Sunday, September 9, 2012

In on it

I just finished reading a great book, In on it: What adoptive parents would like you to know about adoption-A Guide for Relatives & Friends by Elisabeth O'toole. It's only 158 pages with 9 great chapters. I read it in two sittings :) I'm giving it the thumbs up for overall information about adoption.

I want to say thank you to all my family and friends. We have all come a long long way since my post, Piatt Adoption Etiquette, in April. When we discuss our adoption plan with people, we still get some very silly questions and idiotic responses from strangers; however, those who read the blog and are truly experiencing this journey alongside us have evolved into some really deep, encouraging, meaningful discussions about our adoption plan. I also know I've gained confidence through this process, which allows me to answer a person as if they are asking an educated question, or allow myself the freedom to not engage at all! If you feel led to read this book, I hope you do!

Here is the important thing about this book: it's for you. I know most of the people in our lives put a lot of effort into making sure we feel supported, and we most certainly do. Always asking if they can help in any way, offering to listen and often getting an earful. Well, as we are nearing the end of waiting and getting close to becoming a true adoptive family, I want to encourage you. YOU are in on it too. The book describes you as part of the adoption circle. Obviously, grandmothers become grandmothers, aunts become aunts, cousins gain another cousin, and so on--we are growing by adoption and the excitement of welcoming a baby into the family is nothing short of enthusiastic. However, even if you don't have a specific title awaiting you- you've walked through this process with us. You've prayed for us and you are part of our "Adoption Circle." This book gives you the opportunity to decide how our adoption will directly affect you. Are you nervous about somebody asking you a question you don't feel confident answering? Are you still really curious as to what questions are appropriate and which ones are not? Are you talking to your kids about all the many ways families are formed? Have you grieved the loss of a conventional family as it pertains to you? Do you feel you have an open line of communication with me regarding our adoption?--I hope you do. I do my best to welcome educated questions.

From O'toole: 

"You're in on it now, too. You are a member of someones adoption circle. You are part of the constellation of adoption. And while there is not, at least as far as I know, a secret handshake, there are experiences and insights to which you are now privy. Like any worthwhile experience, it's likely that adoption will challenge you. And even change you."

"One of my favorite descriptions of how an adoption affects those around it came from an adult adoptee. He put it this way: When I think about how we all have grown as a result of adoption in our family, words like open-mindedness, tolerance, understanding, empathy, faith, love, generosity, and selflessness come to mind. Adoption allows us to perceive the world in a different way. It enables us to open our hearts and minds and grow from different and challenging experiences. Adoption challenges our understanding of the traditional family and forces one to go where one may not have considered going on our own." 

I hope, through our journey, you've taken it upon yourself to become educated about the adoption process. Either by resources or talking with me and asking me wonderful questions. I hope you feel confident in what adoption is and what it isn't. I hope you are able to pass this knowledge along, and perhaps influence people around you that haven't been introduced to the adoption process. I hope you are as excited about what adoption means for you as you are for what it means for me! 

Thanks for being part of our circle. 

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