A Week Before Matching Panel

I’m suffering from ‘morning adoption sickness’. 

Every day, when I wake up, I feel sick. I have done for the last couple of months actually but the last couple of weeks have really been dreadful. It’s all anxiety about the impending arrival of the matching panel date and there’s not much I can do about it. Ginger biscuits aren’t going to work for me.

Our matching panel is, in fact, a week tomorrow. Our emotions (well, mainly mine) are all over the place. I don’t know whether to feel excited, happy, scared, worried. At this stage I feel like I’m getting mixed messages from all over the place. On one hand I feel very confident that we will be approved for the match. In the words of everybody we know, “why would we not be?” and “you’re perfect, if they turn you down they’re mad”. But I don’t share other peoples confidence. Not at the moment. Not after everything we’ve had to do just to get to this stage.

People love to compare. I’ve had it said to me that it’s like being nervous just before you give birth. That women are scared about having a baby and not knowing how they’re going to cope or just being scared about taking a baby home. But the thing I’m nervous about is nothing to do with the actual child. If they handed over our daughter this morning, right now, we’d just get on with it. It’d be tough but who said it wasn’t going to be. We’re ready for her, we’re prepared for the difficult times, the sleepless nights, the trauma, the (initial) rejection. No, what I’m worried about is the six people who are going to make the decision that we are right for this little girl. That’s a big difference. When you go in to labour there aren’t six people sitting around a table waiting to ask you questions about uncertainty, time off and why you were drawn to this child with the (albeit low) possibility of them saying “no”. You have the baby and because you haven’t quite answered the questions *”correctly” they take your baby away. That’s how we would feel, at this stage, that they were taking our baby away. She is our daughter. We have seen pictures of her, a little DVD footage, read her report, bonded with her, attached emotionally and fallen in love with her. As have our parents and all our friends. It would be devastating now to lose her.

And it is a low chance. I can say that, out loud, and know that it’s true and factual. But I don’t feel it. Ever. Maybe it’s because I respect the process and I don’t want to assume. Maybe it’s a trust thing, I just can’t quite trust them to make that right decision. Whatever the reason behind how I feel it’s tarnishing what we are doing in preparation for her.

We have started sorting out her room, we’ve been to car boot sales, charity shops, had stuff given to us by extremely generous friends, bought stuff for her and she’s even had a first gift which is now waiting on her little dresser/book/toy shelf we bought at the weekend. I am making curtains at the moment, which is actually working out to be quite therapeutic, we’ve created her family book ready for the matching panel and laminated some large, close up photos of us ready for the foster carer to put on her wall and around the house. And, even though we’ve done all this, I still feel like she could be taken away. What a horrible position to be in. It feels like the cruelest time for adopters-to-be and I think the uncertainty makes it that way. We should be enjoying going shopping, buying things, creating her room, making these curtains, creating things for her. But everything we’re doing has this ‘edge’ to it all the time. It’s not a nice feeling at all.

I’m hoping that once we have been officially approved for the match to this little girl that we can then start to really enjoy the time running up to meeting her. I know that’s what’s going to happen. I know that, once we know she’s coming to us, that we will relax. I know that I’m not nervous, scared or worried about having her as our daughter, she is our daughter already.

But, I think, in the meantime I actually might just try the ginger biscuit theory out. 




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