“So Kristy is pregnant, I’m so excited for her! It’s her first since placing Emma.”
“Uh, who’s Kristy?”
“A birth mom friend. We met her three years ago at the Adoption Walk, remember?”
“Oh, uh . . . no. Do you?”
This is a typical conversation between my husband and me. I feel like I know every person in my little adoption bubble so well that he should totally know who and what I am talking about. Every single person I have met in the past six years has made an impact on my life. This doesn’t mean that I know everyone in the adoption community, but I do have access to nearly all of them thanks to social media.
We have a running joke that we can’t vacation anywhere in the world without running into someone that I am connected to through adoption. Italy (“Hi, Holly!”), Canada (“Jessica!”), Tennessee (“Tabitha, hey girl!”), or Colombia (“Miss you, Kaya!”). Honestly, it’s pretty true – and I love it!
We decided to take a trip to Boise almost two years ago. We have one distant cousin who lives in Boise, and that is it. We thought for sure we wouldn’t know a soul. Surprise! A woman approached me at a random park that we stopped at to eat lunch. She asked if I was Sterling, and I nervously said yes. Turned out she is cousins with my son’s adoptive father, and had recognized me from his Facebook page. My husband was almost irritated because I found it so funny and, honestly, flattering.
Two hours later, at a different park in the middle of Boise, I heard someone from behind me say, “Sterling?!” I flipped around and came face-to-face with a friend I hadn’t seen in almost 10 years. This time she wasn’t connected to me through adoption, but it was exciting to see her again and see my husband so shocked.
My point is this: As birth mothers, we literally have an ARMY of support behind us all over the world. No matter where you go, no matter what language you are speaking, you can absolutely find someone who loves you and will open their home to you. I am part of an amazing support group on Facebook and I have made some of my best friends just by offering support and seeking guidance during rough times. We are all here to help lift each other because we have all shared the same heartbreaking pain. I have been overwhelmed by love on the days that I feel so alone in my grief (though those times are few and far between, now), simply because another birth mother or adoptive mother reached out, and with that one hand came decades of love, support, and compassion from thousands of women who KNOW.
Reach out, someone will take your hand and let you know that you are not alone. Adoption is hard, and even if we don’t all know each other personally, we are in this thing together.