We are the Fisher Family, Hayden is 11, MinKee 5, and Ari 3. Thank you for letting us share our Adoption Journey. We hope this journey relates to others who have chosen this path or those who have had the thought of someday...
How did our journey begin? Well, I think we have all heard the definition of insanity, right? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Well that result lead us to adoption; that, my endometriosis, and PCOS. After three unsuccessfully surgeries we both decided it was crazy to continue this path of medical procedures, in the hopes of being able to conceive. In the end, all we wanted was to grow our family, so we made the decision to adopt, instead of pursuing additional fertility treatments.
Our daughter Hayden is my biological daughter, adopted by Justin, my husband, at age 5. So, we had some experience with adoption and the loss that accompanies. When I was talking to my husband about adopting more children, he said “Savannah, there is no way I could love Hayden more if I was her biological father”. I knew he was right and sharing the same blood doesn’t make you love someone. Adoption has been a great blessing to our family. With that being said, the adoption process was an emotional roller coaster.
Once we made the decision, we truly had no idea what to expect. After deliberating on what was right for our family we decided to apply to the Korean program. All the information was new to us and we didn’t know anyone else who had adopted internationally. So, being millennials, we took to the internet and scoured the depths until we found blogs, Facebook groups, and books to help settle our nerves. Through posting on adoption blogs, we were asked to join a group of people currently in the process to adopt from Korea. By absolute chance, we happened into a wealth of knowledge and friendly families, (some of which were in the process for a 2nd or 3rd time) full of great information.
These people created a support system we never expected. They were there to celebrate any advancement with court and allowed us to vent when we felt like the waiting would never end. If you ask my husband, he will say, to stay away from the social media groups. I would often have extreme highs and lows when others in our same group advanced in the process and we wouldn’t hear anything for months. It was hard and left me frustrated, asking “why aren’t we on a plane to see our son?”. I remember during the waiting, looking through social media, at other mom’s playing or hugging on their babies was a trigger for me. I’m not an overly emotional person but not being able to hold my babies and only seeing them grow via the picture updates, was painful. The second time around was much easier, since we knew what to expect and the timelines for travel had been cut in half.
It is crazy how fast life can change. I would have never thought we would go from one child to three children, within 19 months of each other. It stretched me emotionally and mentally in ways I had never felt before. I had always worked outside of the home, but upon bringing Ari, our baby, home I stopped working at the office and started taking less clients. I struggled for months to find a new normal, something that made me feel accomplished and appreciated... the way I had in the working world. I started reading parenting books like crazy and focusing all my mental energy on how I could better myself for my children. I didn’t realize before how much individual parenting each child needs. They are all very different in how they receive love and respond to correction techniques. It took months of trial and error to figure out what works best and it’s an ever-evolving approach on how to love and parent them as individuals. I am still a work in progress and far from my “no yelling” goal, but all of the work I am putting into my “job” has given me the since of accomplishment I was lacking. The best part is how
much happier my family is because of these efforts. We haven’t eliminated the sibling quarrels, but they do usually have a positive ending now.
One thing I didn’t fully understand until we adopted is that sometimes love isn’t enough. Adoption is born from loss, which sucks. Our children have suffered a loss that is hard to comprehend and will stay with them forever. The way each one expresses that loss has varied greatly. It doesn’t matter how great of a parent you are and how hard you love your children; it won’t heal that wound. The only thing you can do is love them through the pain of that loss.
My advice to any parent is to error on the side of going easy on your kiddos and yourself. If I could turn the clock back, I would tell myself to let things go and work on bonding with positive reassurance and hands on playtime. As moms, we are our own worst critics. Comparison can be the thief of joy, so, try to remind yourself of that the next time you see your favorite IG or YouTube Family. Who knows how long it took to dress those kids for the perfect pic. When we see this day after day week after week, it becomes harder to remember all these moms are only showing you what they want you to see. None of us are perfect or even close, just do the best you can in every moment. Surround yourself with other moms who will encourage you and pump you up. As humans we all need positive reinforcement, especially our children.
If you are thinking about adopting, our advice is stop thinking! Seriously, there is nothing easy about adoption, but I think parenting in general is hard. Our children are the greatest blessing and bring an unmeasurable amount of joy to our lives. We could never imagine life without them. Adoption has a way of bringing together complete strangers, from different walks of life, allowing you to form a deep bond over beautiful children.
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