News from Armenia: Another successful registration in Armenia this week. Hopscotch Happiness x 3 this week! Congratulations to all three families.
Growing, learning, thriving, laughing, loving, teaching…
A blessing beyond measure…
Happy Together Forever Day, Rex.
We love you because you are you.
*Three years ago today, on July 14, 2011, Rex finally left the orphanage that had been all he ever knew to join our family as our cherished son.
When an adoption journey turns out well and the child you bring home lives up to the dreams and expectations you had, it’s easy to say it was meant to be. The child is just as smart as the biological children in the family, just as athletic as his mommy, just as into books and reading as her daddy, just as crazy about roller coasters as the cousins, just as creative as grandma… how could such a perfect fit not be meant to be?
But when you adopt a child and after coming home find out that things are not as you thought and will never be as you imagined, many families ask, "Why us? Why did it have to turn out like this for us?" The question is often posed with a tremendous amount of grief, frustration, fear, anger, and disappointment. It comes from a painful place of shattered dreams, uncertain futures, and monumental new challenges.
By Pippa Biddle
White people aren’t told that the color of their skin is a problem very often. We sail through police check points, don’t garner sideways glances in affluent neighborhoods, and are generally understood to be predispositioned for success based on a physical characteristic (the color of our skin) we have little control over beyond sunscreen and tanning oil.
After six years of working in and traveling through a number of different countries where white people are in the numerical minority, I’ve come to realize that there is one place being white is not only a hindrance, but negative — most of the developing world.
Thanks Dawn Davenport @ Creating A Family
After deciding that adoption is the right choice for building your family, you naturally want everyone to be as excited as you. Unfortunately, this may not happen. While you are at the screaming it from the roof top stage, your parents, siblings and extended family may be at the “Slow down and consider your options” stage or the “Are you nuts” stage. Remember that your decision to adopt evolved over time after much researching, soul searching, discussing, and praying. Unless you’ve shared every step of this journey with them, your family has not had the benefit of this process. So while it might be nice if they were totally psyched about your adoption, it’s probably unfair to expect them to be at the same place as you.
So what do you do if your family doesn’t share your excitement about your adoption plans? First, if you think you may get a less than enthusiastic response, consider writing your family a letter telling them of your decision before you talk with them in person. We chose this approach with my husband’s parents. They like to think about things and discuss it between themselves before talking with others, so a letter gave them this opportunity. Also, a letter allowed us to explain our reasons, and set the stage for their response by telling them how excited we were.
If you tell them in person, think about what you want to say and choose your words carefully. One friend reported that she started the conversation with “I’ve got great news!” Her parents assumed she was going to tell them she was pregnant, and their initial response at learning of the adoption was less than she had hoped. They recouped quickly, however, and are now doting grandparents to her two children.
Supporting and Understanding the Adoptive Family
About eighteen months ago our family expanded through the adoption of two children. We have learned so much and the family and friends who love and support our family have also learned a lot. Though we had previous parenting experience, this journey has had it’s own unique joys and challenges.
Many adoptive families give written advice and suggestions to friends and family prior to the new child’s arrival to help ensure a smooth transition. I didn’t do this because I felt like it would be too difficult to put my wishes and feelings into words without sounding too harsh or controlling and honestly I did not really even know what to say. However, after being home for almost a year and a half, it is clear that most people have great intentions but that they want and need suggestions for what they can do to help our adopted children integrate into our family and into the community. Here are a few thoughts about supporting an adoptive family. Most pertain to families who have adopted internationally and also to those who have adopted through the domestic route. It was compiled based on our experience and also on the the experiences of a few dozen other adoptive parents who contributed their ideas and suggestions.
Our children are not necessarily grateful to have been adopted.
And we don’t expect them to be. It is not that our kids don’t notice the stability of a family. It’s not that they don’t cherish the love that they are receiving or that they don’t like their new life. It is because children are programmed to need, want and expect love. When we provide it we are not heroes, we are simply meeting one of their very basic needs. Expecting adopted children to be grateful for being adopted is like expecting our biological children to be grateful for being conceived. It was a choice that we, their parents, made and that they were brought into.