A few weekends ago I co-facilitated the mandatory adoption seminar for open-domestic adoption at our local adoption agency (where Sara was brought into our life). I was so thrilled (and nervous) that they had asked me – I am a strong adoption advocate and believe that, as an adoptive parent, one of my responsibilities (whether I asked for it or not) is to communicate with others about what I have learned about adoption, dispel the myths about adoption and share our experience of the miracle that adoption brings into a family.
With everything that has been happening with our current adoption, I wondered if I would be in the right frame of mind to share our adoption journey. Our journey has been filled with many ups, downs, joys and heartbreaks – but, in the end, it is our story – all of it – including the miracle of Sara and the wonderful relationship we share with her birthfamily, as well as the ache of our reversals and the decision to pursue international adoption and ALL the drama that has surrounded it. So, I decided to go into the session with 100% honesty, because the reality is that NO ONE has a 'perfect' or 'easy' adoption. But in the end, when the most incredible miracle is placed into your arms for the first time, you realize that faith, destiny, divine intervention, fate, and a higher power do exist - and everything that you have been through becomes so clear and (almost) forgotten.
The weekend started on Friday evening. The room felt heavy and thick with feelings of defeat, pain, bitterness, anger, desperation, uncertainty and scepticism. I remember being where they are (Hell, I'm still there some days). I remember sitting on the other side of the table and thinking that NOTHING anyone would say could make the pain subside - No words could heal the emotional torture we had endured for so many years.
As much as I wished I could have said to each family "This WILL happen for you soon, fast, and perfectly", there is never any guarantee, assurance or certainty in adoption (is there in anything we do?). I tried to offer families a sense of comfort and insight. It was important to me to be honest with them about the whole process. As amazing as the end is, the journey can be long and bumpy.
But, by the end of Sunday afternoon the mood in the room had shifted and the room seemed calmer, with feelings of renewed hope and belief - and it was an amazing feeling that I played a small part in that. At the same time, for me, it also provided renewed energy and reaffirmed our decision about our current adoption - it was a great weekend.