Listen and be led
L. M. Heroux
How do you listen when you are not sure where to turn your attention? That is the question. I think part of having to re-think our adoption plans, again, really involves listening, observing, reflecting - on where we have been, why we have gone/been there, and what it means to be where we are now. One of the hardest things to sort through is what meaning to take from everything that has happened. Some people stop their adoption process after multiple closed doors. Is that what this means? Some people strengthen or maintain their resolve, and simply look for new ways of accomplishing the original goal. Is that what this means? Some people continue the journey, but head in a completely different direction. Is that what this means? We have started, this past week, to chat about where we are going from here. Trying to evaluate what we actually want and need to be doing at this point, after so much uncertainty, is difficult, but seems to be the place to start. Taking the time for conversation has been helpful - getting to know any inklings, preferences, "for sures" each of us has, and seeing where that leaves us. So far we are at:
1. Yes to kids - Each of us pictures our family including kids, somehow.
2. Yes to adoption - Both of us get most excited when we picture those future kids coming to us through adoption.
3. Yes, most likely, to Africa - This is still under discussion, but it looks like we generally feel most strongly about proceeding with an adoption from Africa, particularly since one of us clearly voiced that continuing, specific desire. Exploration of public adoption is on the table, but still not the most likely scenario for now. If we explore local possibilities, there has also been discussion about the meaning of our process so far, and all that we have invested in preparing to adopt transracially and transculturally - we have read, attended workshops, joined a transractial parenting group, etc. - feeling like it makes sense to keep going in a direction we have started, unless there is a clear and specific reason not to...
So, for now it seems important to listen - to each other, to others in the same process who are also contemplating their options, to available information - to pay attention and process what we see, think, and hear. Hopefully we make use of the listening time by tuning in where we need to...which seems like the hard part. Hopefully by listening, we will know when to act, and what that action should be. Hopefully our listening is not passive, but active in the sense of taking time to talk, reflect, and learn.