Sunday, March 27, 2011

I am convinced people mean well....

  If you have never adopted or known anyone who adopted you really have no idea what goes on and what it is like for them. I had no idea really, I knew that it must be very hard and emotional. That is quite an understatement actually. For the most part we have received wonderful support and guidance. I am blessed to know people who have been down the same road as we are on. They have given me great advice and support. I think that sometimes people don't know what to say. They think they may hurt your feelings I guess. I can understand not knowing what to say. It's almost like when someone dies and you tell that persons friend or loved one "I'm so sorry." Well why are you sorry you didn't kill them. But that's just what we say. Like I said I totally understand not knowing what to say. However, sometimes you just want to scream, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Well, I will add this caveat to that statement (sometimes not acknowledging at all that someone is adopting is just as hurtful as saying mean things.

These are some things that have been said to us. I am not documenting these because I am angry or mad at the people that said them. People simply don't understand adoption and they don't know what to say or sometimes how to act around someone who is adopting. So, hopefully through communication we can help people understand it better.

1. "Why can't you have babies? What is wrong with you?
If you are close enough to someone you know why they are adopting. If you're not that close or you are just an aquaintance you don't ask questions like that!!

2. "Can't you just find a teenager who is having a baby and just adopt their baby?"
That's not how it works. Adoption is not a lifetime movie it's not something that can be wrapped up tightly in a hour and a half.

3. "You will probably get pregnant now that you are adopting  baby."
This is such a hurtful statement. I realize that this happens and I have read many accounts of adoptions where this has happened. However, I am not adopting a baby as some sort of "lucky charm" that will help me get pregnant!!

4. "I'm so sorry you won't have real kids"
Please, please, please if you have this though in your head do whatever you can to clamp your mouth shut and not say this outloud to someone!! It is beyond rude and insensitive. Giving birth to a child doesn't make that child more real to you than a child that you adopted.

 I'm not going to lie when I hear some of these things I get angry. But it also make me realize how little people know about adoption. It is just more common for us to understand childbirth as a means to becoming parents. But that's not the only way it happens. There are over 120,000 children in America alone that don't have a home and are available for adoption. So my advice is to above all think before you say anything (that should be a given all the time, no matter who we talk to huh?) If your not sure what to say to someone who is adopting just tell them Congratulations! Wouldn't you say that to someone who is pregnant? If you don't know what adoption is like ask them they will be happy to explain it to you!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

5 months.....

The past couple weeks have been extremely intense and emotionally exhausting. We were waiting to find out about a baby and we became very attached to this one. How can you get so attached to someone you have never met you ask? Well, it is very hard to explain but it happens. This possibility felt so real it was almost tangible. I get excited every time we get an email about a possible match. How could you not? That "possible match" could be my child. I want them to know that I was so excited about them from the moment I heard about them. Balancing that excitement-hope is where you have to have faith and strength. We will get a phone call if we are matched with a baby. So for the past 2 weeks anytime the phone rang I held my breath and silently and sometimes not so silently groaned when I knew it wasn't our social worker. Sorry for those of you who heard me say "Oh, it's just you!" We get an email when we aren't chosen. I got that email about this particular baby last week. We have had numerous emails just like this one but this "no" hurt very badly. I am so grateful for God and his peace that brought Ryan and I through this one.

Our social worker reminded me that God's timing is perfect all the time. I know that is true because of Ryan. I met Ryan in God's time. I waited for many, many years for Ryan and many times told God how ready I was to be married and begged him to let it happen soon. All I can say is THANK GOD FOR HIS PERFECT TIMING! If I wouldn't have waited I wouldn't have Ryan. God's timing was perfect then and it will be perfect this time too. He did it then and he will do it again. We have been officially waiting 5 months 2 days and about 16 hours now. I have no idea when we will meet our baby but I have absolute faith that God does. He has numbered every hair on our child's head and he has a tremendous plan and purpose for them.

So if you're "waiting" on something know that God's timing is perfect timing. That doesn't mean it won't be hard while you wait and that doesn't mean you won't shed some tears. It means you have an advocate on your side that has it all planned out for you!

A friend shared this excerpt with me from a book that she was reading. I think it sums it up pretty well!

WAITING is difficult. Waiting for a wayward child to return to God, waiting for a decision on a new career opportunity, waiting for the results of medical tests -- we spend a lot of time waiting. Life would be much easier if God acted according to our timetable!

However, when I look back over my life, I see that times of waiting were also times of great spiritual growth. While I was waiting, I learned to pray for the wayward child and I began to look at my own life in light of what God wanted for me. Over the days and years I opened my life to God and began to trust God's decisions and timing. I also learned that I do not always have the right answers and that God's ideas are better than I could ever imagine.

If I never had to wait, I would have no need for hope in God and I would say fewer prayers for God's guidance. In times of waiting, I have learned about God's faithfulness and found strength for the next challenge in my life. I trust God because my experience tells me that God has been faithful in the past and will continue to be faithful in the future.
Marie Willner (Florida, U.S.A.)