Adoption: 5 Things Nobody Warned Me ABout

These are such important things for all adoptive parents to know!


by Christina Soderberg | staff writer for The Snap Mom

Being newer to the adoption community, I am finding there are many perceptions about adoption. There are topics of conversation that never come up during the adoption process. There are some topics that are quickly glossed over as potential adoptive families navigate through the mounds of paperwork and requirements. There are things that I was prepared for. There are also things I wish people had generated conversations about.

What I Knew About:

The Process – check

Intensity – check

Many Tests – check

Mounds of paperwork – check

The Waiting – check

The Excitement – check

The Whirlwind of Activity – check

The Roller Coaster of Emotions – check

What I Didn’t Know About:

1. The mixed emotions after

Not the emotions leading up to the point of the adoption, but the emotions that came after becoming a forever family.  My joy of being a forever mom came through the loss/sacrifice of another. As I held and rocked and sang and snuggled this precious baby on my chest, I cried. Tears of brokenness and sadness for the loss their sweet birth mom must be feeling. The ache they must be processing through. The road they are walking as they process. Oh and I prayed. Prayed for that sweet birth mom to know she is and always will be loved, she is deeply respected, and that she knows she is a strong, strong woman. I prayed that her requests will be honored, and for her to have peace that her little one will be loved and cherished in my home. I pray she knows our lives are immeasurably blessed, and that I will do a good job of helping her be included and see our child grow into an adult.

2. The true weight of the process your child will go through in each stage of development.

Yes, you read books to prepare. Yes, you are instructed through those that have adopted as well. To truly walk with your child through this process is very emotional.  Be prepared to be just as emotional as they are because you love them and are seeing their grief. Be open with them. Listen. Be there for them. Continue conversations. Never sweep what they are going through or saying under the rug. Know what is appropriate to say for each stage of development. Let them know you are there for them as they navigate through the difficult times, fully supporting what they are feeling and processing. Seek wisdom from other adult adoptees, adoption counselors, and mothers who have adopted as well.

3. The comments and awkward conversations in front of your child.

You read about some of the comments that are said in front of children, and you think no one will ever say that to you. You formulate a response in your head. However, when you come face-to-face with an uneducated comment, or the awkwardness of a conversation gone too far despite changing the subject intentionally, your mind can go blank. Thankfully I continue to learn from other adult adoptees and adoptive moms through their experiences. Now I have wisdom for responses and can protect my child’s stories. Most of the comments or questions are unintentionally rude.  Realizing that helps me to respond in a loving way to help educate in my response. However, there are a few times it has been necessary to end the conversation abruptly and speak firmly. Know it is ok to do that! It is ok to lovingly educate others or not answer fully and move on.

4. Dealing with class projects that come up during school.

As a former teacher, Child of the Week was a big deal for the students. An exciting time to share their likes, what they are proud of, and things they want others to know about.  There are also times they are asked to do their family tree in detail.  There are many great ways to have the teacher include options for those adopted. One option, if applicable, is doing two family trees: forever family, and bio family.

Here {http://www.adoptionpolicy.org/Adoption_Awareness_Schools.pdf} is a great guide for both parents and teachers on the topic of school projects.

I hope when those special weeks come, I have prepared our children for questions and comments. They will know and be proud of both their birth parents and their forever parents. Their story is theirs, and it is truly up to them how much they want to share!

Before you adopt or if you have an open adoption, gather as much information as you can of the family tree.  Ask the birth parent(s) about the likes and dislikes they had growing up, what interests they had, favorite colors, favorite books, favorite songs, etc. All of this information will help your child as they grow and mature.

5. The many layers adoption holds.

Adoption is a beautiful, beautiful thing. It can simultaneously be a difficult road to navigate.  It can be the blending of three families, or it can be completely closed with little information to satisfy curious kids. Regardless, adoption has many layers. Learn and know what those layers are. Read, join forums that include and respect birth parents and adult adoptees. You will learn so much! The more knowledgeable you are, the better you can equip your child to handle those raw moments of grief, the joys of life, and to embrace who they are!


About the author:

christina 1

Christina loves to sing, write, and live life to the fullest. She is a writer for TheSnapMom.com and CEO of the home;) She has an awesome husband and two sweet littles who stole her heart. Check out her blog! HERE