This whole adoption thing still takes some managing. We need to find a rhythm in this. As we've never walked this road before and probably never will again, it's all new.
And we didn't know of anyone else who's adopted before. Let's not get started on WHY that is and HOW only 25 (approx.) adoptions happen PER year in Auckland. Let's just not go there...
I was chatting to someone we finally found who's adopted a child and she was stunned at how open our adoption is. It made me feel a little bit proud of what we've done and also gave me permission to manage the open-ness too.
The level of open-ness was set before Rupi was even born. We (were quite naughty and) did things under the radar a bit as far as the social services were concerned. This was driven by Sweetpea and her family. Sweetpea said to us that unless we met her, she would not consider us. This is a huge no-no with the social services. No meeting until after birth.
We longed for a child and would have tap danced over hot coals if they had said that's what we needed to do, so we met Sweetpea and her family.
They asked for openess and we agreed. They wanted a lot of contact as did J's family when we met them. So how do you go back on your word once the papers are signed? You don't.
This created huge issues for me to be honest. I struggled with the right to call myself Rupi's mother. And it made me very defensive (initially) with the birth families. In retrospect we should have taken a good couple of months out and had time to solidify ourselves as a family and THEN intergrated the birth familes. But how do you go back on your word? You don't.
Fast forward two years and we are still finding our way. Adoption is fluid and seems to change constantly. We also need to bear in mind Rupi's needs as well as the needs of the birth familes. The birth familes have come first in many ways and now I think Rupi needs to come first.
Rupi is a very reserved personality. He is very attached to Dida and I and finds it hard to leave us or be separated from us. He is even reserved with our parents sometimes if he hasn't seen them for a week or so. He still performs when the nanny arrives and takes a while to adjust each morning. As I have posted before I am not sure what impact adoption has had on him and we are just not willing to push him too much.
But I do push him when it comes to the birth familes. To interact with them. They bribe him with sweets to sit on their laps and cuddle him. It has got to the stage when I am uncomfortable with it. I think we need to let him be. He's only 2 years old and acts the same in all social settings. He's like a shy little woodland creature. Not really a deer though, something more solid....maybe a badger???? or a little bear? Yes, a little brown bear- awww...[Anyway, get back to the point girl] He needs time to emerge from the undergrowth and connect with people.
So we are going to need to gently manage that. It's hard because he is ADORED by J's side of the family who shower him with gifts. On the other hand, Sweetpea and her family didn't even send Rupi a birthday card. I found that hard. No doubt about it. But Dida reminds me that we can't force anything.
So very gentle managment is needed. With constant adjustment around Rupi's needs and awareness. It's a good thing and we are so grateful for two wonderful families. We are walking an unfamiliar road and learning the way as we go. And that takes flexibility and finding of new rhythms.....