Recently on the Vancouver Island Adoptive Parents Facebook group there's been several postings from some individuals, (other parents waiting to adopt) having negative feelings about couples trying to conceive and negative feelings about families adopting. Including larger families continuing to adopt when they have so many children already. As a member of this group I was following the posts and added a comment of my own. I've decided that I wasn't going to leave it with a simple comment because I do feel there is definitely negative opinions coming from individuals that circles larger families. I am not intentionally picking on anyone but I wanted to explain and hopefully change those negative feelings into inspiration. To perhaps ease and change some individuals perceptions and outlooks on another families fortune. I completely understand the feelings not being able to conceive, to perhaps feel jealous of other woman that continue to become pregnant easily. I also understand the disappointment waiting adoptive parents must feel still waiting or even being denied adopting during the application process. It would be devastating being denied. Waiting can be very hard while knowing there is so many children in need of forever homes and here you are waiting. It makes no sense. Emotions are real and everyone is entitled to feel the way they do. Believe me, we've waited years for our children. I was probably the biggest nuisance our adoption worker has ever experienced. I do give adoption workers massive amounts of credit because adopting is emotionally draining for everyone involved. The patience level is at it's peak. After all this is about building a family and most importantly it's about giving children permanence. So when plans don't move forward it is devastating. I remember going through the matching process and there was a child/children that we really thought was going to become part of our family and for reasons it never transpired. There is still to this day siblings remaining in foster care without a permanency plan (for reasons) I don't necessarily understand nor like but there is no point developing negative feelings towards the Ministry nor the process because it doesn't change what is. Nor would I develop negative feelings towards other families, parents or birth parents. I can see and understand why some waiting to adopt parents are frustrated and have developed negative feelings towards larger families because we are where they want to be with children. Although they have to understand we were where they are now. The process is the same. In fact the more children you have, I think the process becomes more difficult because we have to prove we can handle our numbers. We didn't get as large as we are easily. I've also heard from some that they don't understand with all our different dynamics, special needs and challenges onto why the Ministry would allow us to continue to adopt while other families are waiting to adopt either with no children or fewer. There is a big picture of consideration. First, we've grown because we have sibling groups. Secondly, every family is unique and has different strengths. What works for us, isn't going to work for the other waiting family. Thirdly, our matching process was not limited, we wanted children with special needs. I don't want to upset anyone because with any adoption it's dedication but ours isn't just forever, it's our lifetime with our dependant children. There is many different factors onto why a family is chosen or grows in numbers sometimes faster then another. This doesn't mean anyone is inadequate, it just means we all have different strengths that are considered. I know large families work because of our level of patience, our experience and our attributes such as huge organization, structure and routine skills. And please, I'm not writing saying that smaller families don't have these skills either, I am hopefully trying to explain the "why" of our existence to help educate so that any negative feelings can diminish. I also don't believe the Ministry have us on a favorite priority list either to adopt......our adoption journey I believe does become more difficult. My husband and I have no alternative reason for adopting accept that we can handle many children. Yes and sometimes difficult situations. We have built a large home we're in debt for, we're not rich but comfortable and our whole life is our family. We can easily add more children because we're what I'd say that already painted house, we're living on a daily basis large. Jealousy isn't something I wish upon anyone and I think anyone that suffers from this or any negative feelings towards us, or towards conceiving Mothers need to surround themselves around us. If anything you won't be jealous anymore! (Ha ha) All kidding aside, I feel I am a compassionate and understanding person. I will tell you I've been there. Every step was a learning process for myself so I blog, I talk on adoption education panels and I attend several different support groups because I want to share and educate. I will personally speak about anything as I think we've had it all and adoption shouldn't be a blindside either. For a successful family you need to go into adoption knowing all the risks and possible disappointments. You will need to ask yourself, "How will you handle a situation?" "How will you handle your emotions?" I also believe while you're waiting to adopt, or are in the application process - where-ever you are within this emotional roller coaster join your adoption community. Attend events and befriend families like ours because all those confused feelings you might have will disappear. You will feel better and have more understanding on the why and how we are who we are. You will be able to cope with waiting to adopt hearing about our waiting stories because we've all been there. Support is amazing and it surfaces in all forms. I don't recommend harboring any negative and jealousy thoughts towards any family but to enhance yourself through education, support and counseling if needed. And to remember you're not alone and regardless if we make it look easy, or we're somehow higher on the totem pole, we're not. I've also written this before, our home is always open. Please come anytime, email me and dinner will be served.
"The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves" - William Penn
I wrote that quote because honestly if anyone is having negative and jealous feelings towards others, they're only hurting themselves and I sincerely hope after reading my post there is some clarity, some peace, some understanding and a change for the positive. Life is not meant to be easy and there is a reason for everything. At least that's what I keep telling myself and I usually can't wait to see what that reason is.....:)