During our adoption journey, we made the decision not to tell many people. We told our parents, siblings and a few very close friends. We didn’t want to get too many people involved, especially if we were matched, interviewed and were not chosen. We also didn’t want everyone asking us how things were going when sometimes there were just no updates to give. However, in doing this, I felt very isolated. I had no one to talk to when things did happen. We went through two sets of siblings we were interviewed for and ultimately not chosen. We didn’t tell anyone about those so we didn’t upset people (i.e. grandparents, great grandparents). I started to develop feelings of depression and anxiety without having someone who understood.
In 2014, when we were matched with a set of siblings, I noticed that a university friend had posted about her recent adoption of a set of siblings. What luck! We wanted to adopt siblings. She and I had met 10 years earlier and kept in touch on Facebook. I contacted her and we started chatting. We met with our spouses for dinner to chat about adoption, their process, etc.
In two years, we have experienced so much together. Adoption resource events, surprise play dates, trips to IKEA, new babies, moves, happy times, frustrating times and sad times. Kathryn has become my go-to person. She was one of the first people I called (after my husband) when we were not chosen for a set of kids. She called me when she was chosen to adopt a new baby and when she was born. She is one of the only friends I have who really understands the adoption process and adoptive parenting.
10 years ago, I was sitting in a university class learning about social work theory, I met a spunky friend, who wore yellow rain boots and shared a popsicle with me. If you asked me 10 years ago, if we’d both be adoptive moms, I would not have believed you. However, each and every day, I am so grateful to call Kathryn my friend and fellow adoptive mom. I don’t think that I could have gotten to this point without her to be my sounding board and voice of reason at times (well, most of the time!). She has been able to normalize my adoption experience and give me a sense of understanding in difficult situations.
If I can give you one piece of take away from this blog, do not hide or isolate yourself. Find someone who truly understands your journey. Share your experiences with other awaiting or adoptive parents like on Adopt4Life. These types of peer support will help to normalize your experience and reduce the feeling of isolation on this journey we call adoption.