Choosing to adopt is an incredibly brave decision, but it can also be an overwhelming one. The time and effort that goes into simply researching adoption can seem like a daunting task, and as your journey continues, difficulties and obstacles will almost certainly arise. That’s why it is incredibly important to find a source of support and strength from people who have had similar experiences.
While the support of family and friends is a wonderful gift, those who haven’t been in your shoes may have a hard time providing the support and guidance you need. Only fellow adoptive parents can really understand what you’re going through and identify with the struggles, and of course the joys, of the adoption journey.
The adoption community is a place where adoptive parents, both prospective and veteran, can find hope, advice, encouragement, and answers to questions that those who haven’t been through adoption aren’t quite able to provide. Simply having another person understand your struggles can make all the difference during the best and most difficult times.
Here are a few tips for finding friends in the adoption community.
The Internet is always a great place to start when researching adoption. A simple search on Google or Facebook will yield hundreds of results for support groups dedicated to adoptive parents. Take the time to check out two, three, or ten different groups in order to find the best place for you, a group where you feel supported and heard. These groups are a wonderful sounding board for questions and concerns as well as a great platform for finding tips about adoption and raising an adopted child. You can also use online groups to find adoptive parents in or near your area with whom you can get together in person.
Agency Classes and Support Groups
If you’re having trouble finding the right group or support system within the adoption community, your adoption lawyer or caseworker can point you in the right direction. With their knowledge of the adoption community, your adoption service provider will know about any local educational classes you can attend or support groups you can join. When attending these classes or gatherings, always be yourself and don’t be afraid to open up. Chances are you’ll find the support you’ve been looking for.
If you know of a figure in the adoption community, such as a blogger or perhaps an author, take a chance and reach out to them. More likely than not, their website or blog page will have contact information, and they will be more than willing to help another member of the adoption community.
Adoption can be an overwhelming process, but you can take comfort in the fact that you are never alone. There are people all over the country, all over the world even, who have been through the same issues and come out on the other side stronger. Take advantage of the wonderful community you are now a part of, using it to find the support and guidance you need to build a strong, happy family. Though it may seem nerve wracking to take that initial step and reach out, you will be so happy you did.