Fear of the Unknown
Fear of the unknown is difficult in any situation, but in adoption it is a lifelong fear.
Larry and Jennifer have experienced this fear in many aspects along their adoption journey. The couple has adopted two boys as infants through LFCS. The drastic differences between their adoptions made Larry and Jennifer realize the uniqueness of each child and their adoption stories.
Their oldest son, Grant, adoption turned out to be a closed adoption. They have never met the birth parents and have no way of contacting them. This seemed like the norm and they were comfortable with this, until they adopted their second son, Neil.
They met Neil’s birth mother prior to his birth and his birth father in the hospital at his birth. Communication with the birth parents started through the agency and eventually developed to direct communications with the birth parents. Jennifer admitted that her fears surfaced many times during Neil’s adoption, as it was all so new and different.
“Communication with birth parents who actually communicated back was amazing and scary at the same time,” Jennifer reflected.
Larry and Jennifer still had worries that the birth parents would want Neil back or question whether they made the right choice. The feared saying the wrong thing or overstepping in their roles as adoptive parents before finalization. To face these fears head on, Jennifer asked for the support of her adoption worker. Now Jennifer can’t wait for responses from Neil’s birth parents. Their relationship is better than any of them anticipated.
The differences in their son’s adoption journeys aren’t finished. As the boys grow, Larry and Jennifer expect questions. For Grant, they won‘t have many answers. When Neil has questions they can go straight to his birth parents for answers. This fact alone nearly stopped Larry and Jennifer from going forward for Neil’s match, but they have learned that there will always be fears of the unknown, as well as differences between their children. They could either allow the fear to control them or they could face the fear. Larry and Jennifer have sought education and help from LFCS on how to support BOTH of their son’s and their journeys of adoption.
Looking back, Larry and Jennifer can’t even imagine the possibility of them not facing their fears of the unknown, or Neil not being a part of their family. They don’t know what the future holds or their son’s responses or desires with regards to their adoptions, but they know they will face it head on with honesty and openness.