This morning we had our second meeting with the psychologist for the adoption process. We were dreading this one because the psychologist is quite tough. She can carry on ask you the same question over and over again until you give the right answer. Also she is just back from maternity leave and had not seen us in year.
This time hubby and I worked really well as a team. Even more so than other times. He talked when I had teary eyes, I talked when he got stuck. He also surprised me a few times when saying really sweet things for example on what he would do if the baby cried.
The main topics/questions of the day have been:
- How we are doing with the adoption process: do we find it repetitive to have three people (psychologist, social assistant and pedopsychiatrist) ask the same questions? Do we mind the intrusions in our private life or being examined? We simply answered the truth: that we learned different things from the three of them and that the process has made us grow and better understand adoption.
- How to get ready for the arrival of a baby: we talked about preparations and fears, such as fear of being inadequate or not ready enough, but also about the wait and when it’s a good time for instance to buy stuff for the baby’s arrival.
- How we imagine meeting the baby, what we would do, say, what we picture in our heads when we think about the moment we meet him. Hubby had to take over. I was imagining a little hand to hold and a baby in my arms and got teary eyes. She asked whether we imagine this moment to be easy or not. We said we are aware that it could be problematic, since the baby won’t know us and may not want to be with us. So she asked what we would do if the baby cried all the time, refused to eat or refused to get on the plane with us, etc. The idea is that we would need to reassure him but also to be firm and show him we are in charge.
- How will we feel about this baby? how about the feeling of not knowing the baby? how will we get to know him and bond and get to love him? do we expect that it will be immediate or that it will take time? days? weeks? months?
- Will we be sad to have missed his first words or first steps?
- We talked about the name of the baby, and whether to keep the given name or name the baby ourselves. She said some adopted babies wish they had been given a name by their adoptive parents since that shows the start of a new life. I hadn’t talked about that, I had always thought that it would be better not to change name since that was destabilizing for the baby.
- We also talked about the abandonment and how to understand the baby’s sufferance and help the baby live with it. She asked how we thought the baby would feel about it and whether we thought a very young baby could also feel traumatized by having been abandoned. Similarly we talked about differences in physical aspect, as a reminder that he is different than other kids. We said we’d hope that the baby will have different types of resemblances with us and that we would remind him of those. She talked about the need to be humble in adoption: we can try to solve problems but we won’t be able to solve them all. It’s not up to us to change the history of the baby or ours.
- Finally, we talked about how and when to tell the baby that he has been adopted. She suggested we could tell the baby right from the first time, which we hadn’t really considered. This may sound a bit weird, since the baby may not even be in an age to understand what we are talking about. But she said it is good to talk to babies and that it would be good for us too, since it would make it all more natural and would take away the pressure and paint that may be there if we do it later.
We think it went quite well overall, but we were exhausted after three hours of very emotional questions.
Next week we have a second (and last) meeting with the pedopsychiatrist. Our favourite one!