So our file was able to travel last year to Thailand as a replacement file. Why not a regular file? Because Thailand has frozen new files, so no more are able to be sent.

I am not sure how many replacement files were sent last year – or this year. At the time I thought it would be only a few – I remember reading a stat at some point that suggested that over 20 were sent (but I am not sure if special needs files were mixed into that number). If it was 20 or more then I think that is a lot. Anyway, we were just grateful that our file was able to travel to Thailand when it did.

When the department told us that our file was going to be a replacement file for a file that had withdrawn I remember saying to Husbot “why would anyone withdraw?” he said “Maybe they got pregnant!” hahahaha! That had never occurred to me. But good for them – if that is the reason and that makes them happy.

But I think there are other reasons as well. Of course I am just speculating but I do fear that some of the replacement files replaced ones that had been withdrawn because of couples who have given up hope of ever becoming parents who have decided to ‘take control of their lives’ and be childfree (by choice?), for whom the stress of waiting and adoption – perhaps added to infertility is too much and it tears their relationship apart… despair, divorce… who knows.

I wonder about these files that disappeared – withdrew – so that we, and others, could replace them. How did it start? The erosion of hope? When did they stop thinking Is today the day that someone in Thailand is thinking “Yes! This couple! Mr and Mrs XYZ would be the perfect parents for this child” and when did they start thinking I can’t go on with this hanging over my head – it is never going to happen.

What is the tipping point? I mean of course I don’t really want to know – by that I mean – I hope I never find out. But in my wondering I just am thinking – is it time? Is it just the amount of time it takes? The long days of waiting – the short ones. The days when you can think of nothing else? Does it just wear you down? Remember the waiting time has blown out in the past few years from around 18months o an average of 3 years… now people are being told 4 years will be the new norm… that could mess with your head. In fact it does mess with your head. I know that already.

Or is it other things? Is it things like going from feeling happy for friends and family when they make pregnancy announcements to feeling resentful? Or is it when your friends children are small and you think – well now this little cutie pie is x months old – by the time our bubs comes they will be the perfect playmates…. Then next thing you know cutie pies parents are talking about sending them to school next year and there is still no sign of your bubs.

You start thinking not only will we be the only adoptive family. But we will also be different because my child will be so much younger then the other kids – I will be so much older as a 1st time parent.

I got an inkling the other day of one of the things. We were out with friends who now have multiple children each. They have shifted from being the ‘awww look at my gorgeous bubs’ kind of parents to full time professional child wranglers. It’s all about eating with one hand while problem solving with the other etc. Which of course is frustrating. So there were some comments to Husbot and I like ‘you guys are lucky to not have kids yet’ and ‘you guys are doing the right thing’ (?). It seems that instead of being seen as expectant parents, which is how we think of ourselves, we are seen as people who are skillfully avoiding becoming parents. Huh ?

Of course our friends are not intending to be hurtful or anything! They do know our situation – but I just don’t think they understand it – or what to say about it. And aside from sitting around saying ‘waiting sucks’ all night they try to be more chirpy try to make us feel better. It is like when people have a single friend – you don’t say “oh you must be so miserable because you have not found your soul-mate’ you just say things like ‘at least you have more fun then us – we hardly ever go out anymore’ etc etc.

Nevertheless I can see how after years and years of people treating you like you were happily childless when really you were desperate to be parents and waiting to become so  was slowly killing you both individually and potentially as a couple then… yeah. Something would have to give.

Anyway… enough melancholy musings. In truth I don’t know how people get to the point of withdrawing their file – and I hope that we never get there. I feel really sorry for anyone who has – whoever was the file we replaced, well, I am sorry. Unless of course you withdrew because you got pregnant – in that case then – we hope you had a happy ending!!

But I am well aware that it was probably more a reason of melancholy. The torment of waiting. The breakdown of a relationship.  The day in day out feeling that your hopes and dreams are not in fact getting closer but are slipping away from you completely. The loss of hope.

I am aware that we and many others have scraped through as replacement files and although this may mean hope for us – it is probably because of a loss of hope for others.