At What Point Do I Tell My Friends?

When my wife and I went through the adoption process for the first time, we were super excited to share everything with all our friends. When we were actually contacted by a birth mother for the first time, our excitement grew to a level we just could not contain. We were bubbling over with enthusiasm and optimism to the extent that we had to tell every single one of our friends. And being as excited as we were, the number of people we considered “friends” quickly grew to include almost everyone who came within earshot.

Then things with the adoption started to fall apart. Sure, the birth mother still wanted to go through with the adoption, but all the legal issues, combined with difficulties involving the birth father, inclined us to abandon hope of placement. Very slowly, usually only when our “friends” would ask us how things were going, we let it be known that we weren’t likely going to be parents any time soon.

Suddenly, things started to look up again! Hooray. Then things went downhill again. Darn. Up, down, up, down, up, down. We were excited and quick to tell people when things were positive, but slow to talk about it when things weren’t so great. Eventually, things did work out with that adoption, but we decided we would do things a little differently when we adopted a second time, to avoid those crazy ups and downs.

It’s not uncommon for people to wait a little while after becoming pregnant before telling people about it, out of fear of an early miscarriage or something. They hope to avoid having awkward conversations. That’s how it was for us when we adopted for a second time. We were determined to keep it from everybody until we were pretty confident the adoption would go through. The problem was that our second adoption was even less “for sure” than our first one. The due date kept creeping closer and closer and we had told only a very, very select few people, far different than what we had done with our first adoption. We had never been promised or officially selected to adopt the soon-to-be-born baby. We weren’t positive the birth parents would choose adoption, and even if they did choose adoption, we weren’t positive they’d choose us. So we waited.

Finally, a few days before the due date, we decided to start telling people we had an adoption “possibly” happening. We weren’t sure it was going to happen, but we wanted to allow ourselves a little bit of time to celebrate and get ourselves mentally excited about the possibilities. Even after our daughter was born and even after she came home with us from the hospital, we weren’t sure it was going to happen. People started to see us at church or wherever and say, “Whose baby is this?” because we had told so few people! We successfully avoided the awkward conversation of having to tell people our adoption fell through, but we sure surprised a lot of our “friends” with the sudden appearance of a new baby.

How would we do it if we chose to adopt for a third time? Well, probably the same way as our second, but we hope we would have a little more assurance before the birth so we could actually tell people what was soon to happen. There’s really no way of knowing how the process will go, though. That’s just the nature of the adoption game.