By Rosie Russell
This is a shout out to all professionals who deal with the families of troubled children — adopted or not. If you tell parents that you will call them by a certain time, please, please do so.
I wish I could describe the pain of waiting for a call that might very well spell disaster for your family. Every time the phone rings, your insides seems to drop right out. Your heart thumps and your mouth is dry. Your whole body is tense and painful with stress. It goes on like this, hour after hour, day after day. And all too often the call does not come in the agreed time frame.
I am currently about 45 hours into a wait that I was promised would be no more than 24. I have been in a state of heightened anxiety all this time. I can’t think of anything else. I can’t settle to do any work. I struggled to sleep last night and now my head aches with tiredness and tension.
This has happened many times in my life with my troubled adopted child. Sometimes it is school, sometimes social services, sometimes adoption support. I am always slightly amazed by the seeming complete lack of empathy for us as our world crashes down around our ears. I have often wondered if I, too, would have lacked the imagination to guess what parents must be feeling as they wait helplessly to hear what direction their lives are about to take.
So please, if you say 24 hours, make sure you make the call within that time. God knows, 24 hours is long enough to survive in this state.
Right now I am struggling to breathe and have a pain in my chest. I am probably not having a heart attack. More likely it’s the start of a good old fashioned panic attack. But if I do drop dead, I wish that the people who caused me so much unnecessary suffering could be held accountable. Manslaughter by thoughtlessness perhaps?
Waiting for the call that doesn’t come …