As soon as you knew that you wanted to become an adoptive parent, you probably flipped through every book on the topic, did endless internet searches and connected to other families with the same end goal, which was bringing home a child. There are so many wonderful resources out there for families with similar aspirations. Podcasts, seminars, conferences and private Facebook groups are a wonderful go-to when it comes to connecting with individuals looking to adopt as well.
Now that your child is home at last, you spend the next however many years finding the right routine for your family. Life becomes a whirlwind of making sure dinner is served, homework is finished, and everyone is in bed on time. So while you’re not sure how to fit anything else into everyone’s busy schedules, there’s one more thing that needs to be done. Your family needs to find an adoption community. It doesn’t have to be formal; it doesn’t need an official title; it just needs to exist.
These families know exactly where you’ve been. They have felt the same struggles and know the same happinesses that you and your family have faced. Having an established adoption community is important for many reasons, but these three stick with us. Your children need to know they are not alone, and there are more people on the same adoption journey and you need to know that you have a community to rely on.
As they get older, your children will be placed in situations where they are the unique one, the minority. They need to know that being adopted is a completely normal and healthy way to build a family. When adopted children have time to be around other adopted children, they can let their guard down. The only thing they have to worry about in that moment is being a kid.
Other families that are going through the adoption process, whether they are just starting out or they are 5 years in of raising a child, need to know that they are not alone. Even if you aren’t quite ready to share your adoption story, there is someone who is ready to listen when you are are ready to share. You will see other hopeful parents nod in agreeance and you will hear other adoptive parents echo with a “me too”. Not only will this help others in your group, but it will help you. This is the perfect time to reflect on everything with a group of people who understand exactly how you feel.
Establish an adoption community for your children, for you and for others. It is important to know from the start that no one is alone in this journey!