Adoption Awareness Month has come and gone, but many of the issues and concerns it raises haven’t gone away.
As we do every year, we explored them in our series, “30 Questions, 30 Days” in which we asked our Facebook followers a different question every day.
Here are some of the responses we received from waiting adoptive parents, adoptive parents, birthparents, and adoptees based on their experiences.
For more discussions on all aspects of adoption, be sure to check out our Facebook page today, or any day.
1. What does adoption mean to you?
“Adoption to me means I received a gift of love, laughter, joy and tears. It means I was given as a gift two children who needed these aspects in their lives too. It’s called building a family.” Kelly Berentsen-Urry
2. What made you decide to pursue your particular adoption path?
“We were very determined to have a family and after 9 failed IVF attempts (I was a slow learner!) we knew that adoption was the path we were meant to take.
We were very lucky to adopt our first son fairly quickly and then our second 2.5 years later. I now know that adoption was how we were meant to create our family, and I have no regrets. If timing had been any different I wouldn’t be the mom to my two special boys!” Megan Dunlop-Elms
3. What was your greatest fear about adoption and how did you deal with it?
“Not being able to see my son ever again. But by being absolutely open and voicing my concerns, my sons adoptive parents acknowledged my fears and reassured me they wouldn’t ever do that. It’s five years later and I’m going to their place for Christmas.” Natasha Albert
4. What’s the best or worst thing about adoption?
“The worst: the hurry up and wait, the negative ‘opinions’ of some while looking over medical records, the 21 day period.
The best: getting that phone call to say you had been chosen, meeting your child for the first time and knowing with your heart and soul that they are yours, watching your child grow and become just like you and your spouse. There are so many more good things than bad.” Claire-Lise Wenger Gauthier
5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about adoption?
“Try not to worry about the time, effort, money, etc. it can take to adopt. In 15 years when you look back you will NEVER regret it! Do what you have to and be confident it will all work out in the end.” Sara Neale MacGregor
6. What has been the easiest or hardest part of your adoption journey so far?
“Easiest was deciding we were ready to become parents. Hardest was the up and down rollercoaster of emotions in between phases and while we wait.” Michelle Young
7. What are some of the things you did or are doing to cope with the wait?
“Kept living life. Took the small trips we wanted to do, tried not to think about not doing things ‘just in case’ because then you stop living and the wait becomes overpowering and all consuming.” Sara Neale MacGregor
8. What are some of the things you did to cope with the emotional ups and downs?
“I’m a birth mom, and music was a huge help after placement.” Christie Yaworski
9. If you could change one thing about your adoption journey, what would it be?
“I might not have waited five years between adoptions, but I may not have had the honour of the curly haired sweetheart who calls me Mummy. So I wouldn’t change a thing.” Heather Ayotte
10. What do you think is the biggest misconception about adoption?
“That those who adopt children are ‘saving them’. I don’t know what kind of life situation I would be in if I wasn’t adopted, but I don’t think I was saved. I was given my best chance, but either way it would have been my life and what I know.” Bailey Annan Sonday
11, What do you know about adoption now that you wish you had known before?
“How much you could love a child that doesn’t have your ‘blood.'” Niki Lelieveld
12. How do you want your child to view his/her adoption and what steps are you taking to make it happen?
“I want my daughter to be proud of her adoption. I want her to know that she was placed out of pure love and a want for a better life than her birth parents had growing up. I talk openly about her adoption to anyone who asks and I want her to be able to talk openly about it too. I feel that wanting it to be private gives the idea that there is shame in it. I never want her to have that idea about how she became part of our family.” Amy Sue Tobin
13. What’s your biggest regret about your adoption journey?
“Not pushing harder sooner to adopt my daughter.” Sally Brown
14. Do you believe an adoption match is meant to be, a stroke of luck or something else entirely?
“Depends on the case. We were matched with our first birth family and it did not work out. We waited right up to the due date and birth mom was M.I.A. Still have no idea what happened or where baby is. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason because nine days after that due date, my daughter was born!” Amy Sue Tobin
15. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of adoption?
“Hope, love, and forever family.” Steve Glenn Stebbins
16. What do you think is the most important adoption issue today?
“Legislation needs to change to speed permancy along. If that means children returning home with supervision and supports than that is what needs to happen. If that means adoption with openess, then make it work.
It is time to consider the child’s outcome is very dependant on stability. It is time to admit that parents’ rights shouldn’t come first above the child. So many agencies say in the best interest of the child, then the court process can take up to 4 years. Seriously how can an individual child move forward never knowing where they will be? This is 2015! It is time for change.” Melanie Arvelin-King
17. How has adoption changed your life and/or the way you view the world?
“The people you expect to be the most supportive aren’t but you learn quickly that you aren’t alone and others have been touched by adoption in so many different ways! Also that both sides of adoption are extremely sad and beautiful at the same time.” Amanda Deyell
18. What’s the one piece of advice you would give someone who’s considering adoption today?
‘If you are considering it, act now, it takes WAY longer than you would ever think! The system is flawed. There are so many children who need good homes, follow your instincts. It is the world’s most emotional roller coaster. It’s all worth it in the end!” Faye Soucy
19 What’s the one thing you want people to know about adoption?
“Adoption = Love.” Bianka ArielleZirka Gauthier
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