Friday, November 30, 2012

30 Posts, 30 Days: Adoption...Friday's Family

I am so excited for today's guest post.  Mary and met while living in Suzhou, China.  Although our time as expats only overlapped for six months, I know that we will keep in touch for a lifetime.  I appreciate Mary taking the time to write a post for me and isn't their Christmas card from last year just the cutest?!

Hmmm, I asked Kara if we could be the Friday Family and well now I am not so sure I can do this. I am not a good writer.  Big deep breath, I know why I don’t blog now, here goes.

How did we get here?  Some days I am not sure.  We were going along a happy family one, two then there were three.  Mom and Dad and three boys I mean.  We had a little set of stair steps.  Two were born in the US and the third in China.  We were long term expats, loving our China life and China in general.  We had a groove, we had friends, we had summers in the US, fabulous holidays and life was full.  Then one day God sent me an email.   He had been talking to me, but He decided He had to get my attention.  So there it was.  Our little family responded to attend an adoption seminar.  We went and knew it was for us.  We talked about it with the boys and they were all in agreement.  At that time we had an 8, 10 and 12 year old.  I think none of us really knew what we were agreeing on or saying yes to but in many ways thank goodness we did not know.  We jumped in with all 10 feet and did not look back.  I did not do extensive research or read every blog I could or have the timelines for China adoptions memorized…..we just went on faith and did it.  I did have some amazing friends who did all those other things so I would just ask them.  We knew we wanted a Chinese child.  We had lived there for 10+ years at that time and knew we would have much to offer a child from China.  We loved the culture that she came from and we hoped to share it with her.  We knew also we needed to adopt a special needs child because of our ages and the ages of our children we could not wait for years for a healthy child.  

My message to anyone thinking about it is to just do it.  If you are entertaining the idea you can do it.  I am amazed so many days at the joy and love she has brought our family.  None of us could imagine our family without her.  She completes us.  We thought for a long time about adoption before answering that email and had done nothing because we were too afraid.  I am so glad we finally took that leap.  It was huge and not so huge at the same time.  I think we are pretty average people just trying to live a good life, raise good kids and have some fun along the way.  If we can do this anyone can.  Heck I know a lot of ladies that are way better moms than I am.  In the end the love for and from our daughter is the same as the love for and from our boys.  Some days it is even more special.  Like today the one year anniversary of receiving her in our arms as our daughter in the provincial office in China.  I cannot believe it has only been a year.  It seems like she has been with our family as long as everyone else.  
One thing I have noticed is that families like ours sort of become ambassadors for adoption.  We are not on a crusade for adoption but I think it is pretty cool when people ask about it because they really want to know and learn more.  I am happy to share our experience; it is not the same for all.  I would like to think that my story would encourage someone else to adopt.  I think if people open their hearts they will find that so many of us have the capacity to care for and love a child.  

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

30 Days, 30 Posts: Adoption...The Tough Stuff

Oh how I wish I could say that adoptions always go smoothly, with no bumps, and everything is sunshine, rainbows and roses, but life happens sometimes.  As with a lot of parenting issues, for both biological and adopted children, sometimes it helps to find support from outside sources.

I want to share a recent blog post from Jill Savage, founder of Hearts at Home

I’ve talked to many families of late who have experienced the hard side of adoption. It’s not something we’re unfamiliar with ourselves.
Adopted children often have trouble connecting to the family who loves them. They have special parenting needs.  Sometimes they need to heal from pre-adoption abuse or neglect.
I’ve become familiar with some wonderful preparation for adoption and post-adoption resources over the past few weeks. If you are thinking about adopting, have adopted, or if you know someone who has, these are resources every adoptive family needs to know about.

The Connected Child Book by Karen Purvis
When Love Is Not Enough Book by Nancy Thomas
The Beatitude House Intensive Treatment Center

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

30 Days, 30 Posts: Adoption...You Might be Ready to Consider Adoption When...

I like looking down at the bottom of my posts and seeing that the whole list in my 30 Days, 30 Posts: Adoption series is longer than my posts!

The final way that I am going to suggest supporting adoption is to...any guesses?!  Adopt!  I know, I know, it's the obvious answer.

In a recent "Creating a Family" email I read a good (and slightly funny) list that might help people decide if they're ready to consider adoption for their family.  I thought it was a good list, and although I cannot relate to the infertility part of the list, I know many that can.  Enjoy!
You Know You Are Ready to Start Thinking About Maybe the Possibility of Adoption When…
  1. You find yourself noticing families that don’t obviously match and wondering if they were created by adoption.
  2. You make note that these families act kind of like other families.
  3. You make a second note that these families, especially the parents, look happy.
  4. The thought of the next step up the infertility treatment ladder seems daunting, and fills you with weariness rather than hope.
  5. When you hear of the tragedy in Haiti, rather than just thinking “How sad”, you think “Hey, there may be kids who need parents, and here we are parents-in-waiting who need kids.  Humm, I wonder???”
  6. Just the tiniest little piece of you is more curious than afraid of the thought of adopting, while the rest of you is still terrified and feels like adoption would be giving up.
  7. You listen to all the Creating a Family radio shows instead of skipping the adoption related shows.
  8. You start to find those lists of famous adopted people fascinating. Who knew that Steve Jobs and Faith Hill were adopted?  They even seem pretty normal.
  9. Your ears prick up when you hear that an infertility friend adopted. You don’t necessarily ask questions, but you don’t avoid listening to the talk.  You even find yourself reading the adoption posts on the infertility forums you frequent.
  10. You start considering that there is a point where you may have to say “no” to more treatment.

Don't miss a thing! Follow the entire 30 Days, 30 Posts: Adoption series

Day 25: 30 Days, 30 Posts: Adoption...Supporting Adoption Financially