Dreaded adoption meeting

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!

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21 Responses to Dreaded adoption meeting

  1. Kitten says:

    That sounds intense! I’m pleased to hear it went well.

  2. Wow, I can’t imagine having to think about and answer all of those difficult questions, especially in a language other than my mother tongue. Hats off to you. I hope you two can put your feet up and relax tonight.

    • kiftsgate says:

      Thanks! I think I did say a few things that were completely messed up from a grammatical point of view. But I don’t think it’s that a big deal..
      Yup, rest and sleep tonight! 🙂

  3. Little Wife says:

    Three hours ??!! I understand you are exhausted. Thanks for this debrief, I often wondered what type of questions are asked.

  4. damelapin says:

    Wow, 3 hours. Must have been exhausting. Did you expect those questions?

    • kiftsgate says:

      We expected the questions because we got similar ones the other times. But she’s tougher: she asks them over and over again until she gets the answer she wants.. so it’s more stressful. I think the questions next time will be even tougher (e.g. illnesses and violence). But we’ll see..

      • damelapin says:

        oh god… Are you preparing the answers in advance with your hubby?

        • kiftsgate says:

          We already discussed this with the psychologist and with the social assistant. But now that we are getting towards the end we need to be clearer on what we are ready to deal with. So yes, we have to prepare answers to questions like: what illnesses and handicaps are you ready to accept (e.g. a child with hard problems? a child with a huge scar on his face?) or what situations we’re ready to accept (e.g. a child who’s been abused, whose parents are mentally ill, who comes from a violent family?). We have discussed it but don’t have an answer to everything yet. We still have time until early December though.

          • damelapin says:

            But what if you say you’re not prepared to take a child from an abusive background? Won’t it be negative for your file?

            • kiftsgate says:

              No, they just need to know so they know what you can deal with. It’s better that they know in advance rather than them calling you and you turn down the baby, which is a waste of time, or you accepting a baby coming from a situation that’s too complicated for you and then it doesn’t work out.
              I mean, if you say no to everything then you have slim chances to either get the agreement or to get a baby later, but saying no to some things is just fine.

  5. Kelly says:

    Wow, that’s really interesting. My husband and I have starting talking more about adoption, and I had no idea that those are some of the question they ask. Tough stuff, no wonder it’s tiring!!

    • kiftsgate says:

      The questions depend a lot on the country or even the specific adoption offices. I think we got a tough group because a friend of mine only got questions on her and her husband and how they work as a couple. But I prefer this: it’s tough but I feel it’s preparing us better. I got to think of many things I wouldn’t have thought of..

  6. I was surprised when I was told that you should tell the child early on too. I was also surprised that although you are legally the child’s parent, their birth parent can still visit for a certain duration. I really struggled with that but realised I was being selfish.

  7. E v e l y n says:

    Three hours. Good grief, that’s a long time.

  8. Pingback: Last meeting with our favourite adoption lady | Today I hope

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