Adoption is Adjustment

This is part of a multi-blog series called “Adoption Is” for National Adoption Month 2019. Read the entire series.

Clutch your pearls, ya’ll. We had a yard sale on a Sunday. Growing up in the South, there are things you are taught not to do on “the Lord’s Day.” For instance, you don’t work in the yard on Sunday. You don’t big get togethers before mid-afternoon. And you certainly don’t sell things on the Sabbath. Even though it’s perfectly acceptable to go eat at a restaurant after church and then head to Target. Traditions die hard.

Well, two weekends ago we tried to have this yard sale. Mostly stuff from our storage unit plus some things we got from friends after a sale they had. Then it rained. Then the next weekend, it was bitter cold. Then this weekend, it was rainy on Saturday. But the stuff had to go.

So here we are on a crisp Sunday morning peddling our wares on the front lawn.

This yard sale was all about adjusting. Adjusting the date. Adjusting the day of week. Adjusting our mindsets about how we approach this sale. And therein is the topic of this blog… adoption is adjusting.

Sorting the clothes into buckets this morning, my wife and I starting a list of the ways you adjust your life with adoption:

  • Your free time is not your own. You adjust how you spend it with the kids.
  • You adjust doctors to fit Medicaid (if adopting through a government agency).
  • You adjust events you attend. Some kiddos can’t handle large crowds or loud, busy places.
  • You adjust your finances to cover new and emerging expenses.
  • You adjust expectations for academic success, based on their special needs.
  • You adjust daily life functions based on how they were taught in their early years.
  • You adjust friends and your circles of community.
  • You adjust sleeping habits. (i.e. none)
  • You adjust daily rhythms of waking up, eating, downtime, bedtimes
  • You adjust how/when and if you eat out in public, based on behaviors.
  • You adjust work schedules for doctors appointments, therapy visits, etc.
  • You adjust your entire life to live in-country for an international adoption.
  • You may have to adjust your faith community.
  • You adjust your cultural traditions to welcome a child from a different background.
  • You adjust your expectations about adoption in general.

Most of these will come naturally and are by no means burdensome. Some take a little more work. For us it’s realizing that our kids can’t hang as late in the evening as we would like.

Nor can they handle large crowds — so festivals and big events come few and far between for us. There are a few, like adjusting your friend circles that come as quite the shock.

However, once you are in the adoption process, no type of adjustment will matter in the least. You’re going to be perfectly happy to change up whatever needs changing up to welcome in your new son or daughter into your family. After all, adoption is adjustment.

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