One of the most valuable and helpful things I have done during our adoption journey is to connect with other adoptive families. While it is great to have friends who are in our age group and who are also raising children, there are certain issues that come with adoption that “normal” families just don’t understand. Don’t get me wrong, my friends are just wonderful, but they have no idea what it is like to wait while your child grows up in a foreign country, to wonder if they are okay and pray every day that they will come home.
When you start out in adoption, there is often the question of where to find other adoptive families. Adoption is becoming more common, but as a general rule it is still fairly rare. For us, we remembered meeting people who had adopted, but we didn’t know about anyone else in our area who had adopted. We felt like the only people in the world who were adopting!
As time went on, though, we began to learn where to find other adoptive families and now we have a great support system in place.
Here is what we learned about connecting with the adoption community:
Keep Your Ears Out
If you are anything like us, your ears will begin to perk up every time you hear the word “adoption” in conversation. If you find out that someone has adopted or that they know someone who has adopted, then speak up and ask questions. Usually those who are involved in adoption are happy to talk about it if you have a genuine interest. Often this is a great way to get in touch with other adoptive families.
This is one of the largest adoption websites in the world and it is a wealth of information. There are specific pages for adoptive parents from different countries or states to connect with each other. You also can connect with others who are adopting from the same country.
There are a number of Yahoo groups set up for adoptive families. You can find a group with other adoptive families from your state or your city. You can also join a group of families adopting from a specific country or who are adopting children with a specific special need. In order to find these groups, go to groups.yahoo.com and then search for adoption. To narrow your search, try adoption and then the particular area you are interested in. An example would be: Adoption China.