As strange as it sounds, adoption can be a surprise. Some of us have come into the world of adoption by “accident”, maybe as a whim, an impulse, a family crisis, or a change in situation. A nephew needs a home. A foster child stays just a day too long and becomes “mine.” You notice that endearing newspaper picture and say, “Why not?”
Even if your adoption was one of planning and agonizingly slow, there are surprises. I know a family who spend time and money adopting a child from far away- a "perfect, healthy baby". A few months after he moved into his new family, he had a stroke, causing severe brain damage, and their lives have changed. Our friend, John Chimarusti talks about the fact that we can experience several different emotions at the same time- joy over a new child and pain over the things they have suffered, pride over our child's accomplishments and grief because they are not the ones we expected. We have dreams and ideas about where our lives are going and then we realize that this child of ours needs to be homeschooled or can’t tolerate crowds or makes embarrassing scenes every time we go out in public. Life has changed. You look in the mirror and say, “How in the world did I get here?" It can be hard to adjust. What have your surprises been and how have you handled them?