Let’s face it: not everyone is going to know how to respond to your news about making an adoption plan. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to them, and sometimes they are afraid of offending or hurting you by asking questions. You can help them by sharing some or all of the following ways they can support you and your adoption plan.
1. Let me talk it out.
It’s not a forbidden subject. Allow me to feel what I’m going to feel. Allow me to say what I need to say.
2. Give me real feedback, not platitudes.
While I already believe this is best for me and my baby, I need more than “Everything will be OK.”
3. Ask me about my child, because she is important to me.
My child exists. She is in the world, and I think of her often. Sometimes I will feel excited, and sometimes I will feel sad. Let me talk about her and share pictures and updates. Ask me about her. Unless I’ve specifically told you I don’t want to talk about her, I will need to talk about her at times.
4. Adoption is a beautiful option, but please don’t treat me like a hero.
Putting me on a pedestal is uncomfortable. While I agree that I did what was best for my baby and myself, I don’t feel comfortable being elevated like a hero. This was a hard decision and I made it; but, let me just be human.
5. Don’t stop talking to me, even if you disagree with my decision.
I need your support more than ever.
6 – However, don’t overdo it either.
You don’t have to check on me if you haven’t heard from me in 24 hours. I also need space to process.
7 – Just be there.
No words are necessary if you aren’t sure what to say. You just being there for me speaks volumes. Asking, “What do you need?” is important, although I don’t always know what I need. Be patient with me.
This is a lifetime decision that many look at as a one-time choice. Helping those around you better understand what adoption looks like, as well as what you’re going through, goes a long way in helping to build the support you need. Don’t be afraid to let others know what you need. Ultimately, people who care about you want to do whatever they can to support you. Often, they just don’t know how.