Have you ever noticed that there are certain events in your life that will elicit comment and advice from anyone? When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, there was no one around my age to offer advice on what I would experience, but there were plenty of people to tell me about their horrible experience with surgery.
I’ve been in a room filled with women…one of whom is pregnant, and have heard the advice and comments of the other women. How long their labor was, how they had lost their ankles in the process, and how excruciating the pain was until the blessed epidural was delivered. For every story, there seemed to be another, more detailed, and worse sounding story than the one before. Not very heartening for the poor woman who has to push a very large object out a very small opening.
Adoption is no different. We all go into the process with hope that everything will go smoothly, that there will be no glitches, and we will be the lucky ones that will get our child in record time. But usually, this optimism is quickly quashed as soon as others find out about the adoption.
As soon as we announced our impeding adoption from Russia, it seemed everyone knew someone, who knew someone, who adopted from Russia and had a nightmare of an experience…but the child was home now and every thing was wonderful. Again, not very heartening, but usually unavoidable…unless, you decided to adopt a child and keep it a secret from everyone.
I’ve never felt these stories were used at a scare tactic, or as a way to dissuade me from adopting. I just think they were trying to be helpful, informative, and they used it as a way to share in my experience. I’m all for sharing experiences, but they didn’t really need to share all the doom and gloom of post-Soviet bureaucracy with me.
Remember, every adoption is different. Some things will go right, and other things will not. But that is part of the process. It’s our process to go through, just like childbirth. So, if you are in the process of adopting a child either internationally or domestically, smile when friends, family, and strangers start telling you about someone they know, who knows someone, who knows someone, who adopted…because they really are just trying to be helpful.
And then forget what they said.