Above is our first family picture on U.S. soil. From left are Dylan, Daleska, Stacy, Emily (in front), Aubry, Nathan, and Kayla.
When we started our adoption journey four years ago, everything was new to us. Every now and then, someone would say, “You should chronicle your journey so we know how things progress!”
We felt so unprepared and uninformed at that point that we didn’t have a clue what we could even chronicle! Along the way, we felt more and more confident, but still not able to fully articulate our process or what we were experiencing.
We spent hours and hours reading, writing, and listening to the required resources for our Hague-accredited adoption. This was invaluable because it helped us prepare our hearts and minds for many aspects of the adoption – the actual process, emotional/psychological highs and lows we each might experience (including dealing with past, present, and future trauma), cultural sensitivity, family bonding, and much more.
It also made us think through what resources we needed at our disposal for when we returned home. Support groups, counselors, activities, education, and many other things were essential for us to learn about before we left to pick up our girls.
Two years later, when we were in Costa Rica with our girls, navigating the adoption process on (literally) unfamiliar ground, family members and friends said, “You should blog everything so we have updates on how things are progressing!”
What no one fully realized was that even with all the preparation, our journey was so incredibly overwhelming (and downright frightening at times) that we just didn’t have the mental or emotional capacity to share all we wanted to share.
The truth is, getting all of us to a place of health, happiness, and connectedness took time. There is no way to predict how things will turn out when a family makes the decision to adopt older children.
Our adoption agencies did their very best to prepare us for what could/should/might happen. However, every adoption is as unique as the people and places involved. Preparation is critical, but experience is the most excellent teacher of all!
Today, a little over two years after coming home with Daleska and Emily, we finally feel like we are at a place where we can begin to fully reflect and share the process of our journey with others. And we are excited to do so!
Nate and Stacy