Dear Hopeful Parents, From An Adoptee

Dear (hopeful) adoptive parents,

Tis the season, right?  Fa, la, la, la, la; fruit cakes; carolers; and a little late night Amazon shopping?

But this year you may be dragging a little through the holidays. It may have been all you could do to get through Thanksgiving and the explanations of where you are in your adoption journey to each family member. 

This year the holidays might feel like a reminder of your wait or that you don’t have a little one to pop up on Santa’s knee in their “my First Christmas” finest.

Stop right there.

dear-hopeful-parents-from-an-adoptee

The truth is, if you are waiting because you want to be a family to a child who truly needs one then you have to wait for that child.

The truth is that things may change tomorrow. 

Just days before Thanksgiving, my own parents had no idea that the day after Thanksgiving I would arrive to them in my striped socks and mismatched clothes to enjoy some peanut butter fudge and change their world forever.

That day I found my forever family. And yet just two days before my sweet mommy was probably wondering when that day would ever come.

A while back someone from an adoption group “friended me.. Though I usually keep my friend list to close friends and family, for whatever reason I accepted and recently I have been so glad I did. 

I watched her and her husband get a room ready for a child, carefully planning each thing they added. 

I read their words of respect for birthparents and expectant parents who are considering adoption. 

I could hear their hearts in every picture they posted and every word they wrote regarding adoption and parenting, but what I also saw in-between was life lived. 

The couple was always smiling and DOING — waiting to provide a loving home for a child and to be parents did not mean JUST WAITING. 

They went on trips, spent lots of time with family and friends and each other, and then one day, out of the blue, they announced they were going to pick up their child.  It happened literally overnight.

During those moments, my heart felt a million things.  I said a prayer for the birth mother as I know these days of joy for families who adopt, even in the best circumstances, are days of pain for her. 

I have felt my heart leap with joy as this couple has embraced every coo, smile and sleepy moment of their new journey. 

I have loved watching the joy and love they have for this child, just pour out of them. 

I know as a mother how I felt with each of my children, but as an adoptee myself, it was amazing to watch this love unfold in a family I don’t really even know.

It is a beautiful reminder of how quickly we can all become a blessing to one another.

So please…

Enjoy that shopping trip with your mom.

Go to that cookie exchange with a friend.

Take that New Years Eve trip to the mountains with your spouse.

Build a snowman just for fun.

Cuddle by the fire.

JUST WAITING does not make things go faster. 

Do not let the wait steal your joy or your today. We never know what tomorrow may bring!

To many merry moments and the happiest of New Year’s,

Madeleine

P.S. If you are looking for something to add to your holiday wishlist, don’t forget my two latest books.

Madeleine Melcher is an adoptee who spent a brief time in foster care before finding her forever home as a toddler.  She is the author of a just released book for parents who have adopted or hope to, Dear Adoptive Parents: Things You Need to Know Right Now – from an Adoptee as well as How to Create a Successful Adoption Portfolio and co-author of Encouragement for the Adoption and Parenting Journey: 52 Devotions and a Journal.

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