It's All Right To Not Know
The following was written by Ed Beard, an adoptive parent I had the privilege
of working with. -- Marc Widelock
I don't know, I just don't know. Adoption can be uncertain, and if you are a likely
candidate to adopt a child, is it realistic to assume that you never will know.
Then again most of reality is the very same thing.
We are not capable of having our own biological children, so adoption seemed to be our
best option to start our family. As we explored adoption and began to learn about the
different avenues and processes, questions were presented that needed answering. Can we
love an adopted child? What will we do if something goes wrong half way through the
process? Is it affordable? When do we start? Where do we start? Is it possible to be
misled and lose everything? I really don't know
In retrospect the answer is yes and no to all the above. Again the process is parallel
to most of life itself. You either waste time finding definitive answers to unanswerable questions,
or you can learn to exist within the realm of uncertainty. Remember adoption involves real
people with real feelings on both sides of the equation. Agency adoptions provide security
because the laws allow agencies to eliminate some variables. However, each client is
completely at the mercy of that agency, and results may not be enjoyed until many years
into the future so we chose not to adopt through an agency. Independent adoptions on the
other hand can expedite an adoption process, but there are certainly more variables
to deal with. So which way do you go, I don't know.
Independent adoption was a better fit for our approach to growing a family. As we
progressed, we found ways to better deal with the unexpected turns that lye ahead. We
learned that it was not necessary to control one-hundred percent of everything that happened.
This goes against human nature itself and is admittedly difficult. Plus is helped to
understand that there was not always a logical sequence of events. So don't expect it.
We were more able to cope by adapting to what was, instead of forcing what was expected
and turning up short.
Adoption is also not a win or lose situation. With an adoption, the opposite of win is
try again next time. Many infertile couples avoid independent adoption because there
win/lose perspective makes them vulnerable. To some, not getting a child is tantamount
to a loss and this is not acceptable. The result is they quit, and this by all measures
is a true loss.
One piece of advise offered to us that seemed to smooth out the bumps in the road was to
work only with competent people. This holds true regardless of the choices of independent
or agency adoption. Competent people have insights based on a history of experiencing
these tough situations before. When a birth mother asks to have portraits taken with their
child and without you, it can really raise a few red flags and even force some anger.
Confident experienced people have seen these situations and project a positive image
that may otherwise gone unnoticed.
Of all the uncertainties that will arise in an adoption there is at least one single fact
that I do know, the end result of a beautiful child is worth the effort. Optimism is at
times the only light to hold on to and can help add the flexibility necessary to weather
the challenging times. We have a wonderful three year old girl that has answered every
question I could ever imagine. Can we expect everything to be this terrific the second
time around. I don't know, I just don't know.
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