There are dozens, if not hundreds, of articles out there that stress the importance of new moms building their “mom tribe”. Other moms are an important part of getting through those first few weeks, months, and years successfully. We really do need each other to lean on for love and support. Mom’s can help one another in ways that others just can’t.
The same is true of building your own adoption community, too. You need people who’ve walked the path you’re on. Who can give you advice and support. Who can understand your worries or insecurities in a way that most other people can’t. When I was a hopeful adoptive parent, I sought out those ahead of me and asked for guidance and education. Now that I’m a year and half into parenting and I enjoy getting to return the favor by serving those on the path behind me. Your adoption community can’t just be other adoptive parents though. You have to make a conscious effort to build a diverse community of friends (both online and in real life) that represent all sides of the triad. I can’t tell you what it’s meant for me. How massively these women have challenged me and changed me. How grateful I am for them. Being able to sit with other adoptive mamas and talk about my deepest insecurities or share our biggest, and smallest, victories. Having birth mother friends who’ve been able to open my eyes and my heart so wide by sharing their stories. They’ve encouraged me and questioned me and forced me to think critically about adoption in ways I never had before. Opening my ears and really listening to and soaking up the words of adoptees… the good and the bad. Even when it’s hard, even when it’s uncomfortable.
If you’re looking to add more members of the triad to your community of support, here are a few suggestions to get you started:
1. Find out if your agency/consultant has a support group for clients. If not, would they consider starting one for clients to connect with each other?
2. Search FB for adoptive parent groups, they are a great way to connect with a diverse group of AP’s from all over the country or even the world. Look for groups that honor honesty and education. Adoption is not all sunshine and rainbows, there is real trauma involved. We can’t be afraid to sit in discomfort when we need education. If a group doesn't believe in educating/correcting people (respectfully and from a place of love), then you probably won’t get much from it.
3. See if your city/state has a local adoptive parent group (either online or in real life), I bet they do! If not, start one.
4. Ask for connections to adoptive families in local online mom communities. I posted in a few local mom groups on Facebook that I was looking to connect with other adoptive moms in the area. I had quite a few moms reach out to me or connect me with family or friends who had adopted. Some of these moms served as an “in” to other local adoption communities.
5. Follow adoption advocates online and connect with hopeful adoptive parents and adoptive parent followers. Connecting with adoptees or birth parents in real life might be difficult. This is why social media can be an amazing tool to utilize.
Is building an adoption community hard? You betcha. But the payoff is so great and once you start building it you’ll be shocked at how many people you already know who are touched by adoption. It’s so important for our kiddos that we are highly educated and prepared to walk their adoption journey with them…. having a diverse “mom tribe” will hopefully make this journey a little easier.
- Carey, Guest Blogger
You can follow Carey on IG under @messyasamother