The latest step of the adoption process of notifying the birth father was the most difficult by far. It took it’s toll on me both mentally and physically. I was so overwhelmed by his hostile reaction that I was unable to see the wood from the trees for a while. I wondered why we had even embarked on this difficult journey in the first place.
And then the signed papers arrived.
At first, I didn’t feel anything. I was numbed by recent events and still reeling from the injustice of our situation. But slowly, slowly, it began to sink in. I didn’t need to be afraid of the possibility of being taken to court for access of my son. Even though the process is far from finished, I had written proof that there was no objection to the adoption order being made. If I was challenged in the future, I had evidence that consent was given. The adoption could finally go forward and it would secure my son’s relationship with his dad. They would be legally connected. This consent form was the part of the process that we couldn’t control and with its completion we had made it to the other side of that uncertainty and fear.
I realised that I had spent almost four years in fear. There were so many nights that I would lie awake and cry, terrified of the scenario where my son would be forced to spend time with a stranger that I did not trust. My baby. The fear consumed so much of me and I couldn’t talk about it with those around me. Within a week of receiving the signed papers, our whole extended family were made aware of the situation and all of our friends were informed. The more I spoke about it, the better perspective I had on the situation. I no longer felt ashamed. I had taken the most difficult path for the welfare of my son and I was one step closer to ensuring his safety. I carried this burden of worry and anxiety for so long and I no longer needed it anymore.
I find myself looking more towards the future now. I am starting to forgive myself for things that happened years ago. Last night at a party I casually explained to an old acquaintance that we were adopting our son. This openness would have been unthinkable four years ago. But we are here now. And we can breathe again.