Yesterday I had my individual meeting with the social assistant. My husband lad it last week and I think he did much better than I did. Here is a list of the main questions I got:
- My childhood and my family. She asked how I was as a child, with my parents, with sports, school, and how I took my sister’s arrival etc. These questions were ok. Talking about childhood is easy since I had a great one.
- Teenage phase. I had to talk about conflicts with mum and about my high school boyfriend whom she really hated. I didn’t get into much detail. I skipped talking about me not feeling well into my skin and with peers, feeling completely out of place, going through a few months of hardly eating, etc.
- My studies, university and professional life. Here I had to explain why I decided to move abroad and how it was. I said when I moved abroad I felt more like I was in the right place. And as professional life I explained I decided to do a PhD because I felt I wanted to study more, but somehow I think I made it sound like it was because I couldn’t find a job. I explained what I do now for my job, I said I liked it and that I worked mostly with men, even if that was a completely unnecessary detail.
- Lessons learnt in view of adoption. Given the discussion above, she asked me what I have learned for a future adopted child and whether I would want to do things like my parents or change something. I think I answered ok here, saying what I would do like my parents (e.g. spending time in nature and doing fun artsy activities) and explaining what I would change, especially in the view of an adopted child. For instance being strict with school results may be less of a priority with an adopted child.
- My relationship with my husband. I think I got a bit lost answering to the question on the relationship between my husband and I. I said we complement each other and that we support each other, that we managed to go through a lot together but I didn’t mention all the fights and moments we struggled as a couple.
- My view of adoptive mothers. The first time I met the social assistant, I had the bad idea to say that I had a lot of respect for mothers who gave their babies for adoption, since it required lots of strength. I meant it mostly as opposite to those mothers who abandon their babies in rubbish bins or in other unsafe places. She picked up on it as if I idealized the biological mothers and went on for ever on how it is important to also realize there is something wrong with mothers who give their babies for adoption.
- My feelings on never being pregnant. I was expecting this question: how do I feel about the idea of never being pregnant and do I still have hopes on a miracle pregnancy. I’m not sure how convincing I sounded when explaining that I do not feel I’d ever have a miracle pregnancy. I think I still looked sad when saying that I didn’t hope on a natural spontaneous pregnancy anymore.
What got me upset is that towards the end, speaking of practical issues, she started encouraging us to pursue international adoption besides the national one. Until now, we only talked about national adoption. We had discussed this with psychologist, who had told us that the waiting time for national and international adoption is about he same and that doing both at once was going to be too much. The social assistant yesterday also told me that the waiting time for national adoption is probably going to be 7 years (last time we were told 5) but that it is very risky to do only national adoption since if there are no adoptable children you risk being too old to get a baby and to have to start again asking for an older child. The little I looked at international adoption was a bit discouraging: you have to start preparing documents and doing interviews with the associations again, you have to figure out countries where you can adopt etc. It’s a lot of work and a lot of energy, which we hadn’t foreseen since we had only discussed national adoption so far.
So I feel rather discouraged today. I know that it’s normal in an infertility journey to have moments in which you think you’ll never be able to have a child, to be a mum. Those who have gone through it and managed to have a baby at the end will tell you that you should find the strength to continue, that despite the difficulties it is worth the effort and the wait.
I know I shouldn’t despair. I know I’ll find the energy to figure out international adoption. I know I’ll find the strength to add more to the list of all things to do to try and have a baby. But for today I’ll just allow myself to feel like crap. And to be honest, it’s tough enough to stay away from chocolate, tea, bread, ice cream and all other comfort food I would love to eat right now.
I will go make myself a cup of herbal tea. That’ll cheer me up. A bit.