My friend Ann was interviewed yesterday. She was so desperate to be successful that she hadn’t slept in days, deciding what to wear and what to say. She told me some of the questions she was asked;
“How would you ensure the children had a healthy, balanced diet?”
“What techniques would you use to manage sibling rivalry?”
“What is your approach to disciplining children?”
“Do you and your partner have a consistent approach to parenting?”
“What makes you the best person to be a mother to these two little girls?”
After many years of infertility and an agonising year long adoption approval process, Ann and her husband are waiting to be ‘matched’ with their children. They have been sent a single page document with a photo of two smiling girls and a smattering of facts. A photo which, if they are matched, will grace their mantle and jostle with others. A summary of life which, if they are matched, they vow to fill with happiness and laughter. But first this interview; an interrogation of parenting knowledge; an interview for a job they will hold for the rest of their lives.
I am humbled by their dedication and in awe of the task ahead of them. For I know that I couldn’t answer those questions; I know that, in common with most parents, my husband and I muddle through life with our babies, making mistakes and expressing regret on a daily basis. No-one holds me to account for my decisions or challenges my rationale. I know, in my heart, that I am the best person to be a mother to my children, but could I justify why? Not a chance.
Ann and her husband didn’t get the job. Two parents-in-waiting, filled with a love that has nowhere to go. And somewhere two little girls, blissfully unaware of the wranglings of bureaucracy, remain in care waiting to be wanted.
Not for the first time, I hug my children a little closer and count my blessings. All four of them.