Having adopted through choice (i.e. not infertility (that we know of)) is not something that we talk about any more. It just doesn’t feel appropriate to casually mention to our newfound adopter friends who we appreciate so much, and I have got tired of explaining to others anyway. My partner and I discussed adopting fairly early on in our relationship and talked about how much we would like to do it. We are not religious but I guess we suffer from that middle class, privileged background angst that can drive you in a similar direction. Our adoption assessment was straightforward (our lives were labelled ‘perfect’) and we were matched quickly with our darling boy who was 1 at the time. We adored him from the first photo viewing, when we met him it was all confirmed in our mind. He was meant to be ours. After a short introduction he came home with us and to all intents and purposes seemed to settle really well. My partner was able to take several weeks off work so we got through the first month daze together and learnt how to care for our boy. Then reality hit. The cliquee playgroups, the assumptions I was the nanny, the loneliness, the ‘I just have to get through to the weekend’ mentality and then finally the ground breaking realisation that it was unlikely we were ever going to be a ‘normal’ family. Our son was young but I was his third mother following a neglectful start and a not really adequate foster placement. He was confused, disorientated, grieving and expressed his anger at me freely and relentlessly. We had read the books but nothing could have prepared us for it. Now nearly two years in I am out of the fog and feel I can review and improve my parenting, and rationalise and even avoid the anger outbursts. We chose this path and I’m so glad, I love my boy with my whole heart but the realisation that I deserved empathy and was desperately in need of it so that I could start to empathically parent was what saved us. To all those who’ve shared a kind or understanding word with me, I am so grateful!