Monday, August 29, 2016

What Adoptive Parents Need from You

Good Morning friends! The last few weeks for us have been a crazy whirlwind so, I'll give you a brief update!
First - as of yesterday we have been waiting 19 months. The wait is not getting any easier. We are ready for our baby to come!

Last week Adam's Granny died, so we went down for her visitation and funeral. The service was nice and it was good to see and catch up with family.
Adam also took a new job last week! He is doing the same job he has now, but for his old boss and in a more high profile market. This means in the future we will probably be moving closer to where his new job is (but still where I can keep my job). We did decide that we don't want to move until our adoption is done. We DEFINITELY do not want to do the homestudy AGAIN.
So, all this has made our lives a little crazy - plus I am back to work and still trying to get used to being in school and dealing with teenagers.

I thought today I'd talk about what waiting adoptive/adoptive parents need from our friends and family. Most of the time people adopting don't even know what they want or need from others, and others don't know how to treat us because it is an uncommon experience.

As waiting adoptive parents:
 We need you to treat us the way you would treat people who are pregnant. If you are our friend or family you can say we are expecting a child through adoption! Be excited! Host us a baby shower! Buy us things for the baby. Bring us food when the baby comes home. The same things you would say and do for someone who is pregnant. Don't call our child "their adopted child." Once they come home they are our child. Period. Yes, adoption is part of their story, but it is not their whole story. All of this helps us know that you remember we are expecting a child, and that you value our child as much as you would if they were expected biologically.

We need you to listen to us complain, cry, and rejoice. Adoption is hard, even when we bring our child home, there is still trauma and legal stuff to deal with. We need emotional and mental support. And coffee - lots of coffee.

We need you to ooh and ahh over our child(ren), just like you would over a biological child. Give our child the same attention you would give a biological child. Talk about how cute they are, give us your best child rearing advice (when asked for!), and treat our child the same way you would any other. And this goes through their whole life. If you spend a certain amount for holidays on our child's cousin or biological sibling, make sure it is close to the same for our child. If you take a biological sibling out for ice-cream once a month, do the same for the adopted child.

We need you to respect the boundaries we have created. With adopted children our boundaries HAVE to be different. We won't give you all the details of their adoption/first parent situation -that is their private story to share. We may not let you hold them when they come home from the hospital - we have waited SO LONG and we are all afraid of Attachment Disorders. We are also trying to deal with trauma - even if they came home with us day one.

We need you to respect our parenting choices. Some of our choices are based on adoption, some are because we agreed to do and not do certain things with our agency. We may not be able to always explain them to you, but respect our decisions. We may have a relationship with the first parents you don't understand- but respect our decision because A LOT of thought and prayer (and probably research) has gone into that relationship. We may have made certain rules on food or other things based on our knowledge of their first parents - so please respect those decisions.

We need you to ask us about our adoption. This shows us that you are interested and you care. Ask how things are going, how we are dealing with the wait, when we bring our child home, ask how we are doing, ask how the birth family is doing (we may not share this with you), ask if we need help. Don't always ask if we have heard anything - usually if you are close friends or family you would know if something is going on. That question can be hard for us to answer.

That's all for now.
Thanks for reading and for learning more about how to support those of us in the wait and those of us with adopted children. And thank you for the support you have already given to us. And as always, leave a comment, ask your questions, keep praying for us, and let me know your thoughts!