Adoption: No Horror Stories Needed

If you know me, you know I absolutely hate horror stories and movies. The scariest movies I watch are what most people would consider suspense thrillers. I am a person who gets scared easily and I don't need anything else to fill my imagination or thoughts with the what coulds.

I am not quite sure why, but I have found that many people who discover that we are adopting feel that is the cue to share the horrible experience their friend's cousin's sister had while adopting or trying to adopt. Everyone seems to know someone with a story that could end up on CSI, Unsolved Mysteries, or Maury. You know the stories where the kids are total nightmares who ended up doing something illegal and ended up in prison, the birth mother fought for her rights back and stalked the family, or the adoption never even happened after thousand of dollars and years of waiting.  

Trust me, adoption is scary enough without the constant reminders of what could happen. Most people who sign up for adoption understand that they are stepping into a world of risks and uncertainties. Also, if people are adopting for the right reasons, they know that most of the time it is not going to be a quick or easy journey to have a child in their home. What they are even more aware of is the fact that they are going to have to prepare to deal with a lot of hurt and extreme transitions once the child is home. Adoption and foster care training is very in your face and brutally honest. It sends many people running from the process, so if someone is adopting they know the reality of what is ahead of them.

I am not trying to say that it is certain our family will face terrible and scary things because we are adopting. We are praying for smooth transitions for sure, but we are also educating ourselves and are using wisdom to prepare for the worst because every adoption story comes from a place of loss and hurt.

Like anything in life, people who are going through trying and scary situations need encouragement not warnings. So whether your friend is facing a life threatening illness or making a big decision in their career, think about stories that would encourage and build them up. They have already played all the worst case scenarios out on their own. If you don't have an encouraging story then you probably should opt to not share one.

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