Friendship: Are You Present?

Whether you are a friend of adoptive parents, or are in the season of waiting to adopt, how would you describe your friendships? Is it based on the frequency that you see them? Is it based on the depth of your relationship? In A Conversation on Friendship with Ellie Holcomb and Bob Goff, a YouTube video/interview, there are a few ideas I would like to discuss.

 

How can I serve? How can I help my friends? During this time of waiting in the adoption, invest and spend time with your friends. What could this look like?

  • invite them over for dinner
  • take dinner to them
  • go out for coffee
  • drop coffee off as a surprise for a friend
  • host a board game night
  • go for a walk or meet them at a park
  • if they use a pick-up grocery service, you could pick it up for them
  • look for local events on FB or an online event calendar to do together
  • help them with yard work
  • watch their kids so they can go out on a date

 

Hold your friends close. In the Bible, Bob Goff mentions how Jesus didn’t use the word accountability with His friends, but he held His friends closely. Bob Goff used the phrase “I’m holding you close” in this interview as a way to express how we care and take care of our friends. Do we feel the need to hold our friends accountable, or could we show them love by “holding them close”? How can we hold friends close?

  • listen when they need to talk
  • text or call to say ‘hi’
  • send them a card (old-fashioned…nah…people still enjoy it!)
  • be interested in what’s going on in their life
  • pray for them

 

“Just show up.” This is what a friend of Ellie’s told Ellie, when she was unsure of how to support her friend during a time of grief. Many times, these situations are unknown ahead of time and you just have to show up. Sometimes these are times of joy and sometimes they are times of trial:

  • taking a meal to a friend when there’s been illness/surgery
  • taking a meal to a friend when a baby’s been born
  • just offering to listen
  • watch your friend’s newborn so they can take a nap
  • attending a funeral to support your friend
  • helping with a major unexpected house repair
  • big yard project

 

Pursue and love others around you. When we act in phileo love, or friendship/brotherly love, we are able to demonstrate kindness to each other. This encourages each other and shows others that we care.

 

Present over proximity. As we are present with friends, they see that we care and are more willing to share what is on their heart. This can be difficult with our culture and the presence of technology. Bob Goff mentions how he enjoys asking questions rather than trying to give solutions. This allows people to reflect and come to their own solution or self-discovery. Be with the people that you’re actually with.

 

In closing, a quote from Bob Goff on this interview is, “We are either a reflection or a reaction to people that are closest to us.” How do you want to encourage and love others in your friendships? Is there anything you would want to change?

In on It | a book review

inonitadoptionguide

Are you in on it? Do you know the adoption process and everything involved? Perhaps you are hoping to know more so you can support a close friend or family member?

“In on it:  What adoptive parents would like you to know about adoption” is a guide for relatives and friends. Written by Elisabeth O’Toole, a mother to three children through adoption, she has gone through the adoption journey and understands the ‘ins and outs’ of what the process can feel like to families.

If you are just starting the adoption process or are perhaps interested in adoption, this is a great introduction to the process! Yes, it is written for those close to the people going through the paperwork and looking to add a child to their family. But, her perspective is valuable if you are pursuing adoption! She gives some examples of things that people unknowingly might say or do to others in the adoption community. These insights are important to think about and discuss.

If you are a family member or a close friend of someone going through adoption, this book is a great read! It allows you to hear from an adoptive parent and how you can support the adoptive parent(s) in your life. The book gives insight into the process they are undertaking, emotions they might experience, some suggestions of things for you to think about, and gives ideas of how you can support them.

I read this book while we were well into the home study process and awaiting approval. I appreciate her writing style as it allows you to understand what some of the feelings are that prospective adoptive parents may have experienced. It also gives ways you can support them through the process in conversation, and in time, energy, etc. once the adoption takes place. The writing style is very fluid and is makes it an enjoyable read!

Chapter Outline:

Introduction:  People in grocery stores

  1. Deciding to adopt
  2. Adoption and loss
  3. The adoption process:  Fingerprints, documents, and The Wait
  4. Digging deeper:  Beyond the paperwork
  5. Welcoming the whole child:  Personal histories
  6. The child’s right to privacy
  7. Talking about adoption
  8. People will ask you questions:  Representing the child and adoption
  9. Both an adoptive family and just another family

Conclusion:  You’re in on it, too

Conversation starters:  Questions to prompt discussion

Additional adoption resources for friends and relatives

 

If you purchase this book for a glimpse into the adoption process, I’d ask that when you’re done, please consider sharing it with a family member!

I hope you decide to be ‘in on it’ and check out this book. Or, perhaps you know someone who would benefit from reading.

To purchase the book on Amazon, here is a link.

The Journey Begins

During this time, we are working on our home study. What does a home study entail? Here are a few things we had to prepare:

  • physicals
  • fire audit
  • fire escape plan
  • safety audit
  • driver’s licenses
  • social security cards
  • health insurance
  • auto insurance
  • health forms signed by doctors
  • well water test
  • BCI & FBI checks
  • birth certificates
  • marriage certificate
  • tax returns
  • proof of income
  • financial form
  • utility bills
  • references
  • adoption culture class
  • book list of reading + homework
  • adoption online class

“Keep calm and fill out the next form!”

post

Well, once all this paperwork comes together, this picture resembles the light at the end of the tunnel. Even though the paperwork trail seems like a daunting task right now, there’s a purpose and a plan behind ALL of it!