Friday, December 09, 2011

Sharing My Desire to Adopt with Family and Friends (Repost from March 24, 2006, updated for 2011)

I am doing something today that I have never done before on my blog.  I'm choosing to re post something I wrote long ago with hopes that it is helpful to one or more today.

My reason for doing this is that I have recently been approached by a few people who are just beginning their adoption journey and have asked me to share some of my experiences with them.  One of the gals asked about people's reactions to my decision to adopt and the following post immediately came to mind.  I remember taking a really long time to originally write this post and at times even questioned if ever would.  It was hard to write.  It was hard because the subject and content of it led me to relive and attempt to put into words pieces of my heart. It brought back a myriad of emotions as it did today as I reread it for the first time in a few years.

The bottom line is that I am very thankful for the response and reactions that each person had when I shared my desire to adopt Hannah.  Even though at the time I didn't understand all of them, in time I did and am thankful for those responses.  I'm thankful that my family and friends love me enough to be open, truthful and caring with their responses, both then and now.

Before I share the post want to hear 2 really cool things???
1. When I looked back today I realized for the very first time that this post was originally published the day after my file was logged in China!  I didn't know that at the time but looking back today it gave me goose bumps!
2. Some of Hannah's very biggest fans are those who most cautiously guarded their initial response to me.  How amazing to see how in time, the perfect time for them, they came around and now like me, cannot imagine a single second of their life without Hannah in it!!  SO COOL!!!

**Original post from March 24, 2006**

This morning while my friend Carol and I were out for a walk, we began discussing my adoption journey (no surprise here!) and all that had transpired over the past 14 months.

She brought up something really insightful that I've thought about but had not talked about here yet.

What Carol and I talked about was people's reactions to my news that I was adopting. Some jumped on board right away while others took probably close to a year to fully come on board. I was surprised by both. Some people who I thought would immediately be as excited as I was, were more reserved in their reaction. Others who I thought would need time to grasp the idea were ready to start knitting pink sweaters Day 1.

What I want to share is that over this year+, I've realized that each person's reaction was exactly right for them. An honest, open reaction from their heart.

If they were reserved, was it because they disagreed with my decision? Probably not. Was it because they didn't understand? No.

It was because they love me. They love me so much that they didn't want to see me hurt should the adoption not happen. They wanted to somehow protect me from hurt and for that I am very thankful to each of them. If I was honest I'd say that I was often hurt (in a different way) by the 'reserved' reactions but only because at the time I didn't understand. It's taken me a long time to fully grasp why (I think) people react in different ways.

Becoming a Mother was something people knew I wanted to do someday but the thoughts I'd had, researching done and prayers offered up about the possibility adopting from China, was something I had only shared with 1 person. And, that discussion had only happened one time and I hadn't mentioned it to her again to the best of my knowledge. Me, who spills everything to everyone, had kept this silent thought and prayer deep inside. Because of this, when I announced what my intentions were, people took time to adjust. Some took 5 seconds. Some 5 months and others an entire year. And that's OK. I'd had years to prepare myself and yet I was asking them to grasp it immediately and fall in love with the idea in an instant. I didn't realize it at the time, but my expectations were way out of line. Just as I had taken years to make this decision, they needed time to adjust to it too.

As you can tell by this blog, I'm not one to hide my heart. (Truth be told, I probably offer it out too much.) For me, I want to share what's happening. Do I get hurt? Yes...but don't we all. I put my heart out and sometimes it gets trampled. When that happens I pick up the pieces and with God's help move forward, hopefully a better person for what I've learned.

What I have learned is that putting my heart out is how God has made me and I'm happy I'm this way. The good that happens far outweighs the bad. I'm willing to risk it.

I guess, all of this is to share with those who may be new to the adoption journey, that you will receive many different reactions to your news. Please don't judge people by their reactions. Sometimes it will shock you. Sometimes hurt and sometimes you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Whenever you decide to share your wonderful news with family and friends, prepare your heart for a variety of reactions. It's going to be OK. Will it hurt? Sometimes. Will it bring joy? Often. I've been told by many wonderful friends who have already completed their adoptions that the minute people lay eyes on your beautiful daughter they're all there for you! I am so very, very thankful that this has already happened in my life.

Adoption is an emotional roller coaster (or 'Stroller Coaster') and the bumps and turns begin Day 1. Hang on and let's enjoy the ride together!


  1. I remember this post, and I remember the first "conversation" we had after my post on 2 Peas, and you reaching out to me. So glad your journey worked out as it was meant to be, so glad you have a lovely family, and so glad to have met you through this process. For many reasons (including Taggie!) our lives will be for the better!

  2. Awesome post friend! I thought it
    really insightful when you wrote this: "I'd had years to prepare myself and yet I was asking them to grasp it immediately and fall in love with the idea in an instant." So very true and not always seen that way.

    Thanks for sharing!


  3. Being a model of receptiveness to "honest, open reactions" is one of the greatest gifts you are sharing with Hannah.


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