When my adopted daughter turned five, I started writing down the details of her adoption to help her understand why we wanted to adopt our third child and what we went through to find her. I wanted her to have the answers if she ever had questions as a child or more likely, as an adult. I was worried I might forget some details as the years went by, so I wrote down the story for her. Five years later, I have begun to share the story of our daughter’s adoption with others, giving me a whole new perspective on it.
I have been amazed that current parents as well as childless couples, friends and mere acquaintances, take such an interest in our adoption story when told casually at luncheons, dinner parties, or when meeting people over the past few years. The story is somewhat complicated, yet fairly brief since our daughter was born and placed in my arms only 20 days after we received “the call”. The emotional aspects of the story, the issues we faced, and the decisions we had to make along the adoption journey seem to fascinate people who may be headed down the same path or may want to support someone considering adoption.
As I have recounted our personal story, I’ve noticed that each person takes interest in a different aspect of it, depending on their situation or needs. Since we already had two children before adopting, we were worried how a new baby would affect our family as a whole. People who are in the same situation ask related questions and wonder how our family adjusted to life with a newly adopted baby. We were also afraid that the birthmother could change her mind at the last minute, disappointing us and more importantly, our children. The risks involved in our adoption were the most difficult elements for us to deal with and people hesitant to take those risks themselves are interested in how that felt.
The most gratifying result of telling our story, personally and in this blog, has been the number of couples who have reached out to us for support through their adoption process. We have enjoyed helping friends, and friends of friends, find their adopted children after months, or years, of being ChildDrenched. Wanting a child and being unable to conceive is often the most excruciating time in people’s lives. Helping people escape that pain is rewarding and if our story helps people acquire the courage to move forward with adoption, I am more fulfilled and genuinely happy.
I realize there are many people who currently face the same emotional turmoil I did before adopting. I also know that there are even more adoptive parents who are ecstatic about their families after adopting their children. I hope to encourage those parents to talk about their journeys, the good experiences and the challenging issues, so others will understand more about adoption. We have read about the famous Hollywood stars who have adopted children but few of them have written down their stories to share with others. I find that disappointing because those stories may help build optimism for others.
My original objective of writing the details of our adoption story was for my daughter but since finishing the project, I feel the need to reach out to people who are ChildDrenched, and people who are interested in helping friends or relatives they know who are ChildDrenched. I have completed a full memoir about our story so hopefully, others who are considering adoption will gain the strength it takes to start the process after reading it. My book will soon be published and I hope people will appreciate the reasons why I wrote it.
The personal account of my journey exposes years of painful emotions that led to the decision to adopt and the issues we faced throughout the process. When I think back upon that journey, I truly appreciate the subsequent years of joy our daughter has brought to our lives that much more. Our adoption story is my gift to others; it’s a way of giving back for the love, joy and pleasure I have enjoyed through my daughter. I hope others will share their stories by commenting on this blog or in another medium. In this world we live in, supporting each other is what makes us all more compassionate and tolerant of differences, which is what we all need to teach our children.
See Patty Lazarus' web site here.