How to Adopt Without Ruining Your Family
Day 6: Tip #5 – Expect Loneliness
Invariably following an event, a woman will wait to speak with me. The details are different, but the sentiment is always the same. She is an adoptive mom or foster parent who feels so alone in her experiences that she has waited for the speaker because, with six adopted kids, this woman believes she has finally found someone who will get it!
You must know, if you don’t already, your friends won’t understand. Your extended family probably won’t get it, either. It will be years before the school will get understand—if they GET IT AT ALL. Forget (and I’m so terribly sorry) the good-meaning people at your church. Don’t expect them to understand. They can’t. You wouldn’t have understood on the Outside, either. You can explain it until you are blue and breathless. You can show them proofs. You can repeat it ten thousand times. Your small group will look concerned and commit to pray for you–but they will display that deer-in-the-headlights look you will come to recognize, as “I’m listening, but I have no idea what you really saying and I don’t know what to do with it…” And the loneliness will, if it has not already, envelope you.
In fact, we’re such a freakish phenomenon, I can count on one hand how many times we have been invited to someone’s home in the past five years. In bulk we overwhelm our surroundings. Most people just don’t know what to do with us. I’m not sure what elements are responsible—the number, variety, or noise level. We simply aren’t like other families.
I get it.
Paul understood, as well.
You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me – 2 Timothy 1:15
Honestly, there was a period where we experienced loneliness, even from within. We were completely focused on our special needs daughter. It was sucking of the life out of everyone. But you can’t complain. She’s not generating all of that damage on purpose. All we recognized was that we were hurting. The girls were hurting. And we pretty much stank at adoption.
The loneliness can knock the wind out of each of you. It’s real. But don’t allow it to crush you.
- Keep the communication open within your family
- Practice hospitality – reach out when others fail to reach toward you
- Remember, you may be the only one you know doing what you’re doing—but you are NOT Your God sees, hears and remains with you.