From the beginning of our adoption journey, we had a small group of friends with whom we shared the details of what was going on. These were close friends, people we knew we could trust completely, who would rejoice with us and grieve with us through the ups and downs, and who would faithfully pray for us throughout. Several of these dear friends honored us by providing references. What an act of love that was to us, and as much as I love language, I can’t find adequate words to express how grateful we are to them.
We needed this group. I needed this group, especially. I needed some pals who knew, intimately, what I was going through. I needed friends to confide in when I needed to talk…share…vent, and I did all of those things.
What I (we) also needed was a group of friends who, while they knew all the details of our experience, shared many other things in common with us, so that we could go out together, have play dates with our kids, laugh, cry, and talk…all without ever discussing our adoption. We talked about it when we needed to, and the rest of the time we lived life with these friends.
This was not a large group of friends. Sure, most everyone who has known us during the past 10 years knows we were somewhere in the process of adoption, but most did not know the details. We didn’t talk about it a lot, not even between the two of us. Our biological son knew that we wanted to adopt a child, and he prayed diligently for a sibling, but he didn’t know about the sadness we felt over not being matched the first time around; he didn’t know about the matches that fell through; and he didn’t really know about his baby brother until it was a foregone conclusion. We wanted to protect him from the ups and downs of the journey, and we felt we needed to protect him from the disappointment of the disruptions. He didn’t need to have that heaviness on his heart at age eight, not when he needed to focus his attention on school, and friends, and play. We also didn’t want him to start feeling as though God was disappointing him by not answering his prayers. We knew that wasn’t the case, but it’s sometimes hard to convince myself, and I’m a lot older than eight.
Frankly, we wanted to protect ourselves, too. We didn’t want every conversation to start with answering adoption questions and giving adoption updates. There were so many months when nothing happened, so there was nothing to tell anyway, so we intentionally stayed quiet about it. Especially with the matches that fell through, because worse than dealing with it between the two of us (and sending an update to our inner circle), was to have to address it over and over and over with everyone we knew. So we didn’t share much of what happened with many.
Now that it’s all over…and with a happy outcome…I want to share our story. First and foremost, I want to have it written down for us, and especially for our adopted son to one day read. However, I also want to share it publicly, so that those who know us and are curious about our story can read it, and those who are considering adoption can get a glimpse of what it is like.
We still have the inner circle, and we (I especially) still need it from time to time. Things come up, and they are not only cherished friends in whom we can confide, they are riotously fun friends that laugh and enjoy our quirky silliness, and they are praying friends who lift us up to the Lord regularly. There are no better friends than that, and I am grateful for them.