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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Who “Drove” Your Adoption?

Usually in a family, one-half of the couple instigates the adoption.  Not always, but usually.   This is the one who reads the books, does the research, talks with others, persuading and spurring the mate to ACTION.

Once home with your new child, the same parent tends to figure out therapies, play groups, and cultural events.  Once home, the same parent tends to be blamed for anything that goes wrong, from a constantly-crying infant or toddler, to a terribly traumatized and troubled teen.  It happens.

Often it’s the wife in the driver’s seat, sometimes it’s the husband.

I want to offer a word of encouragement to those who initiated things and now may be going through some difficulties:  just because you drove the adoption doesn’t mean you ran it off into the ditch.  And it doesn’t mean that you have to drive the tow-truck or the emergency medical services vehicle, either.

Getting a mate onboard, or on the same page, is trying enough.  When the spouse is sitting in a tree, shooting a bb gun at the tires of what you’re trying to maneuver, it’s another matter entirely.  If the adoption is going off the road, in a strong marriage, often the partner is the one to pitch in and rise to the challenge.  In a not-so-strong marriage, you’re on your own.  In a weak marriage, you become the target, too.

Similar to an impending shipwreck, you need all hands onboard.  And every hand helping.  And not one hand smacking the other hand, saying, “I told you so”, or “Why did we ever do this in the first place?”

If you’re the spouse who’s poo-poohing your mate’s concerns or fears (before or after the fact of adoption), it’s time to listen.  Really listen.  Validate.  Tell them you’re there for them.  Don’t let any child triangulate you and turn you against your life’s partner.  Your spouse was there a long time before this other one was, and hopefully will be there long after they’re grown and gone.

You need to hold onto the same life raft.  Don’t drift apart.  Don’t try to swim on your own.  When one tires, the other can take over for awhile, imperfect though they may be.

Together, you’re going to make it.  You’re in this for the long haul.  It’s a distance thing.  Bring in the reinforcements.  Who cares who’s driving?

As long as you arrive to your destination.



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2 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. Maybe I shouldn’t say this, but there are a great many times I am glad to have adopted and continue to raise my daughter as a single. I do admit freely that I can probably say that because I have a strong support network. But in the end, the decisions are mine and I don’t have to disagree with another parent about the choices I make for her/us. There’s something to be said for autonomy. And Jupiter is an excellent triangulator without having any more people on whom to practice that skill.

    • avatar admin says:

      Say away, say away, Wendy! 🙂 Many of us marrieds will agree with you. Now, when our brains are fried, it’s wonderful to have a trusted partner who can step in and take over, but when decisions are being made that are then second-guessed, or debated, or deep-sixed by another, it can be rough.

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