For some, making the decision to build your family through adoption can be overwhelming. For those who didn’t grow up in a family built through adoption, don’t know anyone who is adopted, or don’t know anyone who has adopted, it’s difficult to know where to start. How do you talk to your family and friends about your decision? How do you decide between domestic, international, infant, or foster care? How do you sift through all of the paperwork? There are resources out there and they can sometimes be hiding where you least expect it – the morning news or your monthly magazine subscription.
Last week, I turned on the TV and saw a segment on WGN’s morning news that caught my eye. Nia Vardalos was talking about a book that she wrote called Instant Mom. After battles with infertility, it took her 9 years to research the best adoption option for her. For those of us that have discovered adoption after dealing with infertility, I imagine that it typically takes a while to determine the best path for you and your family. I know that it did for us. When I tell our son’s adoption story, people are typically surprised at how quickly, once we finally got THE CALL, that we were able to take him home with us – 2 weeks. For Nia Vardalos, it was only 14 hours! Her book covers her daughter’s adoption story as well as a How-To-Adopt Appendix that offers resources to help you determine what type of adoption is right for you – international, domestic infant, or fostering.
Since becoming adoptive parents, we’ve been able to build a small community of other adoptive families mostly through our involvement with Neighborhood Parents Network. All of our families seem to have adopted children that are right around the same age as our son. Our children all have very different adoption stories, but we all have similar questions. How do we talk to our toddlers about adoption? How much can they truly understand? How might they react to another adopted child coming into the family? One of the great families that we met through this group is Becca Gruenspan and her son. Her adoption story and how she decided to start her own adoption consulting business, RG Adoption Consulting, was recently shared in Today’s Chicago Woman.
Once you start talking about adoption, you’ll be surprised where you’ll find adoption connections – casual acquaintances will reveal their adoption stories and others will share how they are contemplating adoption, too. Just keep your eyes, ears, and mind open to adoption!