Adoption Exhaustion

Adoption Journey — Day 166

We’ve been at it for quite a while now, this adoption thing. And I have to say (to quote Kelly), “the bloom has gone off the rose” a bit.

It’s not that we’re losing interest in adopting — far from it. We’re still as interested and involved and committed to adopting as we ever were. More, even.

But part of the process of adopting, part of the journey, is doing a lot of reading and research. You read books and search the internet and read blogs and join online communities. And, at least for me anyway, there comes a point when it just becomes a Bit. Too. Much.

I think I’ve developed Adoption Exhaustion.

I spend endless hours in a week reading adoption blogs. I answer still more questions from social workers. I belong to communities and groups where chatting about people’s adoption experiences is the central focus. I have news stories about adoption and Ethiopia coming in to my newsreader. I write about it. I think about it. I live it.

And some days, it all just seems like a bit too much.

I KNOW that as adoptive parents, we are EXPECTED to do a lot of research. It is HOPED we’ll forge bonds with other adoptive parents whose children will come from the same country as ours, so our child will have similar families to his to relate to, and children similar to him to play with. We are ENCOURAGED to learn as much as we can about the process, about our future child’s culture and country, and about adoptive parenting. I REALIZE that all this information is ultimately for the benefit of our child and our family.

And yet…

Some days, if I see one more story about adoption, I just want to scream. Some days, if I see or hear one more so-called expert talk about what’s right and wrong for children and what we are supposed to do and be in order to be accepted as suitable parents, which sometimes runs contrary to everything is see and believe about the world around me, I get angry and frustrated. Some days, if I hear one more person talk about how long they have waited or how hard it is to wait one more day/week/month, I clench my teeth and take a deep breath. Some days, when I read one more blog about what’s right and wrong about adoption, I want to punt my laptop over the nearest wall.

Sometimes, it’s just a bit too much.

A person can’t be immersed in adoption 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Well, I know that they CAN, obviously — people deal with adoption for a living, for goodness sake. But I wonder, sometimes, for an ordinary person like me: is there a point at which you just get saturated, you get information overload?

I know some of the ordinary people on the blogs and articles and discussions I read seem to get a little — well, unhinged, actually — at some points in the process. They seem overly invested in every step of the process. They seem overly emotional about every little wait and bump and bit of bureaucracy. And they seem really, really stressed. I just don’t think it’s healthy to let it take over your life like that.

I think I am at that point right now. I’m tired and frustrated with the never-ending home study. I don’t want to read so much about adoption. I don’t want to see news stories about it. I don’t want to hear other people’s stories. I need a little bit of a break from the reading and the paperwork and the stories.

It helps to take a step back, take a deep breath, and get some perspective every now and again. Because once you have a renewed outlook, you’ll be ready to tackle the next hurdle.

2 thoughts on “Adoption Exhaustion

  1. It’s a trial, isn’t it? It’s like you have to go through an extended labor to have a child – a bureaucratic, paper infested, smugly superior social worker, exhaustingly never ending labor.

    And dude – you don’t even get an epidural.

    It sucks.

    Until you have the baby. Then it doesn’t suck so much anymore.

  2. Oh, I sooo hear you. I took a little break from blogs and such for a couple of weeks as I was moving and I just didn’t have time for it – so much time is required to keep up & read this, that, and t’other, plus keeping up on message boards & groups…

    I have some catch up to do on your blog – I was just having a quick scan through your posts and had to reply to this one.

    I agree with Kelly – an epidural would be nice – it’s the least we should get!

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