I almost changed my mind once during the adoption process, and now that Ben joined our family, I’m extremely glad I didn’t.

Towards the end of September 2013 we attended the first of many training sessions. It was an Information evening, or as I started referring to it, the frightening evening.

Diego and I thought we were going to an informal meeting, a safe place where to ask informations about adoption, gather an in depth knowledge of how it works, and maybe listen to some first hand experiences from other adopters. We weren’t completely unprepared, we also expected talks about emotional trauma, sense of abandon, uncertain child history, neglect and all other possible scenarios.

Well, in part this is what we got. Two social workers walked us through the process, explained about court orders, special guardianship, panels, placement, fostering for adoption… All concepts that didn’t really sank in at such an early stage of the process.

No long after the mood changed suddenly, and the two social workers transformed in a sort of spooky monsters. They talked about how all children in the care system are damaged somehow, and how stressful living with them is. I was shocked at the word damaged; in my mind I was keep telling myself that we were talking about children, not spoiled stock!

Don’t get me wrong. We understood perfectly well that a child waiting to be adopted comes with a past, often very tragic and traumatic. We understood that children once taken away from their birth families are subject to some form of loss, that often reflect in their behaviour and ability to attach to the new family.

Said that, we were told that an adopted child will never be like our own biological child. That is true maybe, I don’t really know, but the social worker then carried on saying that these children rarely form any attachment to the adoptive families, and that they will quite possibly resent you because you are the one that took them away from their birth family.

That was a scary prospect, a reality far and distant from the idea of an happy family we had in our minds.

I kept asking myself if I really wanted to have a child that was incapable to love me back, that would struggle for the rest of his life to adjust to living with us, and would never feel really at home.

The answer was a clear no. This sound selfish, and it probably was, but who would willingly accept that kind of reality if they had the chance?

We drove back home in silence, both Diego and I trying to understand if we could go through with it. Both looking at our dream of a family going up in smoke.

It took us some time before being enthusiastic again about adopting a child. For a while we just carry on with it only to see what was going to happen next, but keeping an exit door open.

And then, out of the blue, we woke up one morning and that dreadful feeling was gone. We were back on the path of building our family; we could picture again a little voice calling us mum and daddy, we were ready again to face what adoption would have brought to us.

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