I read an article today on things that friends and families can do to help support those that they know going through open adoption. As I read through the list found here I realized that a lot of these things our family and friends already do. It makes me feel really lucky to have such a great support system out there and have friends and family just as excited as us about the adoption process. There are ups and downs to adoption and I am not always excited about what to do next because I am frustrated or scared or even just tired of all the waiting. At the end of the tunnel though I know that Andy and I will make great parents and that we will have a new family to grow and take care of!
Towards the end of that post are some don’ts to go along with it and I definitely think that they are important to remember. Seeing as the person is in the situation of going through the adoption process, they have heard plenty of stories and tales of how they are lucky to not have to go through pregnancy, how once they adopt they will get pregnant, or how someone had the child reclaimed from the birth parents. While all of this could be true and might happen they don’t need to be reminded of all these topics because they already think about them (probably daily). Friends and family should just be there to talk about the good parts and to help keep them positive in the months that lie ahead.
Along those same lines as the post above, our counselor mentioned that when we do finally place a child we should not introduce that child to our family or friends until after the reclaim period is over. After she explained her reasons it made a lot of sense and although it will be difficult to do we totally understand why we should do it. Friends and family are suppose to be the adoptive parent’s support system in case anything goes wrong with the adoption (as things have and will continue to do). If they have already met the child and bonded with him/her then instead of being able to just support the parents they are also grieving and coming to terms with the loss of the child. With the advances of technology this will be the most difficult thing for us to do after placement since we will want to tell everyone right away. As soon as we are ready to tell people though it will be posted all over the place and everyone will definitely know!