November 16, 2011

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Attend a Support Group Meeting

There are many types of support groups related to the adoption community. Look through local listings or ask around about any groups that may be of help or interest to you or your family. You can even just attend a meeting to show your support to other adoption community members. Make a goal to attend at least one meeting this month.


We have an adoption support group in our community and it's a nice group of people (Would you expect otherwise?) The woman who started it did so because she had heard of an adoption that was disrupted in our community, and she was trying to put together a support network of people to share their experiences. While the family who disrupted has so far not come to the meetings, as they have three other adopted kids. But, I suppose I am not surprised I haven't seen them at our meetings. I can only imagine the number of feelings they must be experiencing: like others are judging them, like they're misunderstood, like they failed....whatever it may be. The family has stepped back from a number of events for the past few months.

I have no idea if a support group would have helped them stay together and perhaps that is not the purpose of a group--but maybe it would have helped them see that a number of adoptive families struggle with various aspects of life. I know our support network has done that for me.

One of the things that I have appreciated about our group is that, like most support groups,I don't feel as if I am struggling alone, that there are others out there who share similar experiences and are having similar feelings.

Our group meets somewhat regularly. Many meetings are cancelled because sporting activities, or school programs, or illness, or just general craziness tends to interfere with our evenings, but we always seem to be able to come together for the special events, for the times when we get the kids together. And actually, I am beginning to think that the children are the ones who benefit the most from the meetings. A few of the families have become friends as a result of the support group and those of us with similarly aged children have gotten our kids together outside of the group. It's nice because the kids have this shared bond which brings them together. My older daughter has met a number of families and has begun to babysit for them, it's good for her and it's good for the kids she sits for.

If you do not belong to a support group I encourage you to give one a try, or even start your own. You might be surprised at the benefits, for you and for your children!


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