Wanting to adopt, but have worries..
Hi all, my wife and I are very keen to adopt and have been for a long while, we both have worries however (not about the actual adoption, it's about myself) that you may be able to answer - hopefully at least. It has put us off applying, so I want a down to earth honest opinion on your experiences with these things, before we set our hearts on it.
First worry: I have bad physical health (Fibromyalgia) and it causes a great deal of pain so I can be relatively active but not much, however I can offer so much love and security to a child that may not have had it previously. I can be there emotionally for them, whereas my wife could handle the active side of things along with emotional. I think we'd make a great team personally, but I'm worried an adoption agency will not see it that way. Is it possible they would just dismiss me straight away for this? I walk with a walking stick as my pain is so severe, but surely that can't stop me from raising a child? I understand you need to be healthy etc, but my wife can manage the active side of things like running around and so on. I can play with their toys with them, I can read to them, I can teach them, I can do everything a 'normal' parent could but I just can't run around a park with them, which my wife can do. So basically I'm asking, will that stop me/us from adopting?
Second worry: I have had poor mental health in the past - right now it's the best it's ever been thanks to self help through DBT, medication and counselling. In my early teens I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, Borderline personality disorder and post traumatic stress disorder. In the here and now however, my anxiety is down to a 'normal' level, that meaning the anxiety an average person would face on a day to day basis. I am no longer depressed, yes I get moments where I feel down but not to the extreme that it was before. The PTSD no longer affects me as I have dealt with the trauma I went through. Without going into too much detail, I had a traumatic childhood at the hands of my father (who is no longer in my life and never will be again) however I feel I can use this to my advantage, meaning that I will understand partially what this child/children has been through and can offer support accordingly. I will 'get' where they are at and I feel like I could use this as life experience for them. The borderline personality disorder is very well managed now, again through medication and DBT. I do not get mood swings anymore at all. Now the worry here is :
1. Medication? Will they dismiss me due to the fact I take 15mg of a mental health medication (it's an antipsychotic but not used for that, it was used to manage my moods from the borderline personality disorder in my late teens (17-18 and I'm now 25) Yes, I still take it, but I would much rather that than to go back to how I was.
2. Will the fact I've had an abusive childhood thanks to my father affect the process? I'm worried they might think it will drag up the trauma from childhood - which it won't as I have dealt with it through therapy.
3. Will the fact I've had a diagnosis of depression, PTSD, anxiety & BPD affect the process? I am so concerned about this. I don't think it would affect my ability to parent at all, I really don't. I think it would add to life experience that I can relate to a child on an emotional level. Along with the fact I have been stable for 4 or 5 years now.
Third worry: Weight, my weight isn't overly healthy at the moment, I have however lost 3 stone 4 lbs in the last 6 months, and I intend to continue. As it stands I weigh around 20stone. I read somewhere (I can't think where right now) that weight can affect your ability to adopt? Is that true?
Fourth worry: I am on benefits as I am unwell with the Fibromyalgia and cannot work, will this affect our application? Do you -have- to be working? We have a relatively good income due to my illness, enough to maintain a family on, I just don't know if this will affect it.
I think thats all of our concerns. I know when you read it, it probably sounds awful, but the point is I have taken/I am taking steps to change these things. Yes, my physical health can't be changed, my weight however can and I am making sure I keep up with the weight loss. Mental health, yes can't be changed but I am managing so much better than I have done through my teens in this past 4 or 5 years and I continually improve and seek help if and when needed. The point is, we can offer so much to a child that has previously had bad experiences, we can be such good parents. However, I really don't want to set our hearts on this if it simply cannot be.
Thank you if you managed to get through this, I know it's a long read.
Two hopeful mummys