I have a load of things to do on my to do list. And every morning I sit down and put them in the order of the most important and those things that I really need to get done TODAY. And then....
..... I begin my day......by doing all the really non important tasks!! Even though I know what I need to do and what I want to do, I still don't do it.
I know that I should 'swallow the frog' (doing the most difficult task) first which will emotionally free me up to do all the other things. And sometimes I do it, and yes it feels good. But what interests me is that I put off and put off...those things that I REALLY want to do.
Why would I do that? And I am not talking about putting them off for the day - they just get put onto tomorrows list, and at the end of tomorrow onto tomorrows list and so on until one day I take stock and think YIKES 6 months has gone past and this blessed thing is still on the list.
And I rationalise it. Why am I not doing it? And the answer that my brain keeps on coming up with? "Well, you are really busy" "You had that thing to organise and this thing to plan", "It's OK, you'll do it tomorrow" and 1000 other excuses. But with always the proviso that it will get done, eventually, because it is in my radar and it is something that I REALLY WANT to do.
And I do work on it. I start, and I am so proud of myself because I am now doing it..... and after a few minutes I have found something else to distract me. Oh you know those things that are interesting, simple, immediate, easy. But that is OK, because I have tricked myself into believing that I am actually working on 'the project'.
But I am not.
My project - which is exciting, innovative, useful, is simply not getting finished. And after almost one year I have come to the realisation that I simply do not want to get the project done. Something is blocking this progress and now I need to look at what this emotional block is - because it can only be an emotional block. I have all the skills, resources and time to complete the task. So why am I not doing it?
And sitting here in the early spring sunshine,I am thinking, this same emotional block that is stopping me complete a project which I really want to do - is the same emotional block that stopped me taking constructive steps to parenthood all those years ago. And, it is probably the same emotional block that keeps on stopping you, from taking the first constructive steps towards GUARANTEED parenthood - for days, months and even years.
So what is it? What is so strong that it can stop people doing what they really, really want to do? What emotion ensures that one does not pursue that which one desires the most?
The true reason is FEAR OF FAILURE.
If I never finish my project, it does not exist and therefore I will not....be disappointed, accused, ridiculed, blamed. I won't have made a mistake, and I won't have to live with the idea that I could have done better. These emotional blocks stifle even the promise that it will be good; I will feel a sense of achievement; I will get recognition; I will be satisfied; I will have succeeded and I will have done what I set out to do.
Does this resonate when you think about your path to adoption? For most people it takes years to come to the decision to adopt. Even after all the rationalisation and research has been done.....something stops that positive first step forward.
You want to become parents, yes in fact you are committed to becoming parents - haven't you proven that because of all your IVF attempts? So it cannot possibly be that.
But wait a moment. Many people have told me, and from my own experience, before you realises what is happening you find yourself not on the path to reproductive technology but on the super highway to medicalised reproduction. You are guided, jostled, hurried, pushed, shoved onto this route as a matter of course. And because you are still confused, because of the ramifications of not being able to naturally conceive, this 'assistance' is most gratefully received.
You are already facing failure, so a little shot at something that may not be failure, is seized. Even if we know the odds are seriously stacked against us.
But adoption, now that is another kettle of fish altogether. If you qualify, which most of you will, then you are virtually guaranteed of becoming a parent. There is every opportunity that you will have laughter and silliness in your life. That you will have the joy and happiness of a little child saying "I love you mummy", that you will have your own child.
But we fear that we may fail. We are PETRIFIED that we will fail.
What if I don't love him? What if she turns out to be really ugly? What will we do if he doesn't make the school grades? Will the family understand? Will it cause controversy? What if they disapprove? Will we be accepted as a family? What if I make the wrong choice. What about attachment issues? Poor behaviour? The list is endless, but essentially it falls onto one question......
What if I've made a mistake?
Those poor kids. You see, with birth children, or IVF, there is the sense of potential. And it is this beautiful unknown potential that you fall in love with. The baby comes into the world pure, unknown, a clean and uncontaminated slate.
But for the millions of children already on the planet, they already have a script. They are no longer 'pure' but have history, have 'form'. And it is because of this one minor element that one fears that something may and can go wrong.
Somehow, there is this feeling that, if your (birth) child starts to develop some issues or a condition, then you will just deal with it - because that is what being a parent is all about. So you are not going to reject your child because they can't do maths, or because of that geeky hair. You love them because they are your children.
And this is what adoptive parents feel. You love your kid and will do everything for that child. The only difference between you and adoptive parents is that they have got over the emotional block of fearing that they may make a mistake. They have taken the leap of faith with the acknowledgement that yes, this child comes with its own script, but this does not mean that you cannot shape and rewrite it. Or embrace it, and celebrate it.
My son is my son. Did I make a mistake? No. Was I scared that I would make a mistake - oh yeah. But when I saw the tiny faces of those children destined to a live in an institution, I knew that what I was doing would never, ever be a mistake. No, adopting a child who has no loving family is never a mistake - no matter what happens - it ALWAYS is a good choice. It is the best choice. And for me, it was the best thing ever.
So failure is not an option. Fear of failure must be quashed......now let me get on with my project and see it to its completion. And if it is a mistake..let me take encouragement from the words of someone I read recently.
"If you don't make mistakes, you don't make anything."
And if it works? Well, what a happy, content, satisfied, successful person I will be!