When we decided to adopt a child not so long ago one of the hardest things for us was to keep it quiet.
So we didn't.
Chris e-mailed me just a few days after we made The Big Decision to say that he had spilled the beans at work to a very close friend/colleague. I, of course, felt that this gave me license to spill the beans to some of my colleagues over lunch that same day. And after we spilled the beans to our parents and siblings it just went on and on from there. Now the majority of our friends and family are in the know.
The craziest and most amazing thing about sharing our adoption plan with others is that just about everyone we've told has some connection to someone who has adopted. We keep hearing things like, "Oh, my friend and her husband adopted a little boy from Russia" or "You should talk to my sister. She and her husband have a little girl from Guatemala."
Two of my colleagues have adopted children from Ecuador and Russia.
Another of my colleagues is contemplating adoption.
My ten year-old sister-in-law is adopted.
My father's oldest friend and his wife adopted their children.
Turns out that my sister's sister-in-law and her husband adopted a little cutie pie from Ethiopia and I think are in the process of going back to Ethiopia once more because they had such a great experience there the first time.
A good friend of mine has two adult adopted children.
Everyone seems to have an adoption story.
And each time we hear from these or of these adoptive parents there's almost always a concurrent offer of advice and assistance.
Recently we had dinner with family friends who adopted their two daughters via domestic adoption. They kindly spent the entire dinner relating to us their adoption story (which was totally fascinating!) and answering our 8 million questions about domestic adoption. Likewise, my two adoptive-parent colleagues recently spent a great deal of time with me describing in detail their international adoptions (also fascinating!) and offering advice, help, support, and the names of their respective adoption agencies.
Additionally, everyone we've told so far has been thrilled for us and incredibly supportive - especially just in the last 24 hours since I started this blog. One of my colleagues read the last entry and sent me the following message:
"Hey – just a note to make you feel better….
"One day after 'birthing classes' with my then husband – I went home and cried and cried and cried and… cried – well you get the picture… because I was SO scared that I couldn’t raise this kid – that I couldn’t do it, I was scared to death…. Well lo and behold – nine years – I’m the best damn mom there is… LOL.
"So it’s going to be scary – just remember that - but you’re going to make an amazing mom – and by giving some little child the opportunity to have you and Chris as his/her parents – that is just a miracle!"
Another colleague of mine - someone who I admire and always think of as incredibly together - confided in me that she never thought she would have children because, like me, she had been terrified. She felt as though she would not be capable of taking care of a child and that she would not make a good mom. But as she got older she changed her mind and has never regretted her decision to enter into the wonderful world of motherhood.
Everyone has a story.
There is still some fear in me as we move further along in this process, but I have been overwhelmed (in a good way!) by everyone's kind and loving sentiments and know that there is a great support network out there for me..and for Chris...and for the Little One when she arrives.
(Yes - we're hoping to adopt a girl...)