Burbly tummy continues. I get hungry, nothing sounds good. I eat the one thing that maybe sounds good and then end up feeling nauseous for the next 3 hours. E coli is big in our state right now but I haven’t eaten at the places named to be harbingers of the crud. Plus, it’s also princess lady time for me right now and it could be that all my delicate insides are just adversely affected this month. I will need to schedule that endoscopy sometime soon in the New Year. I have scheduled my annual mammogram and annual physical for the month of January so why not make it a lady parts trifecta? I also have continuing education classes to fit in, so I am not sure when all this is going to happen.
I received an email back from the Children’s Home Society & Family Services information coordinator. I am feeling a little adrift on the idea of adoption after reading her letter. While she was very honest, open, upfront, and friendly, I think the information she passed along is daunting at best and down right intimidating at worst. Here is a portion of her letter to me:
With Bob's health issues, we will be interested in having medical details, including a letter from his physician(s) that provides us with an understanding of the current status of his health as well as an idea of what the future holds due to his diagnosis. We will need his prognosis, a statement about his ability to parent an active child and an estimate on how his life expectancy might be influenced by his condition. With these details, too, we can go through the preliminary steps of seeking pre-approval by program. Of course, health is only one issue that is verified and reported in the adoption study. We will also be reviewing and reporting on other background and current points of concern in assessing your readiness for adoptive parenting, including financial status and history, criminal background, and more.
We ask a lot of questions upfront so we, too, can proceed with confidence in assessing and recommending a family for adoption. If you want us to review your medical information prior to coming to an information meeting and formally registering and applying (at which time, you start paying for services), please forward to me what I described above: Bob's physician's statement about his prognosis, ability to parent an active child, and longevity, along with information about any other background issues that may be of concern. For example:
· Have you received counseling at any time in your life?
· Are you on or have you been on any medications for depression or other mental health concerns? Any other serious health conditions? Cancer history, for example?
· Do either of you have a history of chemical dependency?
· Is there a criminal history (arrests, incarceration?)?
· Any financial concerns?
· Do either of you have a history of sexual and/or child abuse? Abuse against a vulnerable adult? Domestic violence, assault or other violence?
· What is your income?
· Do you have a plan for your child's care in the event that one of you is seriously ill or debilitated?
I knew we would have to provide a lot of personal information upfront but I did not know we would have to go so far as to have a doctor, or doctors issue a statement about Bob’s prognosis or fitness as a parent. I know this isn’t the death sentence for our quest to adopt but after the year we had, I would hate to jump through all these hoops, cut through all the red tape only to have the agency deny us moving forward on an adoption.
I had counseling today and a lot of stuff came out today. We talked about the letter from the agency and how it makes me not even want to try because of my fear of failure. We also talked about how, since my default setting is set to rejection, I’ve already made the assumption that we will never get the go ahead to adopt. Maybe there is a reason why we don’t have biological children and should therefore not go ahead with trying to adopt one.
Finally, I told Dr. Doctor about seeing an episode of Super Nanny last week where a mother shared that as a child, whenever she went to hug her mother, she was pushed away. I thought that incredibly sad. I immediately began to think of my own childhood and times of closeness with my parents. As I thought on it, I realized that while my parents were there for me and available and loving, we never really did anything together. Even when we did something as a family, we all went our own separate ways. If we were camping, I was swimming, Huff was probably riding his bike, and I don’t know what Mom and Dad were doing. If we went skiing, Huff and I were on the bunny hill and Mom and Dad were on the expert hills. I can remember many times of going out to eat as a family and one time sledding with my dad, brother, and family friends, and other small things here and there. But for the most part, my memories of my childhood are filled with me doing things by myself. This could be because I was incredibly independent as a child or it could be because my parents functioned best in relationships under conditions of separation. (Or both!) My counselor and I talked about this for almost the whole hour and came up with some interesting revelations and theories as to why I’ve been struggling. It could be that as a child I wanted to connect with my family on a deeper level but couldn’t for whatever reason so internalized the separation as rejection. It could be that I interpreted the separation as having to do with me being a bad kid. Whatever the reason, I think it’s one of the breakthroughs I’ve been looking for. Man human beings are complicated creatures.