By Team Lead and Openness Specialist, Kathryn Connors
It was just over 5 years ago that we became parents for the first time. I had read the books, took all the training available, and yet couldn’t understand why I felt so overwhelmed, depressed and unable to do daily tasks…I mean, what was wrong with me? It wasn’t until I reached out to my only friend who was also an adoptive parent that I learned the words “post adoption depression”. You see, until that point, I was struggling daily. Trying to paint a happy face that I thought the world expected. Telling our worker and CAS that everything was great, out of fear. And denying it myself, that something just wasn’t right. That was my first experience in learning about exactly what a support network can do you for you. Speaking to this friend who just got it, non-judgemental support. I was able to have the courage to speak up for help, and learned that its ok to admit that I was struggling. It was at that point that I knew how life altering it was to have peer support.
Being able to support a network of parents within their journey continues to give me strength on a daily basis. Seeing families raise against adversity and show true resiliency has been inspiring. Our community is our strength, the experts are everyone. It is from our diversity, our differing backgrounds and experiences that remains our asset.
When trying to explain just how impactful Adopt4Life has been on me, both personal and professionally, it can sometimes be hard to explain. Adopt4Life isn’t just an organization, it isn’t just a group of families trying to support one another through access to resources, advocacy and support. Its about belonging, acceptance. Its about giving, and receiving. Its knowing where to go when you are having a hard time, and sharing in a success that only a certain few would really get. Its having someone on the other end of the phone who truly gets it, and who can not only help you though it, but go though it with you, learning together.
For any of you who may be struggling, who may have questions, who may not know where to turn. Please know that we are here, we get it, we live it. We are #StrongerTogether.