Well, I have to say that I wasn't impressed with either of these chapters. I guess most of it felt like a rehash of things we learned in our pre-adoption training hours. Sort of obvious and not the "aha" kind of things that I was hoping to read.
In Chapter 2, she discusses life after adoption. Of course we have tried to imagine the changes that our children are experiencing. And yes, we find ourselves in a very new situation now that our children have come home. Duh.
The six common statements about adoption were interesting. I have wondered/feared many of those things before and sort of felt they were my dark secrets. The chart on page 31 was helpful, where she has the statements and how they might be interpreted and neutralized. And although they seemed very simplistic, I found myself coming back to them over and over.
Statement #1 (adoption produces irreparable wounds for the adopted child) is something that I've especially feared. I don't believe anything is irreparable and one of my personal mantras is "history is not destiny." I don't want LM's adoptive history to define who he is or how he lives his life. I know it will affect it. But it doesn't have to define it. I have heard many adoptees use their adoption as an "excuse for dysfunction" as Eldridge writes, and that is something I worry about.
Statement #3 (adoptive families are just like biological families) We are and we aren't. Sometimes I long for the seeming simplicity of biological families. No wondering if the child is attaching or not. No worries about the big questions they will have about their past. You get the idea. But Eldridge's suggestion of how this statement might translate to parents stopped me dead--"I can't share adoption-related challenges with anyone. I must be happy."
I didn't realize I'd been feeling this way until I read it. People expect us to be happy. And we are. We finally have what we've been waiting for. But there are parts of it that aren't always happy and people don't want to know about that. I hesitate to share those frustrations/challenges/insecurities with people because I don't want to come off as ungrateful.
The best thing about this chapter was the inclusion of this great quote by Charles Swindoll. It was a good reminder to trust my gut about what's right for us.
"Not all advice is good advice--not even when the one who gives the advice thinks it's the right advice. Sometimes it is given in all sincerity, but it is still faulty."
In Chapter 3, she discusses the mixed feelings. Yeah, we feel conflicted. Who doesn't? There are definite ups and downs to creating a family this way, just as there are ups and downs with a biological family. Mixed feelings are just part of any relationship and growth. Adoptive families aren't any different in this respect (at least my in my experience thus far).
I didn't answer any of the discussion questions because I thought they were sort of ridiculous and obvious.
What was your take? Is anyone else out there besides Sarah, Elizabeth and Yvonne??
Next week I'm going for another two chapters...4 & 5.