Sunday, 11 May 2014

Other's Day

Here’s to all the women out there, today. May you forever realise your potential regardless of your ability to be a mother. 

The Childless Other

I stupidly sit alone in a cafe where generations of women
with their plentiful offspring surround me.
Their feigned looks of contentment tease and mock,
as if nothing in this world is as joyous as motherhood.

What on Earth was I thinking?
Of course the army of matriarchal lineage would be here
on this day of all days,
every chin-dabbing, arse-wiping, kid-fawning lot of them.
I must have been drunk when I agreed to meet here,
now a hell for the child-less damned.

As I try to ignore the pull at my barren womb
and the verge of tears that pushes, pulls and strains on my eyes
I bury my bitter thoughts deep down
hidden from prying doe-eyed matrons,
their pitying glances tut-tutting disapproval
for leaving motherhood all too late.

I sip my cappuccino in peace
silently raising my middle finger in defense
to the judgment of unfulfillment simply because I:
made a choice
have a broken uterus/vagina/body
‘married’ into infertility
love a woman
haven’t found ‘The One’
am waiting to adopt
couldn’t give a fuck about society’s expectations of women.

I may not be a mother – yet
but I am a proud woman full of life, love and loss
who doesn’t let what I don’t have define me.
I am part of the otherhood
just like my sisters from all over the world
who thank God that Mother’s Day only comes once a year.

Another Empty Mother's Day

The second Sunday in May each year, Australians celebrate and give thanks to their mothers for everything that they do for us. It's a wonderful time for mums to be pampered and treated like queens and so they should be. However, for adoptive families, it's also bittersweet as they remember the birthmothers and the loss that is felt for them and for the children who will always wonder 'what if...?'. 

Of course, for waiting parents and women struggling with fertility issues, (and even those who make a choice not to be a mother), I don't have to tell you how hard it is to struggle through another childless Mother's Day, but to all the fulfilled mothers out there in blogland, (Yes, you!) please know that we, the childless women, all hurt this weekend and will need extra love too. 

Many of us will steer clear of social media today, as it makes it all too easy for you to share your joy and for us to feel the pain. So if we choose not to 'Like' your status or 'retweet' your photo of the royal treatment you've been given for the tenth time today by your magnificent brood, please do not  be surprised. Heather Barmore says it best in her recent post On being the childless friend"Every once in awhile a post will pop up just to remind those of us without kids how unfulfilled our lives are." An 'other' woman, Melanie Notkin, in her article, Celebrating Other's Day, also writes: "The focus on motherhood as success and the norm can make women without children feel less-than, as if they only fully become women once they are mothers."

Now, I know you don't mean to continually post about your children as a way to make us, childless women, feel bad. I really do know that you are merely documenting the celebration of your life – and why wouldn’t you? You are entitled to use social media as it is intended.  But, there are moments where just one more photograph of your darling child, or one more comment about how hard tired you are as a mother, makes me want to block you forever and pretend we never were friends in the first place.

So it is with a heavy heart, I wait out my tenth Mother’s Day by avoiding Facebook and the friends who have kids, to wallow in the misery that the long adoption journey bestows upon me. I do this, not by staying home snuggled in bed with a cuppa, a block of chocolate and a book, I stupidly go to a shopping centre where what seems like hundreds of women and their offspring are congregating.

Thankfully, as my childless BFF and I sip our cappuccinos over breakfast, we pretend that there is no one else around us, ignoring the generational success of motherhood, and focus on building each other up with words that keep our tired hearts beating.

Happy Mother's Day.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Eight Months Down

Image via Ed Hall: Eight
Last week marked eight months of approval and waiting. We have now high jumped over the revised timeframes supplied to us and we are no longer confident that Chile will have children for us anytime soon. The first timeline we knew was approximately three years for a placement, including travel and returning home. Further dates suggest two years but again, we are not holding our breath. I refuse to acknowledge anything less than this.

Of course, it is in the best interests of the children for Chile to place them into our family - we know that and wouldn't want it to happen any other way. So, we do understand that the wait can be long. It is just tiring. We are trying to stay hopeful and positive through our work within our adoption community. However, it is wearing thin as we seem to be the only couple doing so much for so little gain. I know that is completely selfish and I don't mean to sound that way, I truly don't. We do love what we do with our support group - it's just that I wish we could be doing this for OUR kids not everyone elses. Does that make sense?

In other news, PG finally managed to communicate effectively with Adoption Services. They do not have an allocation for us. They had information about what SENAME provides to families who are allocated - a huge document that details the lives of the children before adoption. It is very extensive and we feel so lucky that we do get this information, including detailed health, school and psych reports plus others. Many other countries have very little to give like this and adoptees know very little about themselves, which can be difficult. SENAME is very generous with their info as many of the children are known to them through the foster care system.

 In addition, we now have a translated letter winging its way to Santiago (via email and post) to seek clarification of time frames and whether there is anything else we can do or provide to SENAME to show that we are committed to adopt from Chile. That letter was sent on Friday so we hope to get a response shortly, as SENAME seem to be fairly organised on their end.

Will keep you posted.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Seventh Month Waiting Game

Another month down and we are no closer to knowing whether Chile has a family for us. At this point we are leap-frogging over the revised deadlines given to us which is not helping our mood. I thought we'd know by now - I guessed February for that phone call - and even PG's positivity is slipping.

So seven months into the official wait, I've decided to give the timeline over to you, our ever faithful readers. Would love to hear your best guess of when we will receive the call that will change our lives forever.

Please comment below if you know when it will happen. The closest prediction will win a personal phone call from us with the news we've all been waiting for.


Monday, 24 February 2014

Learning Spanish

For the past two nights I have been working on a Spanish Language Table, a document that lists all the things that parents say to their children - in Spanish - in the hopes that we will actually need it one day soon.

At the moment, it's all very clinical but I am sure we'll need the Chilean slang for words like wee, poo, etc. 

Any suggestions on what we should learn to say? 

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

With baited breath...

So, PG phoned Adoption Services on the 31st of Jan (our 6-month mark) to find out if they could contact Chile for a 'touch base' to see how our file is doing. (Sounds weird, I know.) We usually get a response a few days later. However, we haven't heard from them yet. Could this mean...?

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Sixth Month Milestone

Today, we have officially been waiting six months since our glorious approval from Chile. 

This potential adoption is constantly on our minds and the dream of being matched to a child or children in the near future feels so close yet so far away. 

Even though we started this journey in Nov 2004, this is the hardest wait so far. 

Imagine what we will be like if we ever do get this phone call?