Forever. A word much in my mind at the moment. What will my future look like? Who will I share it with? What should I be doing now to help make sure it is the best possible forever?
I am a potential adopter in the process of matching, looking around and learning and hoping that I will be linked with a child or children. It’s a strange and unusual, fearful and exciting, worrying and challenging time. One of the corollaries is you think about forever and the meaning of forever a lot. A lot a lot.
As such I should be perfectly placed for a deeply personal yet philosophically engaging and insightful post on the subject for this week’s #WASO over at The Adoption Social.
Yet in reality forever is something that I find an unexpectedly difficult idea.
I understand that many children involved with the care system do not get – not in their emotional core and potentially not in their cognitive processing either – the concept of forever. Their lives to date have excluded such an idea from rational recognition. As for the idea that forever could be linked with growing security, contentment, connection, safety, even happiness – that must be so inconceivable to a child who has experienced little but neglect, change, pain, distress, anger or simply being ignored that their brains cannot really formulate the possibility for consideration.
I am pretty sure the idea of forever would make little sense to me if I was small, I often feel disconnected from the world around me, and my life has mostly been about loss and change.
On the other hand I am not small. I had a secure attachment as a child. I was loved, nurtured, fed, clothed, educated, talked with, played with, kept safe. And now I am a grown up. I do get the basic meaning of the word, both intellectually and emotionally. And presumably I should find the broader connotations of forever easy.
So why it is so hard to pin down? I know that what I want, so dearly, so fundamentally, is to build with a child or children a family that makes my future and theirs the very best it can be. I know too I must be thoughtful and aware and conscious of the challenges that may (will?) entail. I know that sometimes I am filled with anxiety and fear that my forever will not be enough, will not be all it needs to be for my children to truly flourish. I worry at the reality that my forever will have to be enough. I am determined it will be enough. After all, it is forever.
Despite all this, the huge reality of forever is a slippery concept to focus on. It is so self-evident it bears poorly the weight and scrutiny I am placing on it; on the other hand it is so so huge, so central, so fundamental to my future that it is almost impossible to truly understand. Ultimately it is a cliché but also true: we never can know the future. However much we plan and hope and analyse and learn and prepare, the future will always be out of reach – and so also with forever.
Despite this, and despite my questioning and my struggles I think I am, underneath, at peace with forever though. While I do not even know who stars in that future, I do know it will be hard, I have much to learn, and my child/ren and I may well at times struggle. But my vision is unwavering. For I am determined that my future – our future – will be a good one (cue dodgy earworm pop lyrics). It will be the very best I can make it be. Plus there is one thing I know for sure.
Our future will be forever.