Monthly Archives: April 2010

Questioning Your Adoption Choices

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Did you know that every decision you make when you decide to adopt you may need to defend? People will have opinions about every choice you make, large or small. For example, recently I worked at a women’s convention for Infertility and Adoption Support Inc. and I heard two very different comments about adoption. One women came to our booth and said she wanted to adopt domestically because she wanted to “support America.” Then hours later another woman came and said she would only consider international adoption to help all the poor orphans overseas. These two women had very different opinions on adoption. I spoke with both of them and it was obvious that they were sure their path to adoption was the “correct” one. Based on how strongly the both felt, I think they felt their opinion of the “correct” path, was fact.

In my monthly Adoption Support Group this is a common topic that often comes up amongst the attendees. People are surprised at how they meet a lot of backlash when they announce decisions that they have made along their adoption journey. A lot of these attendees had kept their struggles of infertility private so this is the first time they have gotten loved one’s opinions about their family building options. It’s surprising to them how many different opinions there are on the different topics.

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Recent Russian Adoption Not the Norm

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There are adoptions every day without reporters and news cameras present. These are the adoptions which are routine and have happy circumstances. When the media is present around an adoption case, it usually means there is something negative about it and therefore news for the public. This is a sad fact about adoption. When someone hears “that story about adoption on the news” it means there is a story out there which will skew the public’s mind. Instead of seeing how wonderful and simple adoptions can be, they only see the stories which are out of the norm.

The most recent adoption case in the news concerns a 7 year-old boy who was sent alone on an airplane back to Russia with a note from his American adoptive mother. She was “returning” him, as she felt she was lied to by Russian officials concerning the boy’s emotional state. She felt as if the boy was a threat to her and her family and wished to no longer be his parent.

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Thanking Those Who Helped Me to Adopt

grateful-26147 The journey to adopt a child is not easy. There are many hoops to jump through and emotions raised which one cannot always prepare for. It is so easy to get annoyed with the adoption process when your fingerprints need to be redone, a form is lost in the mail, your social worker is sick and cancels an appointment, your profile is not being viewed by potential birth parents as often as you expected or your parents are calling daily asking, “Why haven’t you heard anything yet?” Everyone I meet who has adopted has at minimum one story of when they were ready to pull out their hair due to frustration with their adoption journey.

I am usually a positive, optimistic person but that didn’t stop me from flipping my lid a few times while working toward adopting my children. At those times, I should have made myself reflect on the things that I should be grateful for in the adoption process. When you are feeling down that is the best time to take a step back in order to appreciate what is going right. No matter where you are in your adoption journey, there is plenty for you to be grateful for. You live in a time and place where you have the option to adopt, you may have support from friends and family, you have adoption professionals who are devoted to adding a child to your family, you have an adoption community who is there to support your efforts to adopt and of course, you have birth parents who are willing to place their child with you to raise.

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Adoptive Parents Can Still be Jealous of “Normal” Parents

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As a parent I am always trying to teach my children how to be grateful for all that they have. It’s a challenging thing to do in our society when we are always bombarded with “more,” “bigger” and “better.” We can easily get the impression that we don’t have enough and therefore can’t be happy. Gratefulness is a trait that I am constantly working on for myself which adds to the difficulty of teaching it to my children.

One aspect of feeling grateful is not to be jealous toward those who have something which you desire. I obviously went through this when I struggled with years of infertility whenever I saw a pregnant woman or parents with a little child. My jealously of their parenthood overwhelmed me. Now I am blessed to be one of those parents with three adorable children in my home thanks to the miracle of adoption.

So what should I feel jealous about? There are a few things that come to mind. None of them are things that I am proud about yet I will still own up to them. I hope that by owning and sharing these thoughts that other adoptive parents may be able to relate, and see that they are not alone.

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