Expecting parents and hopeful adoptive parents who are exploring adoption are eager to hear stories from real families that may help them in their own adoption journey. There is much that can be learned from the experiences of others, and we’re grateful for the willingness of our Adoption & Beyond families to share their adoption stories. We asked Xi Li and Dawn Ross to share with us about their lives after adoption. Here’s what they said.
Our new children warmed our hearts
We are the parents of two adopted children. Our daughter was adopted at age fourteen through our state’s child welfare agency. Our son was adopted at age two from China through a local adoption agency.
I imagine life after adoption shares many similarities with the lives of any new parent. Our new children warmed our hearts and brought us endless joy, and we loved doting on them. In addition, we had to get used to caring for a younger child that needed our devoted attention. This meant adjusting our lives. We no longer had as much time to ourselves. We had to cut back on our hobbies, and we had to readjust our priorities. We wanted these changes, so we accepted them, but it still took a while to adapt.
We had to get to know our children
Adopting added another element that non-adopting parents might not experience. We had to get to know our children, and they had to get to know us. The exploration took place on all sides, but I imagine our son faced the most challenges. Being only a toddler, he likely felt confused and even frightened by the sudden changes. He probably had many emotions that he didn’t know how to process. He lost friends and caregivers. He faced new people, new rules, new foods… new everything. It’s a wonder that he warmed up to us as quickly as he did.
Adopting a teenager presented an additional dimension. She came with ideas and habits that were different from our own, and she was old enough to express them. We accommodated at times, compromised at others, or helped her adjust to our way of doing things. For the most part, those experiences went smoothly.
We want what’s best for them
It’s been a little over three years since we adopted our children. The adjustment period has long passed, and our life feels normal. We do things together like watch movies, play games, eat meals, do schoolwork, and help with chores. We celebrate holidays together and go on vacations together. Like any other family, we also argue from time to time.
We aren’t any different than any other parents. We brag about our children and talk about how wonderful they are. We vent about parental challenges and swap stories and parenting techniques with others. We want what is best for our children and we want them to be happy. Like any other parents, we love our children more than anything else in the world.
We are so blessed to have such a wonderful family.
Xi Li (dad), Dawn Ross (mom), Majja (daughter), Edward (son)
Interested in learning more about adoption?
To speak with an Adoption & Beyond adoption coordinator today, call us at 913-381-6919 or contact us.
Interested in learning more about The Ultimate Guide to Adopting a Child? Check out our entire hopeful adoptive parents guide here.
Interested in learning more about The Ultimate Guide to Family Life After Adoption? Check out our guide here.