Sunday, October 30, 2011


Yesterday I went to a huge yard sale for a local couple who are planning to adopt from Uganda.  I scored some cute clothes and a bike for Laurel since she's been stuck riding our ghetto fab bike with one white tire and one black tire!  I was able to meet Chris (but not his wife, April) and tell him congratulations and good luck on their journey.  I said that Cadence came home to us last year.  He asked me what advice I had for them.  Hmmm...  

Contrary to my husband's opinion, I don't have advice to give on everything!  I worry about saying something that might offend someone or saying something that they have heard a hundred times or that they might think is just plain stupid.  I thought about his question for a moment the said "Patience.  Have patience."  I am not a patient person (as pretty much anyone who knows me will tell you) but the entire adoption process was the ultimate test of my patience.  I've thought about the question some more and have come up with a few more pieces of advice.

- Get to know other adoptive families.  Families who have been down this road before are an invaluable resource. Other adoptive families we know have given us wonderful advice and support  about attachment issues and what to expect when your child comes home.  If they have gone through the same country and if they have done it recently they can help you with where to stay, who to get to help you when you are there, what items to bring with you. Families who are going through the process on a similar timeline to yours are wonderful to have available too.  Some adoption agencies will let you know about other families in their program as well as checking out yahoo groups and adoption websites.  It's good to have others to lament to when something doesn't show up in your mailbox or the phone hasn't rung with big news to an outlet that most adoptive parents can use and one time or another.

- Prepare yourself for life beyond Family Day (or "Gotcha Day").  As with a wedding, there are so many plans and so much excitement that goes into the big day it's often easy to forget that at some point you might get tired of picking his dirty socks up off the floor and you'll have to ask him 4 times to PLEASE fold the laundry.  Raising a child is hard.  Like, really hard.  If your heart and mind don't see past the expectation of a joyful, tear-filled meeting when your child is placed in your arms, the sometimes hard road of parenting can feel unbearable.  Don't get me wrong, being a parent is one of the best things that has ever happened to me and I love my children with all my heart!  I cannot imagine my life without them, but our days aren't always full of rainbows and flowers!

- On that note, be aware that post-adoption depression is real.  It was very easy to write off a little post-partum depression as "hormones".  When I was not in the best place after Cadence's adoption, it took some words of support from a fellow adoptive mom to make me see my post-adoption depression for what it was.  This was the child I had been yearning for for so long and she was here and what the heck was wrong with me that I wasn't over the moon happy all of the time?  Realizing and accepting the way I felt helped me deal with it and continue to move past it.  But it does happens!

- Have faith.  Adopting a child, like trying to have a baby, is a leap of faith.  Faith that everything will happen as it's meant to happen at the exact right moment.  It may not be on the timeline that you want or what you expect, but it's happening exactly the way it was meant to be.


  1. Wonderful, beautiful, perfect words! I've run into a few "looks" when I dare to complain about something our [adopted] son has done or problems we may be experiencing. I feel they're thinking "but you wanted this- you *knew* what was coming." I don't feel like I get those same looks if/when I complain about our [bio] daughter. Parenting is parenting, bio or adopted. And it's hard. It's rewarding beyond anything else I've encountered in life. But it's really, really hard.