When we decided to pursue adoption as a way to build our family, we did our research to choose an agency to guide us through. We ultimately chose the Independent Adoption Center (IAC) because they felt kind…to all involved in adoption: birth parents, hopeful adoptive parents and most of all the kids who would be affected by such a course. They seemed practical and honest. They promised the road would be difficult not easy, they promised the relationships would be hard work not fairy tales and they promised it would be a journey full of surprises, disappointments and heart-ache before we would ever become parents. Sounds like they didn’t paint a very pretty picture, but we appreciated the preparation, the kindness and the promise to be there along the way with us. A few weeks ago, we were shocked, heartbroken and terrified to learn they broke that promise. The IAC filed bankruptcy and closed its doors permanently. It was like the episode in Sex and the City where Carrie gets broken up with on a post it note. We received just an email and 5 minutes later, they didn’t exist. So here is what we’ve learned in the few short weeks since this happened. 1) People come together and the adoption community is indeed a community. Facebook groups of affected families were immediately formed, information and resource sharing was fast and plentiful, support from others going through the same thing was abundant and other adoption professionals stepped up so quickly to help it was inspiring. 2) Kindness comes through in these situations. For every post by hopeful adoptive families about their disappointment and anger, there were posts about how to help expecting women who were left with even less info than we were, how to help families in the middle of a placement, how to secure counseling for kids and birth parents who had placed but still needed those services. Social workers who were unexpectedly out of a job attended to the needs of their clients and families first, even though they didn’t have to. 3) We are all stronger than we think. Now that the initial shock has worn off…now that we have all “cried it out a little”...now that we can start to set the anger aside…we are finding a way to take a deep breath and get back to the journey at hand. IAC promised us disappointment and bumps in the road, we never expected them to be the cause, but they prepared us well. They taught us to take the time to grieve your losses, then, when you are ready, pick yourself up and start again. Today finally feels like a new start. New adoption professionals are on the horizon, we are getting our information back in front of expecting parents and we are more determined than ever. It feels good to be back on track!
I can’t believe the Holidays have come and gone already. Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year. I have more decorations than any one needs…and still keep adding more. I put my tree up as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is cleared from the table and I listen to Christmas music non-stop. And yet, the weeks between Christmas and New Years seem to go faster and I feel like I barely get a chance to take it all in. Thank goodness Christmas comes each year!
We had a very hectic (but awesome) Thanksgiving this year with extended family in town so it was nice to spend Christmas a little more relaxed. My (Sarah’s) sister drive down from Ohio a few days before Christmas and we spent 2 days baking cookies for Chris to share with his employees. My parents came down from South Carolina and brought my grandparents. My grandparents live in an assisted living center so it gets harder and harder for them to come and spend the night, but it is so nice to have them with us. We enjoyed a few days of eating way too many sweets, playing lots of card and board games in our jammies, making Chris set up all the tech gadgets that everyone got and watching Holiday parades and classic movies on TV.
My parents came back for a few days over New Years Eve to play more games, watch more movies and help me take down all the Christmas decorations.
Chris had to work a lot putting on Christmas Shows, fireworks and a snow attraction at the park where he works. I’m so glad our family is willing to travel to our house so he can work, but is still able to participate in all the Holiday stuff at home.
And here we are…2017. I haven’t even begun to think about New Year’s resolutions or my hopes & goals for the year. Every time I start thinking about what I want or want to accomplish, my mind wanders to all the things I’m grateful for: our family and what amazing people they are, our families’ health and a home full of Holiday traditions, great memories and a few too many Christmas decorations.
Bring it on 2017…Let’s see what excitement you have to bring for us!