I often would ask myself “Why me?” I’m a good person, but why can’t I have a healthy baby and live a normal life? Why can a drug addict or teen get pregnant so easily? I felt like I didn’t get the normal pregnancy with my son. You may think I was lucky. I complained about not having the pregnancy waddle. I never had the chance to take birthing classes, or get pregnancy photos. I actually signed up for birthing classes but watched my class walk by, just after I had my son 2 months early. I held this grudge that I couldn’t seem to shake off. I loved children, but I didn’t want to hold anyone’s baby. I would be happy for a friend that announced they were pregnant, but deep down I was so sad that I would often cry hysterically and felt extremely guilty for being sad. Why me?
I remember my time doing the PRIDE training through Children’s Aid. I had heard a story from a lady that had just received some foster kids with intent for adoption. (This is called a concurrent placement) I remember complaining the whole way home about how she hadn’t been on the list as long as us! I deserved a chance first. I would even try to have a reason every 3-6 months to chat with my Children’s Aid worker just to remind myself that they remember me and that I’m still on the list. You honestly become the most jealous person that you can imagine. Many people we knew seemed to get placements in their home and we were just left feeling all these crazy emotions.
Before you even get full approval to adopt, you have major screening to go through such as police checks, home studies, and many interviews. I have explained to my friends that you will live in a glass house for as long as you are open to taking a child in your home. They will ask about your past in depth, what your intimate relationship is with your spouse, and even your personal finances. I had a jagged past, but I laid it all out and was completely truthful. I surely squirmed when it came to the intimate questions, as I was raised fairly old fashioned and that’s just not something you discuss openly. We were also not rich and lived paycheque to paycheque like many. I started to question that maybe they were just being nice and we weren’t ever going to get on that list. The list basically consumed my thoughts and kept me questioning myself on a regular basis.
It took us 2 years to get on the list. I will admit that we had 2 Children’ Aid workers that weren’t quite the fit with us, but then we got a call from an amazing worker who we just connected with. Speak up if you do not mesh with someone that you are needing to work with. These workers need to understand your needs so that they can work with you and help with transitioning a child that will fit with your family. Still to this day, I have the same worker, and if she goes, we go. You will find out later the trust that we have with our worker, and how important it is to have.
Just know, that you are allowed to have crazy feelings through the process. You need to have a support system that you can lean on. I had my husband, family, friends, and an amazing CAS worker. I also feel that meeting other families going through the same type of situations helped us in so many ways. I became so open that I have and still call my worker to ask if my feelings particularly with open adoption are reasonable. You need someone not committed in the situation to help sort out your feelings to make sure you don’t overstep your boundaries.
Although I don’t ask myself “why me?” as often, I still have some moments that it comes up. Since adopting, I have felt complete and satisfied. I have learned that the feelings we feel, are acceptable. If you ever need to just vent, get a network to lean on. For the most part, many people will never truly understand what you are going through, so it’s ok to say “why me”.