When we went to South Africa we knew we would visit the adoption agency and a baby house. We hoped we might see the social workers who knew Sparkle and his first mom, we hoped we might see his foster mom, and we even hoped that we'd be able to somehow connect with Sparkle's first mom. I tried not to have too many expections, tried to just be open to anything.
(Here is a post about meeting Sparkle's first mom the first time we were in South Africa.)
Well, I must have had some expectations because I found myself disappointed. Now, I am not complaining... People helped us as much as they could and we are very, very blessed to have the information and background that we do.
I guess I had an expection that we would learn something more... But we really didn't.
When we met Sparkle, Beloved and I were all about the baby and becoming parents. I knew that we should get as much information as possible, meet everyone we could, see as many places connected to Sparkle's history as possible. But really, all of that took a backseat to the energy and headspace of becoming parents. (Wow, what a rush! Honestly, my energy and motivation has never been so focused as it was during the first few weeks of becoming a mom.)
Once we came home, we realized over the course of time that we wished we'd gotten more information.
Here's just one example of things we wish we'd clarified:
Sparkle's mother made an adoption plan before he was born, yet Sparkle stayed in the hospital for six weeks before coming into a Place of Safety (what South Africa calls foster homes or baby houses). Why, why, why? Was he sick? Was there a paperwork problem? Was his mom reconsidering her options? There is no documentation of what was going on with him during that time. We know that his mom had a C-section (we don't know why) but Sparkle's APGARs were 9 and 10, he was declared healthy... and then six weeks later he went from the hospital to a baby house.
It honestly didn't really occur to me at the time to question at all. And we did have opportunity to figure this out. We talked to his first mom, his social worker, and his foster mom. We never asked... I guess I was just thrilled that he was healthy and mine, and at the time it didn't seem that important.
Maybe I thought I could ask later. Well, five years later all the potential sources for that information are gone. We don't have current contact information for his first mom, her social worker doesn't work for the agency any longer, and his foster mom stopped fostering shortly after he was adopted.
There are actually a number of other things that I wish we had asked about, but I don't think I'll share them here for privacy reasons.
My point is... We should have asked. Any silly thing that came to our minds, any time we spent with anyone, we should have asked. Once the opportunity passed, that information just evaporated.
I feel guilty that I didn't get everything I could for Sparkle. And then I feel guilty for wanting even more information when we have so much more than many adoptive families.
But when it's your kid, anything less than everything seems like not enough.
Maybe I could make up for not being there when he was in the hospital for six weeks if I could at least explain to him why it happened.