Last weekend, Jenn, Nolin and I had a chance to speak to a class of perspective adoptive parents through Catholic Charities about our experiences with open adoption and interracial adoptions. We feel so blessed to have the experiences that we have had and more importantly to have Nolin in our lives that I was extremely excited to be able to share this with others.
It was very interesting to walk into a room of strangers, but instantly have a connection based on our choice of adoption. I talked about how we came to meet our birth mother, spend time in the hospital with her and why it was important to us to be able to have her be involved in some aspect of Nolin’s life. I have always said that the two days in the hospital when Nolin was born, were the most exciting and scariest moments of my life. Meeting with Nolin’s birth parents always brings me right back to the excitement and happiness of those days.
Jenn spoke about why we chose interracial adoption and how confidence in that decision will help others feel comfortable in embracing it. As an interracial adoptive parent we were told that there may be a time in our lives when an individual makes a comment that is uncomfortable or even ugly. These comments may be intentional or unintentional, but we both feel that if you are confident with your decision this can help dictate how to handle these situations appropriately. We have found that if it is not an issue for you, it most likely will not be an issue for those around you.
Our counselors helped us understand that there may be people in our lives that could be apprehensive about our decision to adopt for various reasons, but we haven’t found that to be the case. Nolin is the greatest blessing we could have asked for.
The one thing that our day did magnify was the fact that there are so many different faces and stories in the adoption triad. There were several families we spoke to that were already parents. I was very intrigued by one man who had an 18 month old daughter, but has always wanted to adopt interracially because of a friend he had in grade school. It is true that you will never realize how much of an impact you may have on someone else’s life even in minor interactions.
Unfortunately there are also tragic stories in the road to adoption. Several couples had faced years of unsuccessful infertility treatments, while another couple had experienced multiple still-born births. Some couples still may not have fully processed their grief over infertility, while others were so excited to move to the next step.
During our journey, I think Jenn and I fit into the excited group. We were very lucky because our journey was not as long and tumultuous as many others. We found out pretty quickly and easily that biological children would probably not be in our future, so we were able to move on. Luckily it was something that we had discussed in the past and for both of us it was sort of a non-issue.
I have always looked at our adoption story as a different road to the same destination. Sure there are some things we didn’t have a chance to experience, but it is also exciting that there are many experiences that we have enjoyed that are unique to our family.