Sunday, October 19, 2014
I Get It Now
In order to adopt, you have to jump through a lot of hoops. They want every address you've lived at since you turned 18, they want your cat's shot records, they want to know how many square feet your house is, and how many smoke detectors you have. Additionally, you have to do Parent Education during the process. Everyone needs 12 hours of Hague compliant training, which can be done through live classes at an agency, or via online videos and quizzes. Many agencies also have suggested or required reading. Ours requires 3 book reports from each parent.
There's a story in one of the books I read, about a frustrated newly-adoptive mom, who snapped, "I have given enough!" when asked to donate to something at the grocery store.
I say all this as background for where I find myself these days. It's political season. Which means telemarketers wanting us to "Vote for Soandso!" or "take a brief survey about the issues." I'm so over it.
Most of these folks call while I'm homeschooling. Picture this: I'm sitting in the school room, book in hand, reading aloud, "Tiberius Caesar would become the second Emporer of..." RING! I put the book down, leap up, run down the hall into the master bedroom, and breathlessly answer the phone, only to have it be one of these dumb political calls.
As an aside, it occurs to me, that in a house this size, we probably ought to have more than 2 telephones (one upstairs and one downstairs).
I always found the story above slighty amusing, but the other night, when yet another election-related call came in, I snapped, too. "Do you have children?" I asked the caller. "Um, no ma'am," they stammered. "I have 8 kids in this house, and you call in the middle of bedtime and think I'm going to support your candidate??" "Uh, you have a nice night." It's not often you can get a telemarketer to hang up on you.
The vast majority of adoption stories feature a "happily ever after" ending. And that's wonderful! But not all of them do. Post adoption depression, unrealistic expectations, surprise special needs, attachment issues, and other hard realities do exist. When I read about the mom who struggled, I had no way of truly understanding what she was going through until I started walking through my own hard reality. I was listening to a webcast of another adoptive mom today, who said, "I understand why adoptive family implode, why they put their kid on an airplane, or worse." She wasn't advocating it or condoning it, she was speaking from the depth of having been to a place as a parent that is beyond all the roses and sunshine that we hope for in adoption.
If I've learned nothing else from walking through our own hard stuff this past year, it's given me empathy for other adoptive families whose stories aren't at the happily ever after, at least not yet.
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