One of the coincidences of being an adoptive parent is that almost automatically, you have a bond with other adoptive parents. Most of us have many stories to tell about the whys and hows of our choice to build families through adoption. As disparate as our stories may be, the common ground of dealing with the complexities of adoption binds us.
We’ve been lucky enough to be part of a group of parents who adopted children from Vietnam — and those children get together about once a month to play, bond, and build some long-term support. Our children are 4-6 years old now, and we anticipate maintaining our connection so that when the children face the crucial questions of adoption, they know they are not alone.
This weekend, we broke with our tradition of getting together for play dates to get together for an adults only dinner. Fourteen of us gathered at Pasteur, and we talked — about our kids, about adoption, about going together to culture camp, or when our kids might be ready for culture camp. As a group of adults, we are quite different, and we come from various parts of the city and suburbs. None of us would know each other if it hadn’t been for the accident of our similar circumstances with our children. It is really quite wonderful and amazing that not only do we have a chance to build a group of friends for our children, but we also can rely upon one another to help us through challenging moments of parenthood and adoption. And we have each other to celebrate the momentous and mundane family moments.
Like other affinity groups, adoptive parents seem to have an unspoken level of acceptance and understanding that binds us despite our other differences. Perhaps, as our relationships grow, we will explore the unspoken, but for now, it is enough to know that somewhere there are other families who share our experiences, questions, joys and challenges.
We keep discovering unexpected gifts — ones that have come to us through adoption that we never could have dream of or planned for — and this group of accidental friends is just one more to add to the list.