Imagine yourself in a stadium, surrounded by people. Sports match, Music concert; either way, there is a buzz in the air. You are waiting for something to happen, the goal to be scored, your song to be played. And then it happens. And the crowd goes wild. Everyone is on their feet, screaming, clapping, stamping, smiling. You can feel the excitement and joy in the crowd.
This is kind of the response I expected when we told people we were adopting. We had been through a process of trying and being disappointed, wanting a baby but not getting there. Then we made the decision to adopt and suddenly hope returned and our world became such an exciting place full of anticipation and exhilaration. And so I would go around telling all I could “We are adopting! We are going to be a family!”
And yet, the response we got was often not one of matched excitement and enthusiasm, but rather of slight shock, a bit of confusion, and a polite “Congrats.” Not what I was expecting! Don’t get me wrong, our close friends and family (especially those who had walked our journey with us) were supportive and happy. But others who we shared it with just could not seem to get it. One person stuck their hands in the air about to jump as they heard “we have some exciting news…”, but when we completed the sentence with “we are adopting” the hands went down and the shout of joy was choked on, with a mumbled “that’s so nice” afterwards.
A lot of people are not where we are in the journey. For us announcing our adoption is like announcing we are pregnant, for others it takes a while to sink in. Many have questions but they don’t know how to verbalize it. Why? Can’t you have biological kids? How did you get to this decision? And so instead of the celebratory hugs and high fives we sit and discuss our process and help people see where our heart is. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, I love getting the opportunity to share with others the joy that our anticipated adopted child brings us and the journey God has walked with us. But a part of me selfishly wants people to fawn over me with kisses and hugs, squeals of delight and gushes of admiration; the kind of response I have seen friends get when they announce their pregnancy.
But I remember that we are not adopting for the response we will get. We do not need others to be excited for us for it to seem more real – it IS real, and awesome and good! I do not need to put so much importance on what others think of me and my family.
And, I know without a doubt, that my Heavenly Father is jumping up and down, hands in the air, shouting “My darling daughter is going to be a Mommy!”
My name is Jane. I am a woman, a wife, a friend, a sister, a teacher, and a soon-to-be mother. I love God, love my husband, love children, love marriage, and love family – people living and relating with one another through life. Check out my blog and follow our journey to parenthood here.
If you’d like to read another mother’s suggestions of how to respond when you hear the words, “We’re adopting!,” please check out this link. And, maybe share it if needed.