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Adoption at the Holiday Inn

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I was reading the Metro on a very over-crowed tube. I’d finished the article about Naomi Campbell’s over sized ET shaped toe, which was strangely gratifying as I knew that something like this would bother her far more than the story breaking about her accepting blood diamonds. I got to the classified section, which I’ve never read before, where I saw an advert for adoption. I guess you don’t notice these things until it’s relevant to you. There was an advert inviting people to an open evening to find out more about adoption. I called the number as soon as I got home and put our names down for the meeting.

I have to say, as the time drew nearer I was apprehensive, I suppose that was to be expected. It was at a Holiday Inn hotel in London. It was one of those hazy summer evenings and as we walked to the hotel I felt a sudden rush of hope, maybe we would be able to adopt a child, after all lot’s of other people do it right?

When we got inside there was a sign on the door of one of the meeting rooms in big letters that said ‘Adoption Evening.’  You had to go through the bar area to get to it. When I saw this my stomach turned over, for some reason I felt ashamed, embarrassed, I hated that I felt this way but I did, it was the same feeling I used to get when my name was called out for free dinners at school. It made me feel like I had failed in someway, I guess being labeled sub fertile had more of an effect than I’d realised.

There were three social workers and an adoptive parent who had adopted three children,  he was there to speak about his experience. The head of the social workers department talked first about the adoption process, what it involved and the time it was likely to take, usually about a year from the beginning to end of the approval process and then how ever long it took to find you the right match. He also drew our attention to the table where there were lots of information about adoption, as well as the magazine’s where they advertise children who were looking for families. He then handed over to another social worker, who talked us through a couple of case histories.

She began by telling us that these were real children. I don’t want to repeat what she said in too much detail because it was too horrific, needless to say several women in the room started to cry, I could not allow myself to do this, had I, I would not have been able to stop. I do remember someone getting up to refill their tea, bad move, we where not watching the TV! The children in question were from horrendous situations, and both had what the social worker referred to as ‘Global development delay’ I still don’t know what this means. I heard one man whisper to his wife ‘Let’s just get a dog’

The social worker then went on to say that they were looking for a families who were willing to take more than one child and that if you were white then the likelihood of you being able to adopt a baby was non-existent, they would encourage you to think about adopting an older child, or three.

In the break the magazines advertising children were passed around, again I felt shame for wanting to look but I just couldn’t help my self.

“Let’s go, these kids all have funny shaped heads” said the man with weirdest shaped head I have ever seen. His wife look mortified, she hit him with the magazine and they left the room. What a prick!

I remember seeing one lovely little boy who I would have taken home in a heat beat but that wasn’t going to happen because I was the wrong colour. Don’t they have an order form at the back so I can get the colour that they would prefer me to have!

We then heard from the guy who’d adopted three, I thought to my self now this makes sense, they probably told him if he wants one, he’ll have to wait, but take three and you can have them next week. His story was a happyish one apart from the bit when he talked about one of the kids, scratching their neck until it bleed and how sometimes he had to sit on top of the child to stop him from harming himself.

So once you’d navigated your way through the process and bared your soul to the social services, badgered your friends to write nice things about you, decorated you’re spare room with Nemo the clown fish with the gimpy fin. You’re almost there right? Not so fast! Because after all that let’s say you do finally find a child in one of those magazine’s or the social worker thinks they have found you a match, there’s still no guarantee, chances are you might get gazumped by another family. Yes my friends, now starts the competition! It’s a word they used. So having waited a year and had meeting after meeting regarding the child, you may have to make that agonising trip home once again with out a nipper. I know they have the child’s best interest at heart, but Christ have a little bit of consideration for the people going through this Crap!

Oh and one more thing, this borough wanted us to consider the child having contact with the birth parents. So even though little Jonny’s Mother kept him locked in a shed while she conducted her business in the house. It a possibility they will insist on contact now and then…..That was it for me!

So I’m sorry if this paints a bleak picture, this was our first experience. Perhaps we were not ready to take this step just yet. Has it put me off? No! Because I still hope that somewhere out there, there is a little person who needs a family and I live in hope that one day we will all find each other. I can feel it!

It’s Time!

Doctors surgery age 14

Me: ‘Can you take my womb out please, it’s really irritating me!’

Doc: ‘NO.’

Me: ‘Dick Head!’

Doc: ‘Please leave.’

Me: ‘Fine! I’ll sniff some glue and suck it out with the vacuum cleaner!’

December 2010ish

I can honestly say that I have never been one of those women who longed for a baby. Small fury creatures were always much more appealing to me. Then something shifted.

It all started with a phone call to a friend.

‘Happy Birthday Jackie, do you fancy meeting for lunch?’

‘I am going to the hospital to get some more test results.’ she said

‘Is everything OK?’ I suddenly felt guilty, as we hadn’t seen each other for months.

‘My AMH levels are very low and I am scared that I might just have left it too late.’

‘What?’

‘So I’m telling all my friends to go and get tested.’

Tested!

‘Jack you’re scaring me, what’s AMH?’

‘It’s a test that lets you know how many eggs you have left in your ovarian reserve, my FSH levels are rubbish too.’

‘FSH? what the hell is that?’

‘It’s the follicle stimulating hormone, it’s the hormone you need to produce eggs.’

WTF…..HEAD EXPLODING!!!!!!!! make it go away… I just wanted to go out for a drink.

‘I feel like such an idiot, I was so arrogant, I just thought I’d get pregnant as soon as I decided I wanted to, but it’s not happening, I’m terrified I’ve left it too late.’

I didn’t know what to say, did I want to have kids? Maybe? We’d talked about it and then we’d forgotten about it, no real urgency but we were getting on a bit!!!!!!

For me it was all about getting the facts, I didn’t want to look back with regret, wishing that I’d done something about it, be reduced to dressing my cat up in baby clothes and pushing him around in a second-hand pram. My thinking was that knowing whether I could or couldn’t have a child would be a hell of a lot healthier in the long run than just wondering.  I was about to discover that I should have done it a little bit sooner. YOU THINK!

NHS hospital somewhere or other

So you sit for two hours in the waiting room, which is shared with the antenatal clinic, except that we are instructed to sit under a sign that reads:

chairs

I was a bit put out by this, as we hadn’t even had our results yet.

The women on my left looked at the sign and burst into tears. I picked up one of those overpriced toxic women’s magazines which was full of women of a certain age (Bloody hell that’s my age!) pouring their hearts out about how worthless they felt because they hadn’t Fucking got on with it!

When we finally got to see the consultant, it’s not the person we saw before. We could only under stand 20% of what she was saying … So we just caught the odd word like… ‘Large’ and ‘Surgery’ oh and ‘Cancer’ She can’t find my blood test results, which by the way is a test for ‘Cancer’ so she mumbles something about calling back in a week to get those, bearing in mind we had already waited 4 weeks not to mention the 6 months it took to get the Doctor to refer us in the first place… So give her a look that says ‘You better find them or I’ll shit in your handbag’ Thank God for body language. So she gets the hint leaves the room, comes back and then blames it on you because you have an apostrophe in your name, which is causing all manner of problems. ‘How about using my hospital number!’ I yell. So you sit there for another 20 minutes wishing you’d watched more Charlie brown then maybe your ear would perhaps be a bit more accommodating. Then she says you only have two options, ‘egg and spoon race’ or ‘crop rotation..…At least that’s what you think she said. We asked several questions but to no avail, as we couldn’t decipher her reply. We left feeling really helpless and frustrated. Good job there was a pub on the corner and look, it’s karaoke night!

Doctor’s surgery age 40ish 

Once upon a time I had the perfect NHS GP, he was down to earth, friendly, he got things done and quickly, he was always available. Things have changed, in the last few years since expanding his practice if you want to get an appointment with him on the NHS you either have to sleep in the rose-bush by the entrance the night before, or go in that morning without an appointment and feign a seizer. I am remarkably good at fainting on command I mastered it at school during tedious RE lessons. There’s only so many times you can empathise with that poor bloke being nailed to the cross, Jesus!

I prefered seeing him because I have had some less than ideal experiences with a lot of the other doctors at the practice.. I once went in to have a lump in my breast examined and the doctor I saw, rested his warm flabby stomach on my knees while he examined me, Yummy! That same doctor took a call on his mobile in the middle of my appointment and then waved me out of his surgery, saying ‘Don’t worry you’ll be fine.’ Oh I feel so much better now, I’m so glad I dragged my arse all the way here for that piece of wisdom.

After our disastrous experience getting the test results at the NHS sub-fertility clinic, I went to see my GP and explained to him that I couldn’t understand the consultant and he looked at me and said ‘Your not the first person to say this.’ he sat in front of me and wrote an email requesting the results so he could go through them with me.

Another 4 weeks later I called the surgery to see if the report was back… The insidious old hag on reception proceeded to tell me that they had come in 2 weeks ago.

WHAT! AND NOBODY CALLED ME!!

She said she would get the doctor to call me on Monday as he would be back from his holiday by then.

Monday came, I waited till 6pm that night, so after having waited 6 weeks for my initial results which were delivered by a consultant who quite frankly should have had subtitles appear beneath her, another 4 weeks to get the results back to my Doctor to be translated, I finally get the call from my Doctor, who said to me and I quote. ‘Dr Harris here what can I do for you?’ I was very angry by this stage, what could he do for me! Why don’t they read your file before they call you up. So I said  ‘I don’t know if you remember’…and I explained my situation once again… ‘Oh yes he said let me see, here it is, PAUSE………… your only option is egg donation or adoption, so now you know’ I was speechless, there was no compassion, no would you like to come in and discuss some options, nothing, and then he hung up.

So there we have it, we may never have a child, not one that we baked ourselves from our own ingredients; not even Jamie Oliver can help cook up this one!!

I would have been given more attention had I been an over weight smoker or a heroin addict, so I’m exploring the latter! I always wanted to try it I was just waiting for the right time, that time has come. Suddenly the incomprehensible consultant wasn’t looking so bad.

So I decided that if I couldn’t have a kid then a micro-pig would be an acceptable option. Your whole family decides to hold a meeting to address the situation, (in America they call it an intervention). They come over, bring food, talk about you like you’re not there, deciding what would be a fitting hobby for you to take up now that your life is going to be devoid of parent’s evening’s, extracting Lego parts from your kids nasal passages and removing porridge from the DVD box

So if you want to avoid the above.. Get on with it!

Next stop adoption!