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Tuesday, February 23, 2010


A new friend of mine who I recently met at church is adopting through foster care. She and her husband just finished their home study less than a few months ago, and got a call a couple weeks back about a brother-and-sister sibling set. The little boy is 17 months, and the girl is about 5 months.

Something stirred within me when she told me the news. I felt like I was reliving all of the emotions I felt when we brought our kids home. It was the same feeling each time--first, excitement and anticipation waiting to actually bring them home. Then, after walking through the door with our new child(ren), a sense of completely overwhelming anxiety at the thought of what our future held.

When you're pregnant, you have nine months to prepare. Friends and family join you in the experience, waiting for the precious bundle to arrive. There are baby showers to attend and baby rooms to books to read and baby clothes to buy. But, with adoption, it's different. At least, when adopting through foster care. You don't know what's coming. You have an idea of what you're looking for, but there's no ultrasound telling you you're having a boy (or girl). You just get a call one day, and all-of-a-sudden, you have new kids.

Anyway, back to my friend. I went to her house the day after they picked up the kids. It was the strangest thing. I felt that same pit in my stomach. I felt anxious, excited, and a bit overwhelmed. Heck, these aren't even my kids, but I still felt those things. Their smell even got me going. I don't know how to describe it. But I was completely wrapped up in wanting to make their transition as smooth as possible.

When our kids came home, I felt like the only person on the planet going through what we were. I didn't know anyone else (at the time) who had felt the emotions I was feeling. Some dear friends brought us dinner for a few days, but other than that, I felt on my own. It's not like bonding with a birth child. I was trying to bond with a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, both of whom had needs I didn't know how to meet. And I felt alone.

It's my mission now to help anyone I can to transition through those first few weeks. Anything I can do...bring food, offer to take older kids, even just hang out so those "emotions" I keep talking about can be shared.

And I hope if you come across someone who's adopting, you can be a shoulder for him or her, too.

For those of you who have adopted, what went through your mind during those first few moments at home?


Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

oooooh, you gave me a shudder describing everything so accurately. At least we knew Genea for a few months and had a long transition for her. Folks who's kids just like, show up with a social worker, that's awesome and overwhelming to say the least.

Lisa said...

With J it was sheer terror. K brought fear but not so much terror.

What a wonderful friend you are to be there for your friend's transition. Wishing I'd had a friend like you to step in for my arrivals.

Britts said...

hoping I'll have someone like you when our moment comes! (And wanting to be that someone for someone else down the road!)

sarahb said...

I have two friends who are in various stages of adoption and foster care....thank you describing your feelings and listing some ways I could serve and support them.

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