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For couples looking to adopt children, the process may be long and uncertain. Many hopeful parents (although certainly not all) have experienced degrees of trauma on their journey to parenthood, including infertility and loss.
Others wish to open their homes to a child in need – perhaps an older one – as a result of many factors.
All of these circumstances should be honored.
The evolution towards family is miraculous in any event.
Community responses to support and celebrate the total experience must therefore reflect a range of circumstances.
While communities rejoice when a couple longing for children is able to add to their family, it is important for loved ones to be aware that a simple happy ending is never the end game.
Each step toward parenthood challenges and changes those walking a difficult path – each one should be honored.
When they married, Lacey and Banks Farris knew that they wanted to be parents. In May of 2016, they were able to introduce their daughter to their surprised and overjoyed extended family following a years-long battle with infertility and loss.
When Lacey and Banks decided to become pregnant, they attempted to conceive for more than a year.
They became pregnant, but Lacey tragically suffered a late miscarriage. She delivered and held her baby girl.
The couple sought additional fertility treatments but abandoned them for medical reasons.
They began the adoption process and were matched with a woman. This initial match failed when the birth mother decided to keep the baby.
Having told their families about their pregnancy and prior failed adoption, the Farris’ decided that their continued efforts to build their family would be secret. They did not want to have to tell and un-tell again family and friends until the last possible moment.
Lacey and Banks created a profile on Binti.com, a reputable and affordable online adoption matching service. They were matched with a woman with whom they became close.
Of the experience overall, Lacey said:
“Waiting was the most difficult thing. No one is going to know how you feel unless they have gone through it. All the tears and all the prayers – when you finally get what you were longing for – it is so worth it. Waiting through the darkest moments is so hard.”
At the birth, the Farris’ and the birth parents all spent time together – ensuring encompassing love, and transition between all parents and child. Lacey and Banks provided gifts to the birth parents. For the birth mother, an Infinity Necklace, and for the birth father, an engraved item to honor him.
The Family loved celebrating with their family and their friends – who had done a great deal to support their journey.
Families who adopt older children have different needs and supportive friends and family are well-placed to honor them. Throwing an age-appropriate adoption party that includes the recent adoptee is a lovely gesture. The creation of a community fund for use to cultivate interests gives flexibility to a new family about how to allocate spending.
A life book chronicles the journey of a child towards a forever family. Community efforts to help the child present their life book to the segment of their community with which they are comfortable, honor the total experience of the journey toward a forever family.
Ceremonies for older adoptees honor the child as much as the parents. As well, they celebrate the cohesion of the community and the family. Depending upon the age of the child, personalized gifts with the name of the child to put in a bedroom are lovely gestures. These items mean a great deal to a child who has not experienced a stable home.
Honoring the family is a gift of abundant love and inclusion. So – do go crazy.
Photograph Courtesy of Lacey & Banks Farris
Video Courtesy of Break Media. Used with Permission.