So we are officially pregnant you guys. Well, at least on paper that is because, you know, we have certain "reproductive issues". Yesterday we had our panel interview which concluded the screening phase of our adoption process. It’s been four months since we started the process and we have been emotionally and psychologically poked and prodded more times than your average alien abductees. But now that it is all over I can honestly say that we feel relieved and that it was worth the effort. We have now been screened and found to be fit and proper adoptive parents. In other words we will be able to keep a baby alive and be able to provide a safe and loving home. Now the only thing that is left is that wait for “the call” that will forever change our lives.
I must admit that hubby and I were rather nervous prior to our panel interview yesterday. I mean, it is the last hurdle of the screening phase and the point where you will know if you have successfully made it through the screening or not. Even though we did know that we would pass, human nature can be a bit of bitch and self-doubt kept on creeping into the backs of our minds. So when we arrived for our panel we were slightly anxious. I more so because I suffer from “foot-in-mouth disease” and sometimes my filter for socially acceptable conversation is broken. Hubby also says that I sometimes lack tact, but I prefer to see it as being direct and honest. We agree to disagree on this but I digress…
Our panel interview lasted just under two hours and everything was covered again. We discussed the whole adoption process, our motivation for adopting, our support structure, our marriage, interracial adoption and its challenges and also what we look for in a child. We were asked during our home visit, by our social worker, to cut out pictures of babies that we thought were cute. It felt like were busy shopping for a baby out of a catalog which we both had a problem with. It seemed rather superficial and neither one of us were terribly comfortable with the idea. But after coming to realize that our social worker merely needed to get a better idea as to what our vision of our child is we complied. Sort of.
The most challenging part of our panel was the part where we had to specify what we were comfortable with, or like I like to call it – our shopping list. We agreed that we want to adopt an interracial child; that we have no preference as to the complexion of the child’s skin, type of hair or sex of the child. We are willing to adopt a baby that was conceived by means of rape (which is rather controversial), was abandoned and babies that the mothers decided to put up for adoption. Naturally we want to have a healthy child but also specified that the child should be disability free. What health issues concern we agreed that we would be willing to adopt a baby that is HIV exposed (the birthmother is HIV+ but the baby doesn’t have HIV) and babies whose mothers may have taken drugs or abused alcohol prior to finding out they were pregnant.
Having to go through the checklist of what we do and do not want when it comes to our potential child is a very difficult and deeply personal thing. We spent many nights talking about it and painstakingly weighed up all the different options. We decided not to focus on the outwardly appearance of the child, because that does not really matter. We also decided to include rape, even though it is a horrible crime, but why should the child be punished for it. The most difficult part of this choice is the fact that we will never be able to tell the child the true narrative of his/her conception.
Also at the panel we handed in our adoption book that has been finished for three months now. Yes, we are overachievers like that. Our book will now be put into circulation for potential birthmothers to choose from. Compiling the book was rather complicated: It is the first and only impression potential birth mothers will have of us and the book should be an accurate reflection of who we are. There was also the balancing act between how many photos, and which photos, to include and how much or how little to write. In the end I think we found the perfect balance and that the book will give a potential birthmother a good idea of who we are. I also believe that things work out the way it is supposed to.
When the panel interview was concluded and we were told that we were now paper pregnant it was a huge relief. It meant that we had done everything we could do and that it was now out of our hands. It is now time to let go and let God. The next time we will hear from our social worker will be when our baby is there. It could be two weeks, two months or at the very worst case scenario two years. No matter how long it may take, the fact is that we are going to have a baby. I also believe that the right baby will come to us at the right time. Now the only thing we can do is be patient. Something I am terrible at.
To follow our adoption journey click HERE.
Till next time.