Adoption IS a Lifelong Journey

Guest post by Laura Gann North Carolina Adoptive Parent

Eckerd’s Post Adoption Services help after the adoption is finalized.

“Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”

“Adopting one child will not change the world: but for that child, the world will change.”

“Adoption is not the call to have the perfect, rosy family. It is the call to give love, mercy and patience.”

“It has been said that adoption is more like a marriage than a birth: two (or more) individuals, each with their own unique mix of needs, patterns and genetic history , coming together with love, hope, commitment for a joint future. You become a family not because you share the same genes, but because you share love for each other.” – Joan McNamara

Last December, our world was changed forever when we had a 12 year old, 13 year old and 14 year old move in with us. We had been told all the rosie picture quotes about family is forever and what a huge difference we are making in these kid’s lives. We were told that there would be a honeymoon period when everyone would be loving and there would be no arguing and the like. But when the honeymoon is over…it is over!

We weren’t fully ready to tackle the emotional needs of 3 hormonal teenagers. Our journey hasn’t been all bad, but it hasn’t been all good either. Our oldest child is testing the waters like every 15 year old will do. And there is no doubt that without Eckerd Kids either he or one of us would have gone in sane by now!

Kinyana is an intervention counselor with Eckerd Kids’ new program called Post Adoption Support Services and has been working with my husband and I on parenting skills and how to deal with things as they arise. We meet weekly with her in our home, and know without a doubt that it is making a difference in our lives! But what I value even more than our in home sessions are our support group nights! One night a month we meet with staff of Eckerd Kids and two other families who have adopted children. Our children are all different ages, but have many of the same issues. I cannot tell you how good it feels to know that we aren’t bad people for getting frustrated with our kids over things that aren’t even an issue for “normal” kids. It is good to know that we aren’t the only ones having the same feelings!

During our support group nights, one of the staff members Catherine, also gives a presentation on something that we might be dealing with, such as attachment disorders and other things. We are able to learn how our children’s minds work and how we can best help them in dealing with things. Eckerd Kids has and is helping us tremendously in our adoption journey and we truly feel lucky to be a part of Eckerd Post Adoption Support Services!