An Open Book to the Adoption Process

Adoption is an often mysterious process. For decades, it is has been more common for family’s to stay pretty quiet about the process all the way until the point they bring a baby home. In recent years, though, as being more open about our lives through social media has become common place, many hopeful adoptive families choose to share the whole process with their friends and family – both the ups and the downs, and everything leading up to bringing home a child.

When Matt and I began the adoption process, we knew there would be plenty of questions from our friends and family. In my case, my dad was adopted but there is no history of adoption on my mother’s side of the family. This means that naturally, much of my family only knows what others they may know who’ve adopted have chosen to share about their process. Matt’s family has a broader history with adoption but primarily international adoption, meaning we knew there would be questions regarding our process since we chose to pursue domestic adoption. The vast majority of our friends either do not yet have children, or have biological children. So part of embarking on this process included making a decision about how open we would be throughout it.

We decided quite quickly that we wanted to take an open book approach to the process. We wanted to share it all, beginning to end, regardless of what hurdles or bumps in the road we could potentially encounter. We made this decision partly because of other adoptive families who have done the same. It was the openness of those families that helped us better understand what we were getting into when the time came for us to begin our pursuit of adoption. We also chose this by considering how we would approach sharing a pregnancy. If we were able to have a child biologically, we knew we wouldn’t want to keep it to ourselves. We would want to tell everyone as soon as our pregnancy was confirmed, and we’d want to celebrate every minute of that process. Not because we were oblivious to the fact things could go wrong – we could miscarry, or find out there was something wrong with the child I was carrying that would impact his or her life forever – but because starting a family is worth celebrating!

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We have had people in our lives express concern about how eager we are about this process, and that it might be taking over our lives. To that we have consistently said, of course we are! And of course it is! If we were pregnant we wouldn’t hold back our excitement until we were going to the hospital to give birth. Likewise, in pursuing adoption we are not withholding excitement until we have a baby in our arms. Allow me to further explain why… we will be adopting a baby. It is how we have decided to grow our family. Is it possible we could match with an expectant mother, then she changes her mind and decides to parent her child instead of choosing adoption? YES! We are painfully aware of this possibility. We are also aware that the ideal situation for any baby is to be raised by their biological mother. Would there be grief on our end? Of course. Would it change the fact we are going to adopt a baby? Not for a second. Sure, it would slow down the process, but it wouldn’t at all change the fact we will grow our family through adoption. It is for this reason that we would rather share and celebrate every step of the process with our friends and family than to sit quietly in fear of all the “what if” scenarios.

So we will continue to choose joy, we will continue to choose hope, and we will continue to accept the possibilities that fear reminds us are there, but we will not let fear keep us quiet. Not for one second. We hope you will choose to celebrate with us too.

Jennifer

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