part of the process

Thank you all so much for your support through the home study processTo my old friends and new (this means you!), it means so much to read your kind words and to know that people are cheering us on. M and I truly appreciate every good thought and sweet comment, and especially all the positive energy flowing our way…

We’ve been talking about our process more and more with friends and family. This is partly because we are excited to share this next phase of our journey to parenthood, but it is also to raise awareness of the issues we face among the circle of loved ones who will become our child’s community.   

There are apparently many myths about adoption, e.g., how “easy” it must be to “just adopt.” So many seem surprised by the extensive layers of work we must undergo before we are even “matched.” People seem to think you just sign up and a baby will be waiting for you!

There are also persistent myths about the stereotypical birthmother (and father), about the quality of the child’s adjustment, and the realities of adoptive parenting. There are fears and misunderstandings about the “open” aspect of adoption, which I imagine I’ll write more about.

At this point, it seems that we have an added responsiblity to educate our friends and family about the realities of open adoption, to the extent we can since we are not yet adoptive parents. If they wish to support us, if they are to become our child’s community, then we need to dispel the myths and open their eyes so they can truly be a supportive community.

We have to do this while raising our own awareness about these issues, while delving into our own process. We have to do this with realistic expectations and without attacking well-meaning people with misguided views. We have to accept that most people have had no reason to know better. We have to learn to accept support, where we have been previously unaccustomed to it, even if it requires effort on our part. We view this as necessary preparation for everyone involved.

Ultimately, we must open ourselves up with compassion, as part of our own process.

Most people seem quite interested in this process. I see that in “real” life as well as here in this space. Maybe it’s because people want to understand, support, and also share, to the extent they can, this part of our journey (where most friends and family couldn’t really do that with infertility). Maybe people are simply curious about the process, and so our telling is informative or intriguing. 

I know that some of you are headed down the same path and I am definitely intrigued by your stories. Maybe some readers are wondering if domestic adoption may be an option for them in the future, and they want to learn more about what it entails.

I realize this blog did not begin as an adoption blog, but it seems to have evolved into an adoption after infertility and loss blog. My own journey is reflected here, at least in part, and writing continues to help me process the inevitable swirl of emotions, thoughts, fears and hopes that I encounter as I face at each step. 

Many thanks to everyone for sharing this ride with me.

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~ by luna on August 11, 2008.

14 Responses to “part of the process”

  1. You’re welcome Luna! I’m so glad to have come across your blog and to be paralleling our experiences. By the way, I found an interesting book on open adoption today, which I thought you might be interested in. Maybe you’ve already seen it, but it’s called Making Room in Our Hearts by Micky Duxbury. It looks fantastic..
    I’ll keep wishing you good luck as I read about your journey–and I totally agree with you that the more dialogue on adoption the better. It’s such a fun universe to have cracked open, isn’t it?

  2. I think part of me is so interested in this process because I know I so easily could have been going down this path right alongside you. It could have been me. And to be honest, it still could be me at some point in the future. You just never know. The other part of me is interested because I hope it will help me to understand and be more empathetic about something that our culture doesn’t do a very good job of teaching us, unless you go through it yourself.

  3. I’ll be here with you. Wouldn’t miss it for anything.

  4. As I read your words, I realize that the same can be said for “educating” the people around me about surrogacy. Most are curious and want to learn more, and rarely, there will be some bonehead who has nothing but, well, boneheaded things to say about it.

    Thank you again for sharing this path with you. I am learning so much from from you!

  5. I feel honored to be here.

  6. I absolutely love your writing. I’m feeling yet another post inspired by you brewing on my blog….

    We have thought a lot about the “educating” aspect of being adoptive parents, especially in the case that we adopt transracially. I personally LOVE to talk about the process and could do so all day long, so that helps, and people generally seem interested. When we first told our friends and family about our decision to adopt I mentioned in an email that people who are interested in open adoption could read The Kid by Dan Savage. Several of them have read it! It’s definitely not a book for everyone, but I absolutely love it – read it ten years ago before adoption was even on my radar. I’ve found it’s a nice way for people to learn more about open adoption from a person who has been through it. After my mom read it, she said she “totally got it now”.

    I so look forward to hearing more about your process, and I, too, feel honored to be here.

  7. This is such a beautiful way to put it, to see addressing misperceptions of adoption as an act of opening and compassion, not an angry defense of the truth. We need to take this approach with all IF and loss-related issues, frankly. Most people have no desire to hurt us but just don’t know what they’re saying.

  8. Even though dh & I chose not to travel the path you’re now on, I am full of admiration for those who do. I’ll be here, cheering you on & eager to learn along with you!

  9. I was also surprised by the lack of knowledge so many people had about the adoption process, as well as the belief in the “myths” you mentioned. I was especially surprised by the ignorance of my husband’s parents–and my husband was adopted!! (But that was a long time ago, and adoptions were very different back then). It is great that people show so much interest, though–like you said–probably ‘easier’ or more ‘accessible’ of a topic for most to support and get behind and try to understand than the whole IF experience. Compassion is a word that I have been trying to keep in the forefront of my mind lately, too. I’ve been trying to remember that if I want compassion extended to me, I must be mindful of extending it to others…It sounds like something that comes naturally to you–a very, openhearted and compassionate person. I’ll be anxiously following your journey!

  10. […] difficult it is to know when and how to clarify some of the misconceptions that I alluded to in my last post, to prepare our family and friends and ultimately protect our child from unnecessary pain or […]

  11. Hi Luna —

    Sitting here, nodding emphatically, at the understanding of how sometimes when you explain you are adopting to other people you suddenly are thrust into the role of “Ambassador of All Things Adoption.” There is the urge to educate, raise positive adoptive language, correct myths, and so on. But you’re right, some people are ignorant, and even when people are geuinely interested it begins to feel like the movie “Groundhog Day” and you find yourself having the same conversation over and over and OVER again. Having an adoption support group was/is a big help to us, since it wiped away the needs for any of those conversations, unless we needed tips or advice on how to handle those sorts of situations.

    I am here if you need to talk about this in the coming months!

    Ms. J

  12. […] ourselves to the process. Open to learning and sharing, to new encounters, to new possibilities. Part of our process has been opening ourselves by talking about our adoption experience with others, opening […]

  13. […] as I’ve said, we’ve begun to reach out and reconnect with people, especially those who have shown us […]

  14. […] public links >> views part of the process Saved by Tdotsweetie on Thu 06-11-2008 Nvision 2008: Keynote Saved by jkosem on Wed 05-11-2008 […]

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