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The Mom Experience

Posted by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 10:00 PM
  • 8 Replies
It is really bothering me that my family doesn't check in and ask how things are going with our adoption process/journey. If I was pregnant my mom etc. would be asking how I'm feeling what did the doctor say etc. just because we're adopting doesn't mean we don't want the same questions. We have feelings too and our "doctor" at this point is our adoption coordinator. I mean what gives? Do I not get to have the same mom experience? A baby shower, for example, is to celebrate the impending arrival of a baby and to prepare the parents for the baby via gifts and celebration. Don't adoptive moms also get to celebrate a baby's impending arrival? Don't we need things to prepare for the arrival too? It's just blowing my mind that even after having my mom read the amazing booking In On It: What Afoptive Parents want you to know about adoption, which she said she loved and learned a lot and apologized for not being as supportive as she should have and for saying "the wrong things" that she still isn't checking in and seeing how we are and how it's going.

Was it like that for any of you ladies? Did ppl treat you like any other mom or was it only after you had your child? Or are you still not getting the same mom experience even now?
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by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 10:00 PM
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by Claire on Apr. 10, 2013 at 6:30 AM
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I know this is hard for you. I will tell you that it is very difficult for people to get as excited as the prospective parents as they have no timeline  if you will... with a pregnancy, family members know that in 9 months, there will be a bundle of joy at the end of it, whereas with adoption, it could take years. There is also the issue of old will the child be? If it is FC, the child could be older, so they don't know what you need for the child... if the child is adopted Internationally, that is also an issue. 

Adoption is not an easy process for anyone. Yes, it is hard for us to go through it, but many people just don't understand the emotions tied to it and the uncertainty can be difficult as well, so people just "wait it out" many times until after placement or even finalization. 

My family was supportive, but honestly.. I did not want all the questions. We adopted from China and when we started the process the wait from accpetance to referral was 6 months..when we were accepted the wait had gotten insanely long for China- it was 10 months..then 11, then 12... and so on.. I did not want to be bombarded and reminded that we were still childless after all those years. We had lost a child 4 years before at birth, so having the long wait was torture...questions on top of it was even worse for me. I pretty much told everyone I would let them know the status when I was ready to do so. I did not want a baby shower before going as we had no idea what we would need since we didn't know the gender or age of the child. I'm glad we didn't in retrospect as dd was 17 months old when we met her. 

Everyone was very supportive while we went through the process and then subsequent travel. My mother flew up from FL and stayed here for 3 weeks at our home to take care of our dogs and my MIL and GMIL traveled with us to help. When we got home, my BIL picked us up at the airport so we didn't have to try and drive home while sick, jet lagged and exhausted. Mom stayed for a couple of more days and helped out, then the barrage of friends came bearing food and helped clean if necessary as all of us were very sick and jet lagged. My BIL and SIL threw us a "meet and greet" shower a month after Lilly came home to give her time to settle in and made it over a 4 hour span so she did not get overwhelmed. Everything they did was for Lilly's sake- not ours. They gave us space when we needed it, helped when necessary, and waited to have a shower until we knew everything and were home/finalized. 

I would not expect a lot from people when you are still doing paperwork, and waiting for a match. There isn't much they can do when you don't know anything. 


" I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phillipians 4:13 

by on Apr. 10, 2013 at 8:53 AM

Do you offer updates when you're talking to them? Every time something happens in our process, like we submit our papers and our profile letter, I just email my mom and MIL and let them know that happened. 

I think a lot of family members just know it can take a long time and don't want to seem like they are pressuring you or making you feel bad.

If you just offer the information on your own, then they can feel better about asking questions.

It's a hard process in many ways...  

by on Apr. 10, 2013 at 9:07 AM
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I agree too that it is just not the same thing.  When you are pregnant, there is the obvious baby growing in your body, it's "in the face" of anyone who sees you.  With adoption, there isn't anything tangible to look at.  I like the advice of giving updates.  People will be excited when the child comes.

And no, I did not get a 'baby' shower for any of my adoptions (i have had five adoption, and I have seven biological children).  I had at least one and sometimes several for each biological child, but not a single one for an adoptive child.  That is probably partly because we did foster adoptions, so the kids were here already when we adopted.  Some people did give the child a present at the adoption finalization, but it wasn't baby shower type things.  My favorites were when someone gave ME a present - two of my adoptions were horribly hard, including this last one when I adopted a 16 year old and a six year old.  The agency sent me a charm that I wear on my watch, and a friend from another state sent me one of those figurines of a mother holding a child - I was VERY blessed by those two things!

Carla Raley, wife of Bill, mom of 12, foster mom of more than 50
Visit my blogs for stories of the life of an older mom raising a large family, foster/adoption and homeschooling

by on Apr. 10, 2013 at 10:45 AM
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we had this problem with our first adoption. they don't understand the process and the emotions that come with it. it's hard to plan like biofamilies, one second you are waiting the next at 1am you get a call then poof! your parents, or there is the 10 year even though it has been one year wait. I think when we had our failed adoptions this year it realy put it into perspective for them. now that we did have these fails my MIL is planning to have a shower the weekend after the reclaim period, i think she now realizes how it is now. Sorry if there are a bunch of typos only one contact in and glasses broke! 

by on Apr. 10, 2013 at 2:20 PM
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My family was so unsupportive of our adoption journey.  They were also completely ignorant about the process and what the result would yeild.  They thought we were going to lose $50,000 and end up with a broken heart or no baby.  Or WORSE, we'd get a baby only to have the biological parents come and snatch him/her back in the middle of the night.  Or even worse yet... what if the baby wasn't quite right... like put up for adoption because the biological parents were hiding something about their medical history or drug use.

and then our little perfect daughter was born.  

And the world was right.  They not only came around but they came around quickly.  I remember the first time our daughter got sick my mom said "You should go have her checked for asthma because it runs in our family."  I said - Mom she's ADOPTED - Your forgot!!!! I was so happy I almost cried.  Then the same type of thing happened at Thanksgiving with our extended family.  Someone said "She gets her sense of humor from our side of the family."  Again I had to go off and cry.

The only thing that I think you will kind of miss out on is a baby shower.  It's dicy having a shower before the placement.  You may opt for a meet-the-baby type of shower once the placement happens.  

by on Apr. 10, 2013 at 8:21 PM
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Have you started a count down FB page....Maybe if you try to include your friends and family they will catch the fever....Give them updates ...I am sure you would be pleased with hte replies.I started a web site...with all the joys and fears listed

by on Apr. 11, 2013 at 12:10 PM
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I found most of our friends and family quit talking or asking due to what they said was my sadness when I had nothing to report. I was not aware my face was showing my dissapointment. Once our bm picked us we started sharing with everyone and found everyone wanted to throw a shower and couldn't stop with all the questions. Our daughter is 14 months and everyone is supportive. Best wishes on your journey...

by on Apr. 12, 2013 at 11:37 AM
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With our first child, I didn't think we were allowed a baby shower, but the BM insisted, saying it was the best way to get goodies for the baby and it made us feel very special! Am sorry you're not getting the support you need...lots of hugs and support from here!

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