The Difference An Adoption Support Group Makes

This guest post is by Michelle,  a hopeful adoptive mother.

It has been about eight years since my husband and I started on our journey to expand our family.  Our story is like so many others’ and yet everyone’s story is unique. We went through multiple medical tests, procedures, IVF and a miscarriage.

After the last unsuccessful round of IVF, we took some time off from working on building our family and tried to figure out what we wanted to do. It’s very odd, but I felt like I kept being pointed towards adoption.

I started seeing signs about adoption that I never noticed before (bumper sticker on a car, a story on the web, a billboard, etc.). I am sure they were always there in front of me; I just wasn’t ready to see them.

Pursuing adoption

We decided in November 2009 to pursue adoption. My husband and I had signed up with our agency, completed our classes and home study and then just waited.  We were approached by an expectant mother in June 2010 and we e-mailed back and forth for a couple of months.

We were getting excited and then she just disappeared.  I was completely heartbroken for a while. Although our family and friends had been so supportive, after a year of waiting to adopt, I felt like I needed a different type of support. I needed to talk and get to know people who were going thru the same thing as us, people who “got it”.

So, in November 2010, we attended the Walk for Adoption Chicago that was hosted by Families Supporting Adoption. To be honest, I don’t know how I found the site for the Walk, but I did. I believe it was another sign. It was being held not far from our house and it was free. I figured we didn’t have anything to lose.

Not only did I not have anything to lose, but I had so much to gain. There were people at the Walk from all sides of adoption. The two women in charge of the Walk were so wonderful. We just clicked. I reached out and offered my help. Slowly, but surely, I gained such a wonderful support system!

I have met some of the most amazing women that I never would have come into contact with had my husband and I not gone to the Walk. My world has been opened up to new points of view, new information, new opportunities. I have come in contact with people all over the country (and around the world), people I am proud to call friends.

Waiting to adopt can be hard and lonely

Adoption is full of very difficult decisions and it’s a very personal experience that not everyone understands. Waiting to adopt can be a very hard and lonely road to travel.  But having a support system can make all the difference.

For those of us waiting to adopt, this time of the year, specifically around Mother’s Day, to be honest — really sucks!  No one gives us roses or chocolate-covered strawberries at brunch. People don’t know what to do with those of us couples who don’t have children.

There is no need to make us breakfast in bed or give us gifts. No one calls us “mom”. The last couple of years especially, I have felt like staying in bed and hiding. But, this past Mother’s Day, the amount of love and support that I received was overwhelming! The calls, notes on Facebook, and even a card from a friend in Italy with words of hope took me by surprise.

Although we are still waiting to adopt, I know I am not alone in the wait. If you are waiting to adopt, I highly recommend finding a support group. Find someone to walk with you through your adoption journey. There is no need to feel alone.

Find groups or fellow waiting couples on Facebook or find people to follow on Pinterest or Twitter. Get involved. Participate in activities in your area. And you too will get by with a little help from your friends.

Michelle is the co-chair for the Walk for Adoption Chicago, which will be taking place in October to help kick off National Adoption Month. She and her husband, Michael, live in Illinois and are hoping to adopt. 

 

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