The first adoption conference my husband and I ever attended as hopeful adoptive parents, we ate lunch with a group of adoptive parents. I asked them all to tell us their story: how long had they waited, what agency they worked with, did they have an open adoption?
Everyone was great to share with us and one of the clearest things that stood out to me was that there is zero consistency in adoption. Everyone had similar events happen in their adoptions, but no two adoptions were the same.
And the biggest inconsistency we noticed was length of time.
One couple waited three years, another two days. TWO DAYS! Seems kind of unfair – both couples were great people. How come one waited so much longer than the other?
So I asked, “How do you stay positive after all that time?”
And I’ll never forget her answer. She said, “Our baby wasn’t ready to come to us yet. We needed to wait so that we could be matched with the right birth family and the right baby for us specifically.”
But, I’d be lying if I said that answer worked all those months we waited. I had gotten bitter about adoption. Why had so-and-so been able to adopt twice in the time we waited? When would it be our turn? What was wrong with us that no birth mom would choose us?
Let me warn you, this line of thinking is a quick and slippery slope to bitterness.
So how do we shake out of it? What can we do to stay positive?
Dave Willis said in his book The Seven Laws of Love that “Bitterness and Love can’t live together in the same heart. Each day, we must decide which one gets to stay.” When given the choice we all choose love. So give yourself the choice.
Josh Shipp said, “You either get bitter or you get better. It’s that simple. You either take what has been dealt to you and allow it to make a better person, or you allow it to tear you down. The choice does not belong in fate, it belongs to you.”
When you find yourself getting bitter, get busy. Serve others. Work on one of your talents. Teach yourself a new skill. Take this time you’ve been given and make the choice to surround yourself in love.