Monday, January 10, 2011

Plea for Positivity

Because I want to be honest, I'm just going to say it...

JD and I are struggling a bit.

Not with our decision to adopt, but with what our life will look like after we adopt. What Payton's, Avery's, Jackson's and Brooks' lives will look like. How our family will function. Will we have this 'normal' again? Will it ever be what we've come to know as 'normal' again? Will our adopting, and the presence of our adoptive children, change the reality of our lives and the reality of what the Beam Team is so much that we'll miss the days we're living right now? Will we have regrets?

Or will we look back with great gratitude and peace that it was all worth it?

Pretty much every pre-adoption training we've completed has been focused on the things we need to prepare for. As much as the trainings are difficult because of their boring (sorry) format, we are being educated on the potential trials that can truly exist with adopting children -- especially adopting children internationally because these are children who have been institutionalized most or all of their lives.

They will not know intimacy.

They will not know us.

They will not know America, American culture, American food, Americans.

They will not be comfortable.

They will not trust us.

They will not be at peace.

They will not be grateful for being here or being adopted.

They will not be joyful.

They will be terrified.

They will be grieving.

They will be hurting.

They will test us.

They will want to see how much we love them.

They will likely be developmentally delayed.

So, three things have happened in the last couple of weeks that have left JD and I...



The first thing is that we completed our pre-adoption trainings (whoo-hoo!). As much as completing many hours of training is something to celebrate (because this concludes our home study), these trainings have left us heavy. It feels like the last three ('Conspicuous Families', 'Attachment Issues' and 'Adopting the Older Child') were focused on the very real issues our adoptive children will have (developmental delays, emotional issues, grief, distrust, anger, etc).

The second thing is that we met with families who've already adopted older children. It is such a blessing to know families right here in Richmond who've journeyed down this road ahead of us. I can't tell you the support they've been and will continue to be in the future. But they've had to overcome a lot with their adoptive children over the years. Things like attachment issues, developmental delays, emotional issues, distrust. You get the drill.

The third thing is that an article in this month's 'Good Housekeeping' was brought to our attention and featured two adoptive families and the struggles they've gone through. Very real, rock-your-world, stuff for parents and families. (If you read it, let me know what you think).

Again, in the interest of honesty, I have to disclose that I think a large contributing factor to how we're feeling (aside from the three things I mentioned above) is that people who are very dear to us, immensely important to us, and just down right a huge part of our lives, have expressed great concern with our decision. We so want them on board. We could so use their support. Because we're scared too. Knowing that they're not comfortable with the direction in which our lives are headed naturally makes us pause. It's not approval we're seeking, we just don't want our adoption to create a void in our lives and we want our adoptive children to know them.

So the point of this post (aside from the fact that I want to announce that our home study is dooooone!), is to plea with you for prayer and positivity. Because we've definitely been enlightened with the possible negatives of adoption (as listed above), we could so benefit from any positive adoption stories one can share. We can so benefit from your prayers at this time.

Do you have a positive adoption story you can share with us? Do you know someone who does? Please share!

And good riddance pre-adoption trainings! Hello, dossier. And onward to meeting our kids! Now, that is something to get excited about!

Thanks, sweet friends!


  1. I will absolutely be praying for peace and positivity for you. Of course it will be hard - what in life that's worth having isn't? God bless you both for doing the hard stuff - HE WILL BLESS YOU.

    Love you all


    Hi Heather- We met at Diana's and I'm so thrilled about your journey. The site above is a place that I spend time....reading and being in awe about all the amazing stories of love and triumph through hardship. My friend Denise adopted from China and her story is featured on the family section.

    Hope this gives you some positive-ness!


  3. Heather, Parental Preperation is a extremely LARGE peice to making adoption puzzle work in the long-run. You and JD are preparing yourselves and you are useing all of the resources that God has provided to prepare your kids. I will be praying, as I am sure you already are, that God is also preparing your future children for the enormouse transition in their lives..especially their hearts to love and accept your family as their very own.

    There will be struggles and chalenges and your family dynamic will change. But that is why you are called to do this. God wants to make certain changes in your family....for your good. Even if things seem great now...He knows what is Best for all of you. You are following Him into greatness for your whole family.



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