I remember sharing with some moms about my struggle with leaving my daughter in the nursery at church. Their response was she would be fine, just leave her, all kids go through that. I tried to explain to them that my daughter still had fears of abandonment. Additionally, the nursery looked very much like an orphanage. Again, they advised me to just leave her. It is difficult for parents that have not adopted to empathize with adopted parents because they do not have the shared experience.
On the other side of the coin, it is hard for parents that do not have biological children to relate with some of the issues they might have. I remember going to a playgroup for the first time with my first daughter and I was so excited for this new experience. There were some women in the group that were currently pregnant and the majority of the discussion was about pregnancy issues and breast-feeding. I felt like I had nothing to offer the group because I had not had those same experiences.
From the book Thriving as an Adoptive Family the author, Davis Stanford states, “Parents who have adopted often feel isolated and misunderstood. Convinced others don’t empathize with the unique challenges adoptive families face, they attempt to gut it out on their own, Connecting with others who get it … nourishes your family’s emotional and spiritual health.”
Parents that have adopted need the encouragement and support from others that just get it. We need someone to say I have been there, this is what I did, or someone to just listen without judgment or reservation. There are so many benefits to parents and children to attend an adoption support group/playgroup.
Here are just a few:
- It helps the child to be exposed to more diversity.
- It helps the child to see that there are other families out there like theirs.
- It helps the parents to have a support network of people.
- It helps the parents and children to be able to share/converse with other families with similar experiences
Adoption is a lifelong process; it doesn’t end when you sign the paperwork, but is only just beginning. Consider joining or starting an adoption support group/play group in your area.
Adoptive families in the Indianapolis area are invited to attend the Central Indiana Adoption Playgroup which is meeting this Saturday at 11:00 at Monkey Joe’s. You may RSVP here.
Photo Credit: epSos.de