My husband and I have been officially waiting to adopt for a year and-a-half but that’s just on paper. In our hearts, we’ve been waiting for much longer. It’s not an easy journey and when all the paperwork is done and there is nowhere left to register, all one can do is wait. Wait for that phone call or email saying that you’ve been chosen. It’s the moment I dream about every single day. How do I get by in the meantime? The support of my family and friends. I literally couldn’t do it without them. I’m a strong person but I’m not going to lie – this process is not an easy one.
I also know that not all loved ones embrace the idea of adoption. I’ve read painful stories of hopeful adoptive parents struggling to accept the fact that their families don’t approve. I know it happens but it’s hard to understand. Families can be formed in so many different ways. So what if you don’t all look like each other! So what if you don’t share DNA! Love is love. That’s all there is to it.
I feel very fortunate to have the support of my family and friends and I don’t take it for granted. I know how important this is. Sure, they have lots of questions and even after explaining things a bunch of times, there are still some things they don’t get. And that’s OK! What matters most is that they want this to work out. My dad said it best: “Of course I want a grandchild but what matters to me is that in the end, you will be happy and you will be OK, no matter the outcome.” Those words mean more to me than I could ever describe. Our family and friends have already offered millions of times to babysit. We’re not even there yet but it’s super sweet knowing that we have their support. They don’t even realize how positively their words and gestures affect us.
I’m going to be honest. It is really hard seeing other people adopting. Sure, I’m happy for them and it gives me hope that this process can work. On the other hand, I often wonder, why didn’t we get picked? What don’t we have that the birth mom or birth parents are looking for? It’s only natural to feel this way and to question yourself, especially if you have been waiting for a long time.
When I start to feel really down, I talk to my mom. She’s a no-nonsense kind of person and she doesn’t sugarcoat anything. I hate sugarcoating! I need to be able to lay my feelings out and to vent and she provides me with a safe outlet.
Support can come in many different forms. It can be a close friend or a trusted colleague. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve complained to my best friends about this journey. I sometimes find myself apologizing for talking about it so often (hey, I’m Canadian and we like to say “sorry” all the time) but they always listen and constantly remind me that they are here for me. I know things would be a lot harder for me if I had nobody to talk to.
In addition to people you know personally, there are tons of support groups online. I belong to a closed Facebook group that consists of other waiting families. While our journeys may be different, we are all longing for the same thing – to grow our families. It’s a place where you can ask questions, share ideas, and air out your frustrations. Connecting with others who are in the same boat is comforting and will help you realize that you are not alone in what can sometimes feel like an isolating journey. Let’s be honest. Not everyone in your family is pursuing adoption. Not everyone in your office is. Same goes for your friends. It can feel really lonely at times.
The important thing is to make sure that you are surrounded by people who have your back. It is vital now more than ever but it’ll also be really important once you adopt. Nobody should have to go through life’s challenges and happy times all alone. Having a solid support system can make all the difference in the world and can lift your spirits when you need it most.
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