The subtitle of this blog is "International Adoption and Other Travels." I've been working on this blog for three months now and have yet to approach either topic. I'm amazed to find that it is still difficult to write about our adoption experiences even though I have already done so on my last blog.
So I'll start here with entries from Harbor Log, and work my way back into the stories. The following post was written a year ago and I am pleased to say that things have greatly improved since then. While the sibling rivalry between the boys will never entirely go away, there are more and more cooperative and tender moments that they, and we as parents share.
Before, during, and even after our first adoption, I read every adoption story I could get my hands on. There were international adoptions, foster care adoptions, stories of being chosen by a birth mother and being present during the delivery. With each story I cherished that culminating moment when the child was united with the new parents, making the anxiety-fraught journey all worthwhile.
My doctor is an adoptive parent himself and put it this way; unlike getting pregnant and heading straight for parenthood, with adoption, you must reaffirm your commitment at every step along the way. You can stop the process at any time and the process can be stopped by external factors beyond your control. Dealing with the starts and stops along the way is not for the faint of heart. Getting to the moment you become a parent is quite a journey, but the journey is only the beginning.
Very few of the stories I read followed the new family through the post-adoption transition. Any new parents go through a radical change when the baby comes home. There’s no way to understand the amount of change and the amount of work involved until you go through it. Whether you are dealing with the sleepless nights and constant feedings of a newborn, or the inexplicable tantrums and bonding challenges of bringing home a toddler, the task is much bigger than anyone can possibly explain.
We’ve been at this for three years, and I am just now starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of everyone’s adjustment. We made so much progress with T. in his first two years, only to have to start nearly from square one when we brought P. home. And this time we had two of them.
I don’t want to scare people, because the adoption of waiting children is something I strongly believe in. I’m hoping that writing about these experiences will encourage and help prepare others for what may come down the road. Like any other parent, on almost a daily basis, I stand in awe of what my kids have learned or how they observe things in their world. Their small successes lighten my heart.