Saturday, November 5, 2011

Support from others-- angels among us

November is adoption awareness month as most of you know by now.  I figured throughout the month, when I'm not traveling, I'll take bits & pieces of adoption and explain what it means or how it effects an adopting family. Today, I want to talk about support.  Support is something that is pretty vital during the rigorous adoption process.  Support can come in many forms and from many different sources.  One thing that is very important is emotional support.  Our journey has been a very long one, longer than any of our other adoptions, and a very difficult one at that.  We could not have gotten where we are today without the support from friends and our church.  Our church was always there to offer up prayers through our tough times and always there to ask if there was anything they could do.  Even got an email a minute ago from a lady at church asking if there was anything she needed to do for the kids while they were at Pilgrimage while we were in Bulgaria.  Many have called or emailed us offering support throughout our process.  We've had friends and neighbors offer words of encouragement.  Many offer to check in on the kids while we're gone.  It's the little things that matter during these long adoption journeys.  They are emotional. 

Having the emotional and spiritual support from others means a lot during this process. Some are dealing with such crazy issues that they're not allowed to say publicly yet.  Some are dealing with family issues against adopting that they don't want to share.  Some have found out devastating news about their child a half a world away. These are all things that are going on with folks right now.  These are all helped by encouraging words, or offers to help, or prayers.  It means everything to an adoptive family to have support from others.  It helps them survive this crazy process.  So if you know an adoptive family, drop them an encouraging letter in the mail.  Say a prayer for them.  Offer to watch their kids.  Call up to chat.  Anything helps.  It may seem little to you, but I guarantee it means the world to that family.  you don't know how many times I wanted to cry this past year.  Yet, always lifted up by someone.  Someone was always there.  There are indeed angels among us.  Angels Among Us  Love that song.  It's true though.  When we least expect it.  Every time during this process during our deepest darkest times, there was always someone there for us.  Encouraging words, monetary donations, a card from a stranger, offers to help, etc.  You name it.  This process teaches adoptive parents so, so much.  Only fitting we're leaving during Adoption Awareness Month.  Only fitting it's Thanksgiving this month.  So, so much to be thankful for.  I have met remarkable people along this journey.  Strangers in cyber space become more like family.  You end up meeting many in person.  It's an honor for me to meet them.  It really is. 

Another thing that helps adoptive families is financial support.  It can mean the difference for life or death of a child.  I'm not saying that mildly either.  Due to a financial gift, we are able to take extra suitcases which in turns means donations can make it to the orphanages.  It MAKES a difference.  It does.  Some say oh, $5 or $10 won't matter.  I beg to differ.  Right now, we need just a bit more.  Think, if the people who visited this blog gave just $5, we'd have what we'd need.  Adoptive families typically can not do adoptions all on their own any more.  Rules have changed in the financial arena.  I've been adopting for 12 years now.  It is WAY different than it used to be.  For 7 of our adoptions, we did it all alone financially (other than orphanage donations).  This time, we've needed to fundraise a bit and donations have helped immensely.  Still, we are short and have 3 days left.  We think we may have it but too close to call.  So, if you ever think that $5 or $10 won't matter, it does indeed matter.  Think of how many bought Halloween candy they didn't use.  That one bag could easily help a child get home.  Hey, at $9 a bag, it would have helped.  How many coffees were bought today.  Or a fast food lunch.  Yes, do these things for sure.  Not saying don't.  I'm just saying take ONE lunch and donate it to a family.  Just ONE lunch to someone making the difference in the life of a child.  ONE lunch ONE time.  That's it.  That's all it takes. 

I have seen families do some incredible things for each other in the adoption world.  I've seen families states away do adoption fundraisers for their siblings or help sell items in an Etsy shop to raise money for adoptions.  We had a friend have a yard sale for us & donate their proceeds to OUR adoption!  Folks, they are adopting too!  how incredibly self-less is that?  If that isn't support, I don't know what is.  I was blown away by that gesture.  Still tear up thinking about it.  You have adoptive families traveling w/ other adoptive families for support so that their husbands can stay home w/ the children.  I have seen grandparents go on these adoption journeys w/ their children to meet their grandchildren for the first time.  How awesome is that?!  Can you imagine meeting your grandchild for the first time?  So many ways to offer support.  Please, if you know of an adoptive family, say a kind word.  Give them a phone call to check in on them.  Let them know they are loved.  It truly means a lot to the adoptive family.  It means you care.  Think of the pregnancy process.  Family & friends always checking in to see how they are doing.  How's the baby?  How are you?  Is it growing?  What are you having?  What can I do to help?  Do you need a baby shower?  I remember my work had a baby shower for me when we first adopted w/ Irina & Max.  It was amazing the clothes we got for the kids, the toys, and even a swing set.  Since we were new parents, we didn't have any of that stuff.  It was just great support.  I've seen amazing things that people can do for others.  I have seen angels among us.  Be an angel to an adoptive family.  It WILL make a difference. 

I have so much more to say but honestly, have a lot to do even w/ the time change.  List is still long and has to be done.  Hey, at least we have food again and not just relish and yogurt.  LOL.  I have more to share.  Just wanted folks reading this to know it means the world to an adoptive family to know you support them on this journey.  Even if you can't adopt, you can indeed make a difference in the life of a child.  Go on, write that note to someone adopting, make a donation, call up a friend you know adopting, take them to lunch to just talk, help them shop for that special outfit that takes their child out of the orphanage forever.  Simply, be their adoption angel.  Trust me, I have not forgotten a one of the people that supported us.  Saved all the cards.  Everything.  I want my kids to know when they are older just how many people loved them home. 

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