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10 Things Adoption Taught Me

Brielle blowing a kiss

When Scott and I said ‘yes’ to adoption, we really had no idea the journey that it would take us on. I’m thankful that ignorance was bliss as we blindly felt our way through the process. Our agency, Holt International, was amazing, but it’s like being a first-time parent. You really don’t fully understand adoption until you’re in it.

The process was filled with a million highs and a few lows. When it was all said and done, adoption brought us an amazing black-haired, brown-eyed girl with a ready smile and wave for anyone that passes her by. You can watch our full adoption journey here.

I have come a long way from the days of being blissfully naïve about adoption. I wish that you and I could grab some coffee so that I could give you a behind-the-scenes look at our post-adoption life and maybe I could impart some adoption wisdom (ha!) on you. Since I can’t physically do that with each of you...

Here are 10 things adoption taught me:

1. Baby dolls and grass can be scary.

I proudly bought Brielle’s first baby doll shortly after we received her referral. On Gotcha Day (the day we met her), I nervously held it up to her face to entice her to come to me. What a mistake! She hated the baby doll, and I hid it for two weeks while in China. Fake toys with eyes scared her because she had likely never seen them.

Brielle scared of her baby doll

Brielle is also our city girl. She wouldn’t touch grass for a month after we returned home. Grass terrified her. Just like the baby doll, she had probably never been exposed to grass. That took this Midwest girl by surprise!

2. Not everything is a worst-case scenario.

I spent many months post-adoption searching for things that were “wrong” with Brielle. We had taken classes and read books/blogs to prepare. According to the material, she had to have some type of attachment or bonding issue. I drove myself nuts looking for something wrong. Maybe it’s because we did so much right, but I think it has more to do with #3.

(Disclaimer: I don’t want this to take away from the fact that many kids face attachment and bonding issues. This is simply what we’ve experienced thus far.)

3. God takes care of my kids.

Brielle spent two year