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When we started our adoption journey, there were endless phone calls and paperwork between the home study agency, the adoption agency, and my husband.

It was exhausting and isolating to continually prove we would make good parents.

The journey felt hard and we often felt hopeless on this emotional rollercoaster.

The wait was long and we often sat in a place of many unknowns. In adoption, you don’t always know what race, ethnicity, or gender your baby will be. The child we would possibly raise felt very distant from our actual lives; we couldn’t always envision the moment we would meet our baby.

We often wondered when it would happen or if it would even happen. 

The wait was hard and I believe it is important to acknowledge how hard it was.

In a parallel way, many birth parents feel the same way. They are on a rollercoaster ride in their unique set of emotions. All their decisions, all their hopes, and all their plans for the future collide in their minds and in their hearts.

Their waiting is hard and I believe it is equally important for them to be able to acknowledge how hard it is.

RELATED: Adoption Means Two Moms Love a Baby

Besides being hard, adoption is unique—it is a different experience for each person. Each situation presents its own sacred journey. It is full of hearts making decisions, hearts beating for one another, and hearts sitting in loss.

Grief and loss are the starting points in adoption on both sides of the journey. Yet, in all the ways they exist in adoption, there’s also hope. Hope of a beautiful community to walk in, and secondly, hope in a purpose-filled family.

First, we get to experience hope in the adoption community. Looking back at the journey a few years later, we’ve realized we have a community surrounding us in the adoption world. In our immediate world, we have birth mothers in the community with us, we have adult adoptees, and we have a community of adoptive parents we do life with (and their kids).

It is through the adoption journey and its hard places of grief and loss that we found community, and it gave us hope.

Hope comes when we have questions about the adoption world and we figure out answers together from people on different sides of the journey. We use our experiences to help one another in a truth-filled and respectful way.

I can anchor myself to truth, knowing I don’t have all the answers nor will I ever know enough about mothering or adoption; but I know people who have experience in the different angles of adoption.

The second biggest way we found hope in adoption is in our family. Our family was created with a purpose and strengthened by our daughter. It is through the gifts and talents of our daughter that we get to experience hope—hope in the form of a family and hope for her to see her passions as fuel for her life story. She has many people cheering for her and encouraging her in her God-given talents.

RELATED: Adoption Is Love

We realized in the hard places of adoption, grief, and loss we were never alone in the journey. And neither were her birth parents—people in our community prayed for her birth parents and most importantly, prayed for our daughter. At the same time, her birth parents prayed for a community that would welcome and love this little girl dearly.

People rallied for people they never met and would never meet, and that is community.

Grief and loss unite two families in the adoption world and a community of people support them both. Because that is what community does in adoption—it breathes hope into the hard places and ignites love out in the world.

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Sue Volikas

I've been married to my high school sweetheart, Tim, for 18 years and became a mom 6 years ago through adoption to my adventure seeker daughter. I'm trying to see the beauty and hope in broken places. I write one glimpse at a time about grief and loss, mother-daughter relationships, adoption, and faith.

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