Thursday, December 1, 2011

Three generations of adoption respond

So I didn't write the letter to our family and friends to get a response but I'm sure people are wondering what types of responses we got. I'll devote a few posts to the topic one from people who have/were adopted, one for our immediate families, and one for general responses.

Prior to sending the e-mail out to all family/friends I sent out the letter to our aunts/uncles who grew their families with adoption. All but one of our family members that has children that joined their family through adoption responded (I think DH's aunt just has not checked her e-mail yet). All of them responded that they wished that had done something similar when their children were younger or while they were waiting.

We will be the third generation of parents to adopt. My Grandmothers brother and his wife on my fathers side had two girls, my Grandfathers sister and her husband on my mothers side had a boy and a girl, two uncles and their wives on my fathers side in total have two boys and three girls (both of these families also have biological children), and DH's aunt and her husband on his mothers side have a son. Each families mode of adoption was different (private domestic, international, foster care, orphanage, semi-open, and closed) but they have gone through what we are going through now. Granted things have changed drastically in the process from the responses we got I dont think much has changed unfortunately in peoples perception of adoption.

So you would think that since we are "third generation" we wouldn't need to send out this letter. One thing that makes us unique is we will be the first to hopefully have an open adoption. Also our parents were aunts/uncles/cousins and our siblings were cousins to the children that were adopted into our family giving them a layer of insulation from the process. I'm also sure when we got married this path was not what they envisioned when they thought of their grandchildren/nieces/nephews. They had to aclimate to the idea as we did. I think I'm fortunate to have the family that I do. I think they all want to do whats supportive and right, but clearly from the responses I have gotten past adoptive parents have felt like we do now- unsupported. I realize more and more that its likely because they dont know how not because they dont want to be supportive. We are the first "generation" to express our needs and I hope it makes a difference not just for DH and I but also for past and future generations of parents in our family.

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