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Adoption: Sharing The Journey

“Sometimes I forget I am adopted,” exclaims my sweet son as he grabs his backpack to head off to school. I had just let him know that his birthday this year falls on November 19th, National Adoption Day. “So cool! We will need to do something special this year on my birthday, to celebrate both my birthday and my adoption! See ya, mom!” To Shaun, adoption is as easy as one, two, three, and just a part of everyday life. As anyone who’s been through adoption knows, this is simply not the case much of the time. While adoption helped us complete our family, the process can be exciting, thrilling and scary all at the same time! When another woman is carrying the baby that will become your child, you worry. Was she drinking alcohol? Taking a pain killer? What if she was using illegal drugs?! It can literally lead to countless anxious days and sleepless nights. I understand these concerns as I shared the same worries.

My adoption journey has helped shape who I am today – a genetic counselor and a teratogen information expert who specializes in understanding exposures that can cause birth defects. The non-profit I work for provides this crucial service all across North America and I’m proud that my journey has brought me into a position to ease the minds of other prospective parents starting down the wonderful path of adoption. It reminds me of Austin and Drew, a prospective adoptive couple whom I recently helped in their adoption journey, “My partner and I did a lot of research as we started exploring adoption. After we started working with an agency, there were lots of questions about prenatal exposures, birth parent medical histories, etc. A lot of the information we found on these topics seemed to be contradictory and some of it was downright scary.” My job allows me to be on the other end of the line talking to this couple, and others like them, helping fill out intake forms and providing evidence-based answers to some of their questions. “Luckily for us, our adoption agency suggested we reach out to Lori. After our conversation we felt much more at ease and we felt like we had the information we needed to make informed decisions.”

Just before Shaun shuts the door to catch a ride to school, he pauses. A child wise beyond his years, he turns and says, “Mom, adoption is so good because your birth parents gave you up so you could have a better life. Love you!” And just like that, the anxiety, and struggle during the adoption process go back to their place of being a very distant memory. #WorthIt.

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millarenee_

millarenee_

Sassy, classy with a touch of badassy

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