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Sunday, January 20, 2013

You Know You're An Adoptive Parent When...

I'm not taking a break from posting my journal from our travels, but I do want to mix things up a bit!  I have seen these lists for many things, but I haven't found a good one for adoptive parents.  This is just a start!  For those of you in the process of adopting, or that have adopted, please add to this list via messages below!

1.  The thought of 147,000,000 orphans in the world makes you cringe, cry and feel empowered and depressed all at once.  It will keep you up at night and wake you up early in the morning.  It's a figure you can never get out of your head and is one you wish would go away (or at least drastically shrink)!  It runs through your veins and moves/shakes you daily.

2.  You don't have children by "accident."  Your children/child was hoped for, prayed for, waited for, cried for, begged for.  Everything about your child was "chosen!"

3.  You absolutely love the fact that your child looks NOTHING like you!  You love your child's different eyes, hair and skin.  The differences make your child your own, not the similarities.

4.  You have traveled half-way around the world AT LEAST once to meet/bring your child home.  Although you didn't have a day of labor, you had a day (or two) of travel, lay-overs, crammed spaces, recycled dry air, crowded places and jet-lag instead.

5.  You know what the words HomeStudy, Dossier, CAN clearances, authentication, certification, Hague, non-Hague and Embassy date mean and can define them readily and rapidly when asked.

6.  You know the requirements for your HomeStudy and country's Dossier just as well as you know your ABCs.

7.  You don't have a growing belly.  Instead, you have a very large pile of very precious papers in an even bigger binder that keeps growing and growing AND GROWING!

8.  You become a very good researcher (almost an obsessive researcher, a stalker in fact).  You research and read blogs, websites, profiles and agency pages daily- often multiple times a day.  You are looking for anything that will give you a clue about when the next major step in your journey may occur!

9.  You realize that your adoption agency director/liaison/contact thinks that your e-mails, phone calls and constant check-ins with questions are annoying and that you are very, very, VERY inpatient.  But, that stopped bothering you months ago!

10.  You become fast friends with others that are adopting.  You realize you share a common bond that will never diminish.  You're each others' source of support and laughter during this process.

11.  You have loved your baby for months before ever holding them.  You know everything about, and yet nothing about, your little one when the time comes to meet.

12.  You're brave, strong, determined, loving, compassionate, relentless and motivated.  You can pull yourself up on the worst of days and keep going for another day, week, month, sometimes year...all for that moment when your time finally comes!

13.  Other people think you're crazy and don't understand what you're doing or why.  But you stopped caring what other people think the day you started this journey!

14.  You check your e-mail and phone constantly.  Your heart stops every time you have a call or e-mail from your agency.  You never know what it will say or if "this will be it!"

15.  You cry, a lot.  You've come to realize that this is a normal part of the process and have stopped fighting it.  You just let the tears come!

16.  You surprise yourself.  Just when you feel your emotions might get out of control, something from within reels everything back and you're ok.  You're actually ok and things are going to be just fine!

17.  You are a very good budgeter and money saver.  You have learned to save pennies here and there realizing that there's a much better use of that money.  You have managed accounts and made the impossible happen- you funded and financed your adoption!

18. You have redefined family in your life.  Family isn't based upon genetics, looks or relations.  It's built on love...STRICTLY on love.  And because of this, you have an incredibly beautiful family!

19.  You're willing to be adventurous and learn/try new things, all for the sake of your child.  You gag down parts of a traditional Chinese food meal (eel, jelly-fish, etc.).  You cringe at the taste of cheap Russian vodka.  You struggle pronouncing Amharic words.  You ask about styling 4b hair and you try, re-try and re-re-try those styles and tricks again!  Through all of the embarrassment and struggles, you succeed, for your child!

20.  You're not done.  You're never done.  Even when you finally bring your child home, there's another fundraiser to have to help an orphanage or friend.  There's another letter to write to answer a new family's questions.  There's another donation to send or blog to read.  There are more clothing and toys to request and prayers to send.  In fact, for many of us, there's another adoption (or 2 or 3) to get started on!!!!!  After all, refer to #1 :)

Again, please add below!  Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. We have never meet nor have we spoken but I feel like you know some of my thoughts. We share many things in common and it's nice to know that I am not alone. So thank you for your honesty, thank you for your candidness, and thank you for being just who you are. I have enjoyed and connected with your blog.