Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Adoption Community

We fly out in less than a week!! One week from Friday, we meet Samson!

I would not have made it this far without God, support of family and close friends and much prayer. I am thankful for all who understand and who have supported us along the way. And since I've began this journey, I have been thankful for another group of people I would not have known otherwise - the adoption community.

Adoption is a new territory for our family and many of our close friends. When we began the process, we found ourselves gravitating towards adoptive families in the community we barely knew. Recently I met a woman just briefly who had adopted sibling girls from Ethiopia. When I saw her several days later in Target, just after our referral, I SPRINTED down the aisle to catch her, YELLING her name. My girls were terribly embarrassed!!! But I felt an instant connection and bond with this mother of two AA girls. I was excited to tell her our referral news because I knew she would understand the excitement and emotions I was feeling.

And it's not just adoptive parents who understand, it's also extended family of adoptive parents. I love seeing the eyes of a grandparent light up and give me that look like they "get it" when I tell them our adoption news.

Most of my support from people who understand the emotional ups and downs of adoption have come from the members of our agencies on-line forum. Thank you Lyn-Dee for encouraging me through the wait of our referral. You seemed to know when I was most discouraged and checked in when I needed encouragement the most.

There are several others who have sent me notes along the way - too many to mentioned. But I would also like to thank Katie, Ann, Kathy, Donna, Jennifer and others who I connected with over the forum early on in our wait. Also, thanks to Chris and Erin, who we started the process with (attended PAC class together) and are waiting for their referral of a sibling set. Thank you for your encouragement and following our journey - can't wait to watch your's develop!

There is a special connection in the adoption community that has helped give me much peace and comfort along the way.

Bonnie, for one has been a life boat for me. She brought home her toddler girl a few months ago and is waiting for a court date for a sibling set. When her and her husband traveled to bring home their sweet daughter, they also brought their family. She has shared much wisdom to help me best prepare our girls for travel.

The forum and the blogging world have become my passion - a way to connect and be part of a greater community of people experiencing the journey along side me.
After receiving our social report with 19 more pictures of Samson, I connected with even more forum members who received their social reports at the same time. Tanya is adopting an adorable set of sibling boys. Late one night, Tanya and I discovered through our social reports that our sons are friends! Her youngest son is pictured in several of our social report pictures as well as our son in theirs. Sharing these pictures back and forth was priceless. A picture of Samson without being the focus, gave us a different perspective of what he is up to - nothing bad just more candid.
Erin and her husband returned a couple weeks ago with their handsome son. I asked Erin if she would please give little Samson a hug from his mommy and daddy. This is the comment she left on my blog:
"I wanted to let you know I specifically sought out your little one last week in the toddler room. Yonas' social worker led the way. He is such a little love - seriously. He came right to me and gave me a sweet hug and I said, "This is from your daddy and mommy!" And he smiled, and looked at me with those giant, beautiful eyes. What a sweetie pie. You guys are certainly blessed..."
This just made me melt ....thank you Erin for making this connection. And thank you for all the valuable advice you have given me since you returned.

And now, I'm just starting to get to know another set of adoptive families - those who will be completing their journey with me.
These are the families we will be sharing our first times together with our children. We will be flying there and back with Paula and Peter and their 5 year old son; Kate and Jeff will be there adopting their first child; Kim and her husband will join us to bring home their baby as well; and just today, one more family was added to our group - Julie and Steven! Julie and Steve are adopting their first children as well - an adorable sibling set of a girl and a boy.

Michael and Heather, Anita, Deborah and Charles and Sarah - I have not met you on-line but look forward to sharing this journey with all of you!! Can't wait to meet everyone!!
Now...back to packing....

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