Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Costs of Adoption Part 3

Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

I've highlighted two areas in my previous post that an adoptive family could potentially lose when they start down the road to adoption.  Part 1 was their church, Part 2 was their family relationships.

This one is about friends.

Everyone has friends.  Some people have many friends and some people have just a few.  I think that with a drastic life change of any sort be it birth or adoption, friendships can become strained.  

Once a family is home with their newly adopted child, their lifestyle may take a drastic turn from what it once was, at least for a while.  Friendships that were dependent on their ability to attend events, parties, and church functions might become strained.  Your friends may not understand why you are suddenly unavailable... after all, you didn't have a baby!  You brought home a child! 

Your priorities might also change.  If you saw things when you were adopting that broke your heart and changed how you view the world, then things that used to be important to you and your friends are suddenly only important to your friends.  

You might find yourself stuck in your house with a child that needs their world kept small for longer than what seems "normal" to everyone else.  You may have a laundry list of things you need to do for this child that had nothing done for them for many years.  It may seem overwhelming and just the thought of even trying to add a playdate to your week may make you crumple up and cry so you try to explain why you cannot... but it ends up just sounding like a lame excuse.  

Your friends are probably just like you were.  They have "normal" kids whom they have loved since birth.  They do not understand how it could be a bad thing that your new child wants to crawl in their lap and hug them.  They might think its endearing that your new child is "so sweet" and "social" and think your requests of resisting and not returning affection are crazy.  They have probably never dealt with control issues and don't recognize sly requests for other food items at mealtimes or refusal to eat as manipulative behaviors and try to accommodate your new child after you already gave an answer thereby undermining you and completely stressing you out on what was supposed to be a "fun" afternoon out of the house.

Some friends, the rare and valuable ones, will listen as you explain.  They will not think you are insane.  They will respect your wishes and stick by you even when you act a little nuts as you figure this new life out.

Many though, just will no longer "get" you.  At a time when you are having a hard time getting yourself, they will decide that you have gone off the deep end and they will move on.  When you excitedly mention that you are thinking of doing this again sometime, they will ask you things like, "Are you are a glutton for punishment?"  And you will realize as you stand open mouthed with no words coming out, that this friendship that you once deemed so valuable is just another "cost" of adoption.

You have found something precious and valuable in fighting for the life of a child, and you realize that the life that you once had is no longer yours nor is it where you really want to be anymore.



1 comment:

The Bell Family said...

Great post Erin, so true. Love you and your heart!


We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson