?
Me: Well, we wait for them to get back in touch with us. And then we have to have a medical. Normally that comes later in the procedure, but because of our circumstances, they want to do it at the beginning.
Ma: That sounds sensible.
Me: Yes. And then we go through this six month process to build up your 'Form F'.
Ma: What's that?
Me: A really in depth picture of you and your family and your support networks. One of the things they go in to quite extensively is what support you can expect from family and friends.
Ma: What sort of support?
Me: Well, practical support of course. But also emotional support. I suppose they need to know that your family are behind you. They said that often, parents are very worried about you when you start the process.
Ma: Well, yes, I suppose we are. I do wish you could have one of your own.
Me: One of the things they also said was that parents needed to go through the same grieving process that couples who cannot conceive themselves go through. Grieving for the natural grandchildren that they are not going to have.
Ma: Well ...
Me: (ploughing on regardless) In the same way that adopting couples often go through a severe grieving process for their never-to-be born children, their parents have to go through that too, and accept that it is never going to happen.
Ma: ....
Me: (ploughing, ploughing) And although perhaps with their heads, parents are saying that it's all okay and they are happy that their children are going to adopt, perhaps in their hearts, they still haven't admitted to themselves that they are never going to have natural grandchildren.
Ma: ...
Me: ...
Ma: I don't think it's any of my business whether you have your own or not. It's not up to me. It's up to you. If you adopt, they will be our grandchildren and we'll support you. All we want is for you to be happy.
Me: Yes, I know. And I really, really appreciate that. You are very supportive of me and I love you. But I sometimes feel that your head is saying one thing ... and your heart is still saying another.
Ma: I just wish I could see you with one of your own.
Me: Yes. I know. I wish that too. But that IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Adopting is our ONLY CHANCE to have a family. And we really need you to be behind us during the process, and afterwards.
Ma: We are behind you. Do I keep going on about having one of your own then?
Me: Well, a bit, sometimes.
Ma: Okay, I'll try and stop.
Me: I know you'd like it if we had one of our own.
Ma: If and when you adopt, they will be our grandchildren. I am really looking forward to it. I am excited for you. Perhaps we could come up to you for the meeting with the adoption agency, rather than them come down to us?
Me: I love you Ma.
Ma: Did I mention that that sheep had died?

More after the weekend. We are still digesting. But things are good.

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