I remember back 26 years ago when I told people I was expecting my first baby. Even though I was only 19, I was married, and people said "Congratulations". Most of them anyway.
When we had baby number two, people said "Congratulations" and shared in our excitement.
When I announced my pregnancy with Angela, and then a few months later that we were having a girl (there were 4 boys by that time) everyone was so very excited!!!
Adopting is very much like a pregnancy. The whole process of pulling together the documents is all part of it. The emotions are all the same. we worry, we fret, we go through a nesting phase (several of them, actually). For those who have never done it, there is a reason people refer to it as a "paper pregnancy"! And knowing our child has a diagnosis is like having a prenatal diagnosis with our pregnancy. There are a lot of unknown, particularly with his behavior. We're preparing for the worst and hoping for the best!
Fast forward many years to our first adoption of Axel. Those in the adoption community were very excited for us. They understood where we were at.
But, that's where the congratulations stopped. Instead we got lots of questions, "Are you sure you want to do this? Why would you want to do this? Don't you realize how much work another child with Down syndrome will be? (umm we probably understand more than the person asking since we've been living the life for 14 years by that point!) But you're not going to be able to have any FUN! When will you ever get out on your motorcycles again?" In the end people were excited to meet him and we know he is adored by all. That is important!
When we announced our adoption of Asher, the response was similar. Granted, we didn't give anyone a lot of time to digest the information. Although Dean and I had submitted our dossier (packet of adoption paperwork) to the Serbian government months before, by the time we were matched with Asher and getting on a plane was a matter of days. Still, everyone knew we were waiting to be matched but still there was nothing. No congratulations. Yes, everyone adored him once he was here. I guess that is most the important part.
Here we are again. We have spent the last couple of weeks sharing our news with those close to us. Those in the adoption community or who we spend a lot of time with get it. They're excited for us. From everyone else we've gotten lots of frowns and fake smiles and "Oh...ummm....wow...ok." kind of responses. Only twice. Only twice have we heard "congratulations" outside of the adoption community. Instead we're asked, "Why? Why would you want to do this AGAIN? But you don't have any time to yourselves. Will you ever get to ride again?" It's as if we never would have thought of any of these things on our own. As if we haven't discussed these things time and time again between the two of us. The same people who give this reaction are the same ones who wonder why they're not among the first to know.
We're "pregnant". With our third child TOGETHER. Our LAST baby. This isn't an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. We're SO EXCITED for our upcoming arrival. I just wish everyone would be excited with us. We have three very special kids here in our house. We cherish them. We know and understand what the boys' lives would be like today if they weren't with us. We understand the circumstances our new son is living in and we can't wait to get him out. We can't wait to meet our new son!