So there we were, nervously inching our way into the auditorium and looking for seats (near the front. Oo not that near!), feeling as though everyone was sizing us up when all of a sudden it occured to me...
These people are just like us! And there's loads of them! And they are here in this room!
The Adoption Open Evening was last night. A very good friend of mine took charge of DS (I understand she fed him (good), played with him on the laptop (very good) and allowed him to jump up and down on her bed (oof! He won't wanna leave!)) while DH and I made our way to discover what our local Council has to offer in terms of Adoption services. It would appear quite a lot.
We were feeling apprehensive but (dare I say it?) excited too about the meeting as DH and I have made no secret of the fact that adoption does sit slightly better with us than using DE's to try and get me pregnant (and to term) so we felt a lot was riding on it. I think I can happily speak for both of us when I say that we were initially relieved that it didn't feel remotely like a 'sales pitch' and that by the end of the meeting, we felt that this could be, might be, you just never know, an ok option for us. Eek!
I was sat marvelling (as well as listening avidly to the speaker obviously) at the fact that every person in that room was just like DH and I; all wondering whether we could offer a home to a child that is already in this World. I'm not saying that they were all infertile (who knows?), but some had clearly been through unsuccessful IVF attempts and some were childless so there's an assumption that we have all felt the pain, in our very individual ways, of being unable to have a baby/more babies of our own. Without meaning to sound weird, it just felt really good being around them all; Not having to pretend to be or feel something that I didn't feel or want to be. I think I could've stood on my chair and told them all about me with the certainty that they would listen and geddit and then tell me all about them... I didn't stand on my chair and say anything you'll be relieved to hear (Hey - I might want them to give me a child at some point...) but it felt warm and comfortable and normal. I wonder if they'd find me strange if I rocked up for every meeting? :o)
Listening to other women talk about their IVF attempts also made me realise how far I have come in terms of my feelings towards my own infertility - that crashing grief only comes every now and again now instead of every day and though we may not be ready to move forward with anything right at this very minute, I now know without a shadow of a doubt that it will be fine. We will be fine. Actually, we will be fantastic! 'It may not be the path I would have chosen but it is the path I have' has kind of become my mantra.
They, quite rightly, have rules about applying to adopt in terms of infertility treatments - you have to wait a year until after your last attempt. We sit in a bit of a grey area here; we never had an attempt at IVF. After the Miscarriage last Autumn, we were resigned to the fact that it was probably not going to work for us and then my bloods, of course, ruled it out entirely. But we are now choosing our route in terms of DE's or Adoption or doing nothing so I'm not sure where we stand. We're going to take the next couple of months to think it through before we decide whether to 'register our interest' - the first step!
After you've registered, you receive a home visit from a social worker who decides whether you're ready to fill in an application. After that it's all systems go - they have to finish your assessment within eight months and then present their report to a panel who decide whether to approve you or not. Running alongside this is preparation days (3 of), CRB checks and the finding of 3 suitable references (hmmm...which of our friends like me the most??) so I imagine it to be a pretty intense time. Once approved at panel, you can be 'matched' with a child/children and this can take anywhere from 3 days up to 3 months or longer.
Phew. (See - I was listening while marvelling. I can multi-task...)
But until then, we'll carry on carrying on. I've started on my HRT (is 4 days not long enough to be feeling the benefits I ask myself - I'm a tad disappointed that I'm not entirely filled with vigour, energy and an insatiable sex drive (sorry, DH)) and I'm also necking 800mg calcium a day. Luckily, my GP was just as disturbed as I was by the 5% bone loss and has agreed to monitor the situation so I feel relieved there. My only annoyance/minor irritation is that I have to pay for my HRT. Tsk! Apparently since it's not a contraception or for the treatment of a life threatening illness (maybe not physically, I suppose...), I have to cough up. So, that's me for the next 14 years or so....
I'm hearing more and more positives about adoption the more we look into it but I think it's just nice to feel ok about having time to think everything through. I'm such an impatient person by nature that 'chillaxing' doesn't really hit my radar so this is good for me. Being forced to slooooow down, stop panicking and just 'be' is working really well.
As is drinking Gin with my friends...Oo Friday! Let's look forward to Friday...