Guest blogger ‘ItsABeautifulDayToday’ shares her thoughts about ‘everything happens for a reason.’
Before going any further I need to get it out there that I am a control freak and incredibly impatient – not a great combination with infertility and adoption! To balance this, Skippy (and so it seems Stanley) is the most positive and laid back person I know. Also, I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about this whole idea of being ‘old at 4’, Stanley was 4 when he burst into our lives and there is no way you could describe him as old!
I recently attended a training course to become an adoption social media champion (great day by the way with fab people!) and it was the push I needed to finally get started with this blog which I have been wanting to do for a long time. I feel passionately about shouting from the roof tops, to whoever will listen, about how wonderful and rewarding building a family through adoption can be. I will be realistic about normal family life and I appreciate my naivety given we are only 6 months into our placement and as a friend of mine keeps mentioning – we are still in the ‘honeymoon phase’!
So, it’s probably best to start with how Skippy and I have become blessed with the most amazing son, yes I know we all say that but it really is true!
Skippy and I met at Fresher’s week on the first night of University 14 years ago and we have been together ever since. I am a planner (he isn’t) and I had our lives set out, we were going to get established in our careers, buy a house, get married and then start a family. The first 10 years were great and it all went to plan. We worked hard, played hard and travelled the world having a great time whilst growing up together. Then came the day, after we had been on an amazing trip to Everest base camp, that we decided to start a family, it seemed like the perfect time to take the plunge.
That’s when things went awry. It wasn’t happening. I couldn’t understand why. Everything else in my life had been achievable through determination and hard work but fertility was out of my control and I really didn’t like it. I will probably write another post in the future about issues arising from infertility as I have a lot to say on the topic but I will just summarise for now. As is the case for many people in our situation we went through months of tests and investigations ending in 2 rounds of IVF resulting in miscarriages. Enough was enough and we drew a line under the injections, drugs, bruises, mood swings, tears and embarrassing trips to private rooms for Skippy.
We had always talked about adoption and it seemed a very natural avenue for us to take and whilst this was not the path I had planned in my neat, concise and perfect life plan I now truly believe it was meant to be for us.
When we felt ready (it didn’t take long) we approached 2 voluntary agencies as well as our local authority and we arranged informal meetings. However, following the first visit with a lovely social worker (first myth debunked about social workers!) we decided to get the ball rolling without even proceeding with the other 2 initial chats. It just felt right – a theme which continued through the process into assessment, matching and introductions.
I will be doing further posts soon about how we found the assessment process as well as the introduction period we had with Stanley, the latter being the most awkward, exhausting and magical 10 days of life so far. However, I am just going to moan a bit and then brag a bit before signing off for now!
My moan is just simply at how I still feel so different to other parents. This is due to the small things – the looks some people give me sometimes when they are thinking that I really don’t ‘get’ what it’s like to be a ‘proper’ mum as I haven’t been through childbirth, the nappies, breast feeding etc. The phone calls, cards and gifts that never came from friends in the initial weeks and months. The flowers that weren’t sent from my employer but which are sent to all women who give birth and start maternity leave. Yet, I have something much more incredible, the feeling of being a mummy when I had lost hope that it would ever happen and because of that and thanks to the sheer happiness that is within Stanley, I feel grateful every day. As Stanley so often says, every day really is a beautiful day.
The bragging bit is simply that my son is awesome and together with my husband I am truly blessed with my perfect family. I should also give a brief mention to my equally amazing mum and sister who have pulled me through the darkest days but also have the capacity to relish the fantastic moments too.
I feel so incredibly lucky and privileged – I couldn’t have planned my path to motherhood any better.
I am going to finish all my blogs (hopefully!) with a few wise words from my son as he really is very funny.
On the way to school the other day, it was actually a lovely sunny day (rare I know) he asked why so many people drove in their cars when the sun was shining.