Adoption has defined the majority of my adult life.
At 26 years old I made a decision with Paula as we sat on a park bench on a sunny January day in 1998. We had no idea of the consequences of that decision.
I've been through one preparation group, five adoption social workers, 5 panels (one deferred and we sat outside one waiting for a court ruling) and two visits to court. While I write we wait another court date to see Peanut's adoption finalised. I am the father of six children.
I've sobbed and been brought to my knees.
I've prayed until I was hoarse, day after day, and been brought to the end of myself.
I've seen hope destroyed and been lifted up by friends.
I've despaired at my failings as a father.
I've regrets and I wish I knew then what I know now.
I've been punched, kicked and head butted.
I've been bitten (blood drawn several times, Gracie and Flossie God bless you).
I've had my nose broken (The Big One still maintains it was an accident).
I've been called a 'fook' by a five year old repeatedly (she'd forgotten the exact prenunciation).
I've been insulted, provoked, baited, accused, hated and loved.
Would I do it again?
Like most every other parent (adopted or not) I would say 'yes'.
Would I do it differently?
Like every other parent (adopted or not) I would say 'probably'. But hindsight is wonderful.
Would I recommend it?
My children continue to challenge, and some days it seems more than I can bear.
But yes, always yes.
The privilege of loving and being loved.
National adoption week, throw yourself in.