Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Adoption Blogger Interview Project - Adrianne

Adoption Bloggers Interview Project 2012
Today is Interview Project Day!

I had the pleasure of interviewing Adrianne of Finding a Family. In reading through her interview, I thought to myself, "Wow, these could be MY answers if asked the same questions!" I was delighted to learn more about this beautiful family.

I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did!

1. You have gone through a lot on your journey to become parents. What was the hardest part of getting to this point and why? (miscarriage, infertility, illness, choosing an agency, waiting, etc?)

We endured two miscarriages, unexplained infertility, and allergic reactions to fertility medications which all seemed unbearably difficult at the time that we were suffering through them.  The days seemed longer, the nights seemed darker, and the thought of being invited to a baby shower was just too much.  It was just the thought that we'd never become parents that was so overwhelming.  It did not matter one single bit to us if our child was biologically ours - or shared someone else's dna.  We just wanted to be parents.  We just wanted to be mom and dad.  So, it took us a long time - a really long time - to finally see that God's plan for us to become parents did not include us making babies, but adopting children into our family.  I first requested adoption informational packets shortly after our first miscarriage, but it took a while for my husband to get on the same page.  So, shortly after he was diagnosed with an illness that could be hereditary (Chiari Malformation) we finally realized the path God had planned for us.  While the length of time was certainly the hardest part of the journey, we would not change how things unfolded, because every twist in the road led us to being Dax's mom and dad.

2. How is openness manifested in your relationship with your son's birth family? Do you think that relationship will change (more or less open) as he gets old enough to understand his adoption story?

We longed for an open relationship with our child's birth family and were thrilled when we were chosen by a birth mother who also wanted an open situation.  Our relationship is currently quite open.  We exchange emails, text messages, and packages through the mail on a regular basis.  We agreed to 4 visits per year, but are on track for about 6.  Right now our contact is pretty regular and most of our communication is through email messages.  We've gone to her house and she's been invited to ours.  We want her to know how Dax is doing and how he lives his life.  We want him to know who she is and where he came from.

For his first birthday I worked with Dax's birth mom to create a book called a "lifestory" where she answered questions about where she grew up, her favorite childhood memories, what she likes to do, what her favorite color is, and other things a child might like to know about their biological mom.  The book is small (7x7) and hard backed so it will be ready for Dax's tiny fingers.  We've got it on Dax's bookshelf, so it's ready to read along with all of his other favorite books.  We hope it will be something he can always turn to if our relationship is not the same as it is right now.

We were told that over time the relationship would move further and further into the background.  We hope this doesn't happen, since we want Dax's biologicals to be a part of his life - but we know that as time passes, so will changing of situations which may not always make it so easy for her to keep in touch as she does now.  We pray that we'll always be close and connected - for all of our lives.

3. What aspect of parenting was most unexpected or surprising to you?

In the time it took us to actually become parents we'd read parenting books, taken baby classes, diapering classes, watched videos, and read hundreds of blogs about parenting.  We'd studied and studied until we could not absorb anymore, which is why we were shocked to realize (after Dax was home for a few weeks) that all of this stuff really does come pretty naturally.  It was after a few weeks of prepping bottles for them to not be consumed, changing diapers that were not wet, and waking up in the night to just find him snoozing peacefully away that we learned that our own parental instincts were actually good enough to let us figure this all out.

We also learned that babies are resilient.  We learned that he'd cry when he was hungry, tired, or needed to be changed, and that through basic deduction you could figure out what he needed.  After a little bit more time we even learned to know his cries and what he was needing at the moment.  So, while we prepared for things and thought we'd studied enough, we quickly learned that your mommy and daddy skills are there all along - they just need a baby to pull them out of you.

4. Moms of lots of kids often get stupid comments from random strangers in the checkout line. Adoptive parents and interracial families also get their share of stupid checkout-line comments. From your first year as parents, what is your favorite "stupid people say stupid things" story about strangers in the checkout line (or elsewhere)?

We look different than Dax.  He's got a dark complexion with curly hair and our skin is pasty (75% of the year) and our hair is straight.  It's pretty obvious to people (when we're all together) that Dax was adopted.  Sure, some random 5% of people might think I had an affair with some other man or something, but most people straight away go the adoption route.  Most people just ask us questions because they are curious, and 99.9% we are fine to answer them.  We're glad people ask us questions about adoption and hope that some day they'll adopt too.  Most of the time however, people ask us "Where did he come from"?  I think they are expecting we will say some foreign place, but we don't - he's from the same state we live in - the same metropolitan area.  I think a majority of people (not involved with adoption) just assume that if you adopted a child you must have done an international adoption, so they are just a little shocked when we tell them that Dax is from the same state and country we're currently standing in.

5. On the flip side of that, is there a heartwarming story you can share about someone observing your family? 

We honestly just love anyone who stops and talks to us to learn more about how our transracial family came together.  We love it when people of our grandparents generation stop us to tell us how cute Dax is or how precious our family is.  We know things were different for them 50 years ago and we're glad that our family can be what it is today because of where this country has gone.  We also love it when we have communications with people from different races than ours that would normally never stop to speak to us just because Dax is with us.  He's like a bridge from one culture to another and from one time to another.  He's so much hope, joy, and love for our family and we love sharing that with others we meet.

Once we met a girl in a local supermarket, who reminded me a lot of us a few years ago.  She was happily watching Will and Dax at the deli counter, not knowing that I was watching her.  She smiled as she watched Will make silly faces to get Dax giggling while he waited for swiss cheese.  I made a lap around a produce stand and saw her still staring at them.  There's one employee there who always comes around the counter to see Dax and say hello.  When the employee came to play with Dax I made my way over there to say hello and at that time the girl also spoke.  She asked if she could ask me a question and I told her that she could.  She asked if Dax was adopted.  I smiled and told her he was.  She told me that she and her husband were looking to adopt and were just getting started in picking an agency.  We chatted for a few minutes about adoption, highly recommended our agency, and wished her success in building her family.  We were her, not too terribly long ago and because she stopped to ask us about Dax we pray for her and her family's journey.

6. Where do you find the most support, as an adoptive family?

We feel like God placed so many families into our lives to help us on this adoption journey.  We met people through blogs, through Yelp, through seminars, through church, and through retreats.  We feel a strong connection with others who've adopted and are looking to adopt.  These people were there to help us learn about agencies, openness, waiting, struggles with infertility, and the link to God on our adoption journey.  We feel that being open about adoption makes it so much easier to handle, because you have support from everyone you meet.  We've never faced resistance in how our family was built, and know we've got support wherever we turn.

1 comment:

All in His Perfect Timing said...

WOW! I love your interview & Adrienne's answers too! I will check out her blog for sure. Thanks so much for the great Q & A!