The holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends. But while everyone else looks like they’re having a great time, we feel sad and frustrated because we don’t have a child to share them with. Plus, many people don’t understand what we’re going through, which makes it even harder to explain.
2. Getting together can makes us feel awkward.
Maybe it’s because we’re the eldest child and feel that we should have been the first to become a parent. Or maybe it’s because we’re the only child in the family who isn’t a parent. Or maybe it’s because a friend or family member is about to have a second baby while we don’t have any. Or maybe it’s because they never wanted children or weren’t trying to have one and now they’re pregnant. Whatever the reason, we feel like we’re the odd one out and that makes us feel uncomfortable.
3. Being around children is especially painful for us.
We would love to hold our new niece, spoil our cousins and horse around with your sons and daughters. But for us, being around small children is painful because it reminds us of the one thing that we can’t stop thinking about and want more than anything else in the world.
4. We may have to go underground for a few weeks.
Don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from us for a while. You’re not the problem, it’s us. We just need a bit of time to step away and work a few things out. But don’t worry, we’re okay and we’ll be back, and back to normal, after the holidays have passed.
5. Managing our emotions is hard.
Not having children makes us feel envious and angry toward people who do. It’s not something that we’re proud of, but we can’t help it. That’s just the way we feel. And it only makes us feel worse, like we’re a bunch of ogres. But once again, it has nothing to do with you. We’re so happy that you’re parents and we can’t wait to join you in your adventures in parenting.
6. It’s okay to ask us about your family building efforts, but don’t be surprised if we don’t want to discuss them.
We don’t mind if you ask us how things are going in our quest to start a family or about our adoption plans. In fact we wish you would. But it’s such a personal topic and there are so many misconceptions surrounding adoption. So depending on how and what you ask, we may not want to get into it.
7. Don’t give us advice about things you know nothing about.
We know that you worry about us and only want what’s best. But when we tell you that we’re still trying to start our family, don’t tell us things like “Relax and you’ll get pregnant”or “Just keep trying.” No matter how badly you think we need to hear it, that kind of advice won’t help us. It will only add to our frustration and our need to withdraw from you. .
8. Respect our privacy.
What we’re going through is painful and frustrating. So if we don’t feel like talking about it, don’t push it. And don’t keep asking us if we have any news to share. When we do, you’ll be the first to know.
9. Keep an open mind.
There are so many negative stories out there about adoption. But they’re only one side of the story. There are many positive ones too. So before you form an opinion or try to talk us out of our adoption plan, please educate yourself about what adoption is and the different ways that it has touched people’s lives.
10. Your support is important to us.
Adoption is a personal matter and it’s not for everyone. We understand that. We also understand that you may not agree with our choices. But keep in mind that we’ve given our decision a lot of thought and decided that it’s the right path for us. We hope that you will respect that and come along with us on our journey.
11. We have no control over when our child will arrive.
If we could bring our baby home tomorrow we would. But that’s not how the adoption process works. There’s a lot of waiting, a lot of unknowns, and a lot of twists and turns. So as much as we’d love to have a child join us in time for the holidays, the timing is totally out of our hands.
12. We feel like we’ve let you down.
Not having children makes us feel like we’re failures. We wanted so much to be parents by now. Adding to our frustration is the feeling that we’ve let you down. We would love to give you a grandchild or have our children grow up and play together. We wish we could talk openly about it, but now’s not the time. We don’t want to take away any of the joy you’re feeling. The good news is the New Year is just around the corner. We’re excited about it and hopeful that things will be different this time next year. Here’s hoping they are!
What do you want your family and friends to know about being a waiting parent during the holidays? Tell us on our Facebook page and help us raise awareness about adoption by like our page.