A poster on an online adoption forum I frequent recently asked what an adoptive parent does to find support post-adoption.
I decided shortly after we adopted our daughter to initiate an adoptive mama group. The group started at my church, and our goal was to have Adoption Triad Sunday, a Sunday where the music, sermon, and readings all focused on adoption (and adoption education) while showing support and love for all members of the adoption triad: biological parents and their families, adoptees, and adoptive families. After that event took place near Mother's Day in 2009 and the group's goal met, we evolved into a group of mothers who met once a month at a local cafe to talk about adoption.
Our group now consists of mothers who have adopted through foster care, domestic infant adoption, and international adoption. Our families are made up of children from various countries and states, various races and ethnicities, different biological family makeups, different levels of communication openness, and more. It's a lovely, diverse, quirky group. We laugh, we nod, we gasp, we advise, we acknowledge, we mourn, we brag, we inform. The group, in a word, is simply fabulous.
Meeting with other adoptive mothers has been a huge blessing in my life, but I also have worked hard to pursue post-adoption support in other ways, including:
1: Conversing with women who have placed children for adoption.
2: Keeping in touch with our social worker.
3: Reading adoption articles, books, blogs, and online forums.
4: Getting together with other adoptive families.
Adoption is like anything else in life: when you fail to evolve and learn, you fail to change. And when you fail to change, you find yourself in an unhealthy rut.
What can you do, as someone who is involved in adoption, to cultivate support in your life and in the lives of others? What's stopping you from evolving, and how can you push past those obstacles?
"You must do the thing which you think you cannot do." Eleanor Roosevelt