Throughout the year, especially during the holiday season, you’ll more than likely attend at least one social gathering with family and friends. It’s only natural for questions and comments to arise about your adoption journey. Despite how well-intentioned they may be, these questions and comments can be difficult or uncomfortable to deal with. Here are some things you can do to better address and prepare for these situations.
Educate and inform.
Educate your friends and family about the adoption process. This will help them better understand what you’re going through and where you may be at emotionally. Stress that this process takes time and how little of it is in your control. Talk about how the pace and tone are set by the expectant mother and how everyone else is there to support her as she makes such a difficult decision during this fragile time in her life. If you’ve had any opportunities so far, tell them about what you learned from them.
Talk about Angel Adoption.
Talk about our company, what we do, and why you chose to work with us. Explain we are a birthmother-centered company and why that is so important in adoption. Show them our website and your family profile. You can even encourage them to share your profile with their online networks to get more exposure!
Redirect the focus.
In response to questions and comments about how long it’s taking or that you haven’t adopted yet, shift the focus to more positive aspects of your journey and talk about all that you’ve accomplished so far: You completed the long and arduous home study process, you were accepted into a selective adoption marketing and advertising program, you had a family profile created and are actively getting presented to prospective birthmothers, you successfully completed an adoption education course, and anything else you’ve done.
Take a break.
If you feel like social gatherings will be too stressful or difficult to handle, don’t be afraid to take a break from them altogether, or at least limit the time you attend. No one said adoption is easy, and there is nothing wrong with giving yourself some grace during this time.
Give gifts and give back.
Consider gifting your family and friends a book on adoption to help them better understand what you’re going through. There are many books on adoption, and more still that are written specifically for family members and friends. If you’ve had any friends or family who’ve gone above and beyond for you during your journey, you might want to give them a small gift to thank them for their support. You can also give yourself the gift of volunteering. Spending time giving back can be a great way to boost your mood, especially if you’re feeling particularly discouraged or stressed.
Document your journey.
If you’re comfortable sharing the details of your adoption journey with your friends and family, consider creating a blog, email newsletter, or social media group to post regular updates for them to follow. Keeping them informed in this way can decrease the number of difficult questions you get when you get together in person. If there’s a painful or uncomfortable topic you don’t want to talk about, you can use this platform to kindly ask them to avoid mentioning it when they see you.
Don’t hesitate to correct any misconceptions your friends and family may have about adoption. It’s important for you and your future child that those close to you have a good understanding of adoption and a healthy attitude towards it.
Still need help dealing with difficult or uncomfortable situations or questions about adoption? Reach out to your Adoptive Parent Coordinator or your home study social worker.