That day was along time ago.
That day was not long after we found out that as a couple we would be unable to conceive.
That day was the light after a whole lot of grief
That day was filled with hope and promise for the future.
That day I was heartbroken.
That day nearly killed me.
That day we decided to attend the welcoming meeting and start the proceedings for adoption.
We were sat for about 45 minutes in a room with 9 other couples,18 hopeful parents to be. I remember every last one of their faces. I’m sure their expressions matched our own. Excitement and nerves. We silently judged them of course. Would that couple be better parents then we could be? I judged myself against them as visibly the youngest person there. But that did not matter to me, as they don’t know me. They don’t know that I met my husband at the age of 18 and never looked back. They don’t know us.
We sat through 2 hours of talks and videos – it felt like they were all designed to almost put you off or give you the worst case scenario. Almost like if your put off by this, don’t go any further. If you can’t be strong now you are not strong enough for these children.
They asked us what sort of parents we would want to be. I remember thinking I would be exactly like my mum or try to be. My dear husband would be the softy, I could tell. Our kids would have him wrapped around there little fingers. I rolled my eyes thinking I may need to be a little stricter so they don’t end up brats.
They showed us a truly awful video that showed some of the terrible things these children could have lived through and possibly why they were now in care. They gave us statistics and numbers. They asked us if we would take siblings. Coming from a big family myself, I remember thinking we would take as many kids as they would let us. They told me kids over 5 don’t get ‘picked’ often and spend the rest of there life’s in care. That made my mind up that our first adopted child would be older than five.
I noted that 2 of the 9 couples left after the video. Another couple took some pamphlets and also left. I judged them as weak. But we were determined, we would not be scared away by horror stories. We were here for our family.
The next step after a coffee is to have a one to one with a social worker.
After a few pleasantries, she asked if she could be frank with us. My whole body went cold. I had been judging potential parents since the moment we got there and she had judged us right back. In less than 10 seconds she had judged us as unfit to be parents.
Her reasons being we were young and we were overweight.It didn’t matter that yes we were young but we were committed to each other. It didn’t matter to her that I was currently looking after a 2 year old five days a week because his mummy couldn’t walk. It didn’t matter that I took him to the park everyday single day that it did not rain. It didn’t matter that I rolled around and played harder than any of his other aunties and uncles. It didn’t matter to her because I was fat and that was all I was.
She told me that before she would be willing to go further down the adoption route, we would have to lose weight. Still determined, I told her that we had already started and we were proud of our progress so far. At this she laughed in my face and told me I would need to be half the person I am and that I only had 6 months before a panel would say the same thing.
She destroyed me. I cried for days. I’m hate to admit I stayed in bed for awhile, ashamed of myself. Humiliated, I spiralled. I had no idea at the time I was so deep in depression. I didn’t look in mirrors, I didn’t get dressed unless I had too. I didn’t cook, I didn’t clean. It must have been hell for my husband. And he never complained. Not once. I slowly got better bit by bit, but I was depressed for years.
As a then size 18 she had no right to say that to me. To actually say that I should be half my weight would have made me under 8stone. I don’t know if she really believes to be a good parent you need to be a size 8/10 or if She miscalculated me to be larger than I was. Or maybe she was just a bitch.
I hated this women for Years. Blamed her. She robbed me of a family. Robbed me of my future. I considered putting a complaint in. Over and over. But Ultimately it was all my fault. I gave up.
That day still haunts me.
I was too scared to ever reconsider adoption. I was too weak to prove that horrible woman wrong.
I gave up.
I know I need to work harder, for my husband. He is everything to me and looking back – I let him down.
I need to find my determination.
I need to work harder.