Sunday, June 15, 2014

Things I wish someone had told me

I'm writing this for prospective adoptive parents or maybe it's for those who just brought their child home. There has been so much that I have learned the past two years with the adoption of our youngest (2) and our oldest, most recent (8).  I feel like as adoptive parents we are supposed to only share the rainbow moments so that we keep this facade of a perfect life. Well friends, this isn't one of those blogs. Sometimes things are hard. And these are the things I wish I was prepared for.

1. Don't expect others to understand your journey. It's not theirs.
    Adoption for our family was not a second choice. It's something we feel that God called our family to do. This is somewhat of a foreign concept. Many people who claim to be believers don't think God still talks to us, and those who don't believe think we're crazy. And that's ok. People don't have to understand you. But they should respect you.

2. The people you expect to love and support you might be the first to bail. And those who are strangers might be your saving grace.      
  This is especially true if you adopt an older child or one with special needs. It's easy to love on and support a sweet baby. But those kids who come from hard places, sometimes they do things that make it tough to love them. And that's when families need the support from loved ones. When we adopted our oldest child we were pretty much attacked. Our motives were questioned as was our love for our other children.  Our family turned to an online adoption support group and found love. I am so thankful for these women whom I have never met. They too have been in the trenches and knew what it was like. I will forever be grateful for them.

3. Adoption Changes everything
When we brought our youngest son home I expected things to be smooth. Besides, he was only six months old. Piece of cake! Ha! Our sweet boy hated sleep and had a difficult time transitioning. My husband worked nights at the time and I did not sleep. Ever. I slipped into a depression. All I wanted to do was sleep. And to top it off our bio son was having a hard time sharing the spotlight. He regressed. And it was hard. Now they are so tight it's adorable. I often wake up to see Rylan has hopped in Isaiah's crib to keep him company until we wake up. We expected the worst when we brought home V a few months ago. I was so happy to see that this adoption had the opposite effect on Rylan. He has totally come out of his shell. He used to be socially awkward. Kind of rude to new people or those we rarely saw. Now he smiles and talks to new people. He loves to meet new kids at the park. He does better at daycare. And he actually wants to learn new things.

4. God is in the details
Sometimes the wait is long and lonely. The loss of relationships cuts you to the core. The trauma that your kids may have went through brings out your own trauma. And the attachment can be hard. But God is in the details. He has knit together every stitch of this beautiful quilt called life. And even when it feels like nothing is going right, He never fails. Redemption is costly but worth it.

So to the adoptive mommies and daddies out there who are feeling  shell shock and lonely, there is solidarity here.