Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Our very dear friends were in town this past weekend with their two adorable children, both adopted. We had a fantastic time as we always do when we're together. One of the many topics we discussed was the "circle of influence" in a child's life.

The innermost circle consists of the child and his or her parents. The next circle includes immediate family, including grandparents, aunts and uncles. Beyond that circle are close friends and beyond that are acquaintances.

We talked about how odd it is that some families choose to share more information with the outer circles than they do with the child, believing that they are in some way protecting the child from potentially painful information. In fact, this situation is the worst possible situation. The child is almost guaranteed to find out one day and when he or she does find out, he will not only be hurt by the information itself, but he will likely feel betrayed as well.

Say, for example, that your child was abandoned at birth. You tell your friends about it, but later realize that it might be painful for your child to know. You decide to make up a better story to tell your child about how his birth mother loved him very much and wanted him to be with a wonderful family. Do you think he won't find out one day both that he was abandoned and that you lied to him? In the process of trying to protect him, you have now deeply hurt him.

People find themselves in these situations after acting with only the very best intentions and without realizing what they've done. Needless to say, we hope to be able to do the right thing with any information we receive (or don't receive) about our child.

So, it seems we are doing something to prepare during our wait, after all...

The Silent Treatment

If it seems like you haven't heard a peep out of us for a while, that's because we haven't heard a peep of news for a while. We've been assured that this is perfectly normal and that things are progressing nicely. After our flurry of paperwork and approvals and decisions, we are left with nothing to do but sit and wait for the phone to ring.

That's not completely true...we could get the baby's room ready and read parenting books and buy little outfits, but we're not really doing any of that. We have been somewhat more aggressive in our "Spring" cleaning activities, but that's about it at this point. It all feels just a little too abstract to us still. There is a part of us that feels it may not happen, although logic tells us that it will.

There's also a practical side to our procrastination. No, really there is! We have no idea when our baby will show up nor do we have any idea how big (or little) he may be. It's simply not practical to start collecting cute little newborn outfits which is a bit of a relief in some ways. I can already see how easy it will be to find baby items irresistible. We have "cheated" just a teensy bit and bought a few things that were not possible to resist. We justified our purchases by noting that each of the items is suitable to be ready whenever our baby shows up or, alternatively, any of these items could make a nice gift for someone else. Yes, the rationalization engine is high gear.

We expect the "silent treatment" to continue for several more months before we are one day jolted into the reality that it is happening and we'd better get prepared. Until then, we will think about all the things we could be doing and possibly even do some of them. :-)