Having been part of the adoption community for almost 10 years now, I've met a lot of people, both "in real life" and via the web. With social media cropping up during that time, the ability to "meet" even more people associated with adoption has been great.
One thing I've learned during this time is that regardless of the adoption experience, I've received both incredible support and harsh judgment.
With my second adoption, I had a very rough time. I had a child with unexpected medical needs, behavioral issues, and attachment issues. After a period of time, I came to realize that I was also experiencing attachment issues--having great difficulty attaching to my child. There are those in the community who have "BTDT" and are a tremendous source of support. But they are truly few and far between--especially seven years ago. I was so harshly judged by those who had never experienced any issues with their children. I even got hate email from someone saying I was a terrible mother and should give my child to them to adopt. I kid you not about that email. Because I reached out for support in an adoption group, I was ostracized.
As a result of living with/through these issues over the course of seven years, I've learned a great deal. I have recognized signs of potential attachment problems in other adopted children--not because I know it all but because I've lived through it--and the few times I've offered a (solicited) opinion, I've essentially been laughed at. As a result, instead of being a resource, I learned not to offer any more advise which ends up leading to a lack of support. Sad, really.
On the other end of the spectrum, I've had an unusually easy transition with my fourth child (third adoption). He's an easy child. It's just that simple. While I am always "on guard" for potential issues to arise, and willing to tackle anything I'm dealt with--because let's face it, in adoption, there are usually some sort of "issues" at some point in time--I am not going to pretend things are great and make my child sound perfect just for the sake of it.
It is possible to have an easy child. But because I have an "easy child," I've been judged and talked about amongst "friends" because "my child is perfect and there's no way he can be". Yes, I've been told that as well.
I find it so sad and so disappointing that people I have thought to be friends really aren't. But at the same time, I'm so appreciative to those who have been supportive through good times and especially hard times.
We all enjoyed a traditional meal of corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes. It's the only time of the year that I cook corned beef and the girls always look forward to it! J doesn't quite get the tradition yet, but I have no doubt he'll have it figured out in the next few years.
(Poor Vivi has an eye infection and doesn't feel well)