Sunday, January 24, 2010

Unexpected Gift

Bill and I are back from our trip to California -- we had a great visit with friends and family and a lot of bonding with our niece and nephew. I miss them terribly already! The good news is that we have our first interview with our social worker on Tuesday, January 26 -- yay! I am so thrilled to be moving forward.

We started contemplating adoption in the midst of our fertility struggle, and then seriously last March, but it wasn't until fall 2009 that we really started moving forward with our plans to adopt. And now, just a few months later, it feels so completely amazing. For the first time our journey toward parenthood feels "right."

And I think what's really on my mind most these days is what a gift adoption is for me in ways I never expected. A gift in all the ways I feel I am growing and learning about myself and the world around me as I look at life through the new lens of adoptive parent and through the eyes of our someday child. As I think in very deep ways about race and what it will mean to likely raise a child who not only doesn't share our ethnic heritage but may also likely be subjected to others' racism. I'm thinking about our child's birth parents, who will have selflessly given their child to us to raise, which will be an enormous loss for them and for my child. I'm thinking about how we will incorporate our child's birth family into our lives and that it will be what's best for our child, but may at times be challenging emotionally. I'm preparing for the first time my child tells me that I'll "never really understand" them because I am white and was raised by my biological parents. It's all hard to think about on one level, and on another, it's completely invigorating. I love being stretched in this way and thinking about how Bill and I can provide not just all our love to our child, but also support and connections and an open and trusting relationship that will ensure that we tackle the hard stuff together, as a family. Somehow, I feel more ready for this than for all the 3:00 AM feedings that await us...

For Christmas this year, we gave a book, "Adoption is a Family Affair," to all our immediate family members. It's a great book (though perhaps a little harsh in tone) and a good primer for us to all be on the same page as we welcome our child into our family. Some of our family and friends have already read it, which means the world to me -- that we're all together thinking already about what this child may need and what makes raising an adopted child different from raising a biological child. I recommend it and look forward to my continued thinking and having deep discussions with so many family and friends as we continue down this road... It's all helping me to grow and getting me ready to be a mommy...


  1. Very exciting, Julie. I am very delighted to be able to read your and Bill's blog. Waiting with baited breath....
    xKatharine L. from istanbul

  2. Julie and Bill, I recently read on a blog about this documentary. I've not seen it personally but it seemed to be food for thought for the blog author. I *think* it deals mainly with Chinese adoptions, although the main point is about transracial adoptions/families so it might still be of interest to you both.

    Here is the URL where the blogger that I read found it from:

    It's one thing I haven't had to think about consciously since I am of Chinese descent. I think one thing I'd suggest remembering is that yes, some of the racial points will eventually come up, differences and identity issues too. However, I also think it's very natural and common for *all* kids/adolescents to wonder about their identity and where they fit in culturally and beyond. I know as an As-Am teenager I had many questioned who I was, how I fit in straddling two cultures, feeling my past and my present fighting for attention.

    We are so happy for you both (I think I say this each time) and look forward to having more discussions about parenthood with you guys.
    take care!