Adoption: a word of advice

This submission is a little bit of a hoping to adopt story, and a little bit of a success story. Rachel is in the process of adopting a child in Ethiopia and shares a bit about what not to say to someone going through this process.

The other day, I had a pregnant friend tell me that I was doing it the easy way in referring to adoption. I know she wasn’t meaning to at all, but this truly hurt my feelings because she clearly doesn’t understand what I am facing. I simply said, ” I don’t know about that”, and I walked away trying to fight back tears. I am not pregnant and have never been pregnant, so I don’t feel like I really have the place to compare the two. We are hoping one day after we bring Baby Woodson home that I will be pregnant, and I will give you my thoughts. I think that no matter how you come to be a mother that there our challenges that you have to face. Though they may look different, it doesn’t mean that one way is easier than another.


I understand that I may not be experiencing morning sickness, and my feet aren’t swelling (even though they probably will on a 16-18 hour flight). I understand that my belly isn’t growing (well, maybe it is but that’s another issue entirely). However, I do know that it isn’t easy knowing that when your baby is first born, you won’t be there to hold him/her, or knowing that the first months of his/her life will probably not be what you would have planned for them if you were there. It isn’t easy knowing that you have no idea when you will be with your baby. There are many nights I cry in bed about this. If I could just know, I feel like it would be so much easier. I hate the thought of going to meet my baby and spending a week in Ethiopia, and then coming home without him/her until we get another court date. I don’t think a lot of people understand the love that we truly have for this child already. Sure, I may not feel them kicking, and I may not get to hear his/her heart beat, but it doesn’t make it any less real that I am expecting, and that I am totally crazy about this baby.

The paper process and the financial aspect of adoption alone can be extremely exhausting and overwhelming, but I mainly wanted to focus on the emotional aspect of it, because that is where it is truly hitting me the most. I don’t want this post to sound like I am playing a little mini violin for myself here, but I do feel like I need to let people know. Please be sensitive to people’s situation. If you haven’t been there, be careful to assume. This isn’t just about adoption, but in life in general.

This isn’t really our story, but it is a small part of what our journey has looked like and felt like. Thank you for reading.

Rachel Woodson

To those of you who have been effected and blessed by adoption, we’d love to hear more! What would you add to Rachel’s list of things not to say? We love the recent campaign to alter the phrase “Given up” for adoption to “Placed.” We spotted a few tees over at Happy Goat Designs that help bring light to this movement – see them here! They also have a bunch of t-shirts and onesies for adopted children, super sweet! We hope this feed will be a good resource for increasing sensitivity in an already tender subject!

Happy Goat Adoption Tees


  1. Sabrina:
    on May 29, 2014 at 1:22 pm said:

    The comment, amongst many that bothers me is “I could never do that” or “I don’t know how you can be a part of the birth family. What if they want her back?”

    Well meaning people can say things that are really surprising, just due to the fact of not knowing about adoption and how hard it is. I have been blessed to have been able to have a biological child and recently an adopted child. The comments I have gotten about adopting and not trying for another pregnancy (my baby and I almost died when he was born at 25 weeks) blow me away. Thanks for writing this post!

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