I cannot escape the feeling of dread of all the “what ifs” that could block our path. I know we have some family support in this venture, and I know others cringe with fear that we may bring home some unholy terrors. To me, a child is a child, and with our children there were never any guarantees that they’d be healthily, have kind hearts, and gentle souls. My middle son I call my wild child because of his impulsive nature. I have to keep a sharp eye on him, and remind him often of what is appropriate and what is not. He is a person, with a nature that is all his own, and I love him for it. I accept that there maybe challenges, (and most likely will be,) as the honey moon period ends and the girls’ true nature starts to shine through.
It isn’t these “What if’s” around the children that scares me. It is the home study aspect. My childhood held one of violence, and constant emotional abuse. I was lead to believe (because of my own learning disabilities) I would never amount to anything. The standard my parents often snapped was, “don’t think, just do it.” They undermined my achievements, my nickname was "good for nothing", and they showed no interest in school. Everyone has their grievances, their own set of challenges to overcome, mine is my childhood.
I am a great mom, I spend time with my kids and encourage them to do and try new things, listen to them when they're upset, we do things together as a family, both as a group and as parent and child. We are a strong family and still beneath the surface lies that little girl who was told she couldn’t be a waitress because I’d never get the orders right, or couldn’t be a cashier because the machine was too hard to work. You can shake your head and think “how lame is that”, however these words came from my parents, the people I trusted most in this world, and I believed them. Growing up I would often be pushed into situations I had never done before without any instructions, and then ridiculed because I did it wrong.
So the thought of going through the home study fills me with dread, what if he/she thinks I’m unfit. What if because my father hit me, they’ll assume I’ll hit the kids too? Or I’ll slip into my mother’s vicious nature and tear every ounce of dignity my children have to shreds.
The feeling of not measuring up lurks so close to the surface, it doesn’t matter that my kids are happy, and well adjusted with good self esteem, and that I have had some successes as a writer. I should be able to face the adoption practitioner with confidence instead of fear, be proud of my achievements, and yet even still... failure is what I know best.