A Father’s Perspective
By: Wes Zuidersma
When people find out that my wife and I are adopting they say, “That’s amazing! You guys must be so excited!” The truth is I haven’t really found that to be true…..the exciting part that is. But let me explain.
It’s very similar to finding out your wife is pregnant but harder, at least that’s what I have found. First you hear the exciting news that your wife is pregnant, your excited, you celebrate, you start planning all the things you need to do before that baby arrives and all that you need to get done before the big day! The adoption process is like that. You get the news that you’ve bin accepted into the P.R.I.D.E training course, you’re excited, you celebrate and start preparing for home visits and get everything you need before the baby arrives. You put extra baby locks on everything, buy extra fire alarms to put in every bedroom, you start preparing for the child. But as with pregnancy things don’t really happen very fast, the excitement starts to fade when your realize how long nine months are. You don’t even see a big round belly on your wife yet! That doesn’t come until much later.
I have found adoption to be harder on the husband end of things. When your wife is pregnant you get to sit back and watch that belly grow, feel the baby kick, see the baby in ultrasounds and you have a nine month count down before you need to put that crib together that you bought and for that day to finally come when you meet your baby. But when it comes to adopting you don’t know how long things will take. There is a timeline that never seems to have an end in sight. You start the process with tons of paper work, go to the police station for checks and get your finger prints scanned, have a social worker come to your house every other week and talk with you about your entire life story and feelings (I don’t talk about feelings…..haha) and go to P.R.I.D.E training classes for three months.
My wife and I started the process to adopt two and a half years ago………….. That’s like having your wife pregnant three times longer then normal before you meet your baby! You’d think that after waiting this long and going through all of this that I’d be ready to call it quits, but the opposite is true. When we first decided to adopt I was very laid back about the whole thing. When your given a baby you need time to make a true connection, whether your wife just gave birth to that baby or you adopt the baby. For me it’s never been an instant connection. It takes time. It’s different for a man than it is for a woman. With pregnancy your wife carries the baby, they feel the kicks and have an immediate bond. Sure I get to feel the baby kick and see the belly grow but it’s not the same. We don’t bond the same way with our kids like women do. I love my kids so much more then the day they were born. I have gotten to watch there own unique personality develop and see them adopt some of Kayla’s and my own sayings, traits and mannerisms. That is how I really developed a truly deep connection with them. Not just because I had a part in their birth but because I helped them grow and develop. I have built a trusting relationship with them.
So I know that I can connect with an adopted child, that part has never bin a worry for me. My hesitation came more from doing all that paper work, classes and cost. But as we have gone through this process I have seen that there is a need for people to give these kids something they may not otherwise have a chance at, an awesome family. I have always took my family for granted, not on purpose but it just kinda happens. I grew up in a Christian home and my friend’s parents all seemed great too. It never entered my head that kids were growing up with no parents or parents who are causing harm to their kids because they are incapable of providing the proper care for them. It went against everything that I was taught by my father about how a man should treat other people. I was taught to be respectful. To treat others with respect. I was taught how to be a provider for my family. How a man should love and honour his family. That’s why I never thought about adoption until my wife told me, five years ago when we were dating, that she’s always dreamed of adopting a child and giving them a loving home.
Being shown the need of more families, more fathers that are willing to give the same chances that they are giving to there own families, thats why I am adopting. To take a stand for these kids who need good homes. I have so much to give so why not? Sure, the process has it’s ups and downs but why not?
So am I excited? Sure I am. Is it easy? Nope. Sometimes, the process is draining. But like pregnancy, when my wife went through the different trimesters of pregnancy feeling those ups and downs, we too have gone through this with the adoption process. It’s not an easy road. Sometimes I even think it sucks and have told my wife how annoying I’ve thought some of the classes are to go to. But with everything in life there is a process. I guess you’d say we are “putting in our time.” One day I’ll get to finally meet my child and from there a whole new process will begin.
Hey there, my name is Kayla. I am your Niagara Region Doula & Birth Photographer. I live on the beautiful escarpment in Beamsville on our family owned and run farm.
I am a mama of two and currently in the process to adopt our third! I know crazy! Life feels crazy sometimes but that’s all part of the fun right?
I absolutely love birth and babies!! I love the journey into parenthood and the transition along the way. I love how our hearts seem to quadruple in size the second we lay eyes on our baby and how we get to see the world in a whole new perspective as our kids grow and change.
As your Doula & Birth Photographer my goal is to help you have the best birth experience you possibly can. My goal is to eliminate any fears or worries going into birth and help you feel confident and excited to birth your baby.
Let’s chat about how we can make your birth experience the best experience it can possibly be!