This last week of November (can you believe that we're almost to the end?) I am going to focus on how to support adoption. I do not believe that all families are meant to adopt, but I do think supporting adoption and those families that choose to adopt is really important.
For a family that has chosen adoption, extended family and friends can play a huge role in how adoption is celebrated. It starts immediately after someone announces they are adopting. Although the roads leading to adoption (perhaps infertility, medical issues, etc.) may be filled with sadness, the announcement of an upcoming adoption is to be celebrated.
Because I have had two pregnancies and started one adoption, I can offer this advice...
Just like when a pregnancy is announced, it is okay to gush, ooh and aah, and show excitement about the adoption. The excitement level was a bit different when we announced we were adopting. It's not that anyone was against us doing it, but there were a lot of questions. Most of the time when someone announces they are pregnant people don't ask, "Well, why'd you decide to get pregnant?" So asking, "Why are you choosing to adopt?" or "Why are you doing that way?" can feel judgmental. Instead, a simple "congratulations" would be appropriate.
Just as I didn't want hear about all those terrible deliveries of so and so's cousin, I don't want to hear about the failed adoptions that someone posted on Facebook and what's been reported on Dateline (is that show even on anymore?!) But, if you have some information to share about adoption-related books, agencies, blogs...I am all ears.
That 9th month of pregnancy can be reallllllly long and for me it couldn't end soon enough. The same is true with the adoption paperwork and waiting to bring that long-awaited child home. It's okay to ask someone about the adoption, but I love it when someone prefaces it with "Are you tired of talking about this?" or "Is it okay if I ask?" Then I am free to honestly say "yes" or "no" depending on the day. Trust me, just like when I delivered my two girls, once this adoption is wrapped up, it will be texted, tweeted, posted, blogged and shouted from the mountain tops. It won't be missed!
Adoptive mamas want their children to be celebrated too. The baby showers, flowers and balloons, cards, calls, and emails mean so much.
There might not be the same physical recovery as a delivery, but adoption requires a recovery period too. There could be physical effects...jet lag, lack of sleep, and illness (especially after traveling overseas). There are doctor's appointments, post-placement meetings with a social worker, adjusting to a new family member and efforts made to ensure proper bonding and attaching is taking place. Everything takes a while, so please allow for an adjustment time. Making a meal, running errands, watching older siblings, etc. can make a huge positive impact on the family.
Finally, one way I am encouraging another adoptive family today is to share some information about an online fundraiser for my husband's cousin, Jennifer. If you've been following along in this series, Jennifer's family was my second "Friday's Family" and they are fundraising to bring home their son David from Africa.
As you begin shopping for Christmas, consider supporting their adoption by purchasing items from the Etsy shops below. I personally loved the onsies in the Shotisbaby shop and the reusable snack bags (we use some all the time) in the Shotisgranny shop.
Don't miss a thing! Follow the entire 30 Days, 30 Posts: Adoption series.