A Circle of Support
Loss is inherent in adoption. Everyone who is touched by adoption will feel the hurt and pain of this loss with varying degrees of intensity at various times throughout the lifelong journey of adoption. What this looks like and how it manifests itself is a very individual experience, but addressing loss is something that should not occur in isolation. For adoptees, birth-family members, and adoptive families, creating a support network can contribute greatly to the ability to integrate these losses within one’s own experience.
A family’s support network may be made up of various individuals including friends, family members, and professional service providers. These individuals can offer support in many different ways.
- The Rock: A person who will remain in your life during the difficult times and continue to love you unconditionally.
- The Wise: A person who will always tell you the truth even when it is not what you want to hear.
- The Learner: A person who will learn alongside of you.
- The Helping Hand: A person who understands and is aware when you may need a break and steps in to assist.
- The Advocate: A person who will always stand up for you and continue to support you.
One could argue that this support network is helpful whether or not you are an adoptive family. That being said, can you think of individuals who are filling these roles in your life? Are there areas where you are lacking in support? An essential component to a strong support network is having a connection with others who have shared similar experiences. Look for a support group, mentor, and another individual who has gone before you and can offer personal insight in navigating the complex emotions connected with adoption.
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