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An Adoptive Parent’s Journey to Becoming a Lifelong Learner: 10 Tips/Tricks for finding, consuming and engaging with adoption education and content

Becoming a parent through adoption means embracing a unique, complex, sacred type of parenthood. It’s an additional, specific identity as a parent. We’d argue this isn’t an innate skillset. It takes ongoing, lifelong education and support so you can be best prepared to support your child with the part of their identity that is being an adoptee. Here are our best tips and tricks for finding, navigating, consuming and engaging with adoption education and content:


  1. Check in with your adoption professional. Hopefully, you worked with your specific professional because you built a certain level of trust with them. If that’s true, then you can likely trust them to point you in the direction of quality ongoing adoption education. Who to listen to and follow. Which books and articles to read. Specific TV shows, movies, documentaries to watch. Podcasts to download and classes/courses to take/purchase. Finding out who your professional recommends is a great place to start!


  1. Seek out the other voices in the triad. If you’re an adoptive parent, you’re going to want to tune into the birth parents and adoptees sharing their lived experiences. It’s ok to learn from other adoptive parents, too. There’s a lot to gain from those who share your experience and know intimately what you are navigating. Shoot, check in with them in regard to who they are listening to and learning from. They may be one of your best places to find new resources! We just recommend they shouldn’t be your only or primary source of education.


  1. Compensate birth parents and adoptees for the education they are providing. Birth parents and adoptees share their experiences, knowledge and insight, in hopes of changing adoption for the better for future generations. Your children. This takes time, emotional and physical labor. When possible, compensate them. Buy their books or sign up for their workshops. If they have a venmo, shoot them a few bucks. They deserve every penny and more.


  1. Stay out of the DMs. You’ll likely start listening, learning and you’ll get excited! You’ll have questions. Before you rush into the DMs of a birth parent or adoptee, really look through the content they’ve already provided. The answer may be there. If they offer consultations, schedule one!


  1. Find an accountability partner. Life is just more fun with a friend! Find a fellow adoptive parent, read the same book, and then get together at your local coffee shop and discuss. Shoot, start a book club and make it a party! Set up a night to watch an adoption related movie or documentary together. The possibilities are endless.


  1. Share the resources you love with family and friends. You’re learning so much about adoption. Your inner circle likely does not have the knowledge you do. And, you want them to be able to support your child as well. Share a favorite book or podcast with them! Then, set up a time to meet over coffee and talk about their initial thoughts and reactions.


  1. Set realistic goals. There is A LOT of adoption education content out there currently. It’s a blessing and a curse. You’ve got great information at your fingertips to help you in your adoption journey, just, pace yourself. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you’re a reader, maybe you set the goal of 2-3 adoption themed books per year. If not, your goal might be one. Or maybe, you listen to the audio book instead. Pick one morning each month where you make a cup of tea and scroll through all your adoption follows on social media to see what’s new and trending. Pick one podcast to follow throughout the year as they release new episodes. Important: You do not have to read, follow and listen to it all. It’s just not possible, or healthy.


  1. Take breaks. Breaks are A OK! Adoption is a heavy, complex topic and it can be overwhelming. Especially, because it’s personal for you. For your child. If you’re finding yourself anxious, overwhelmed, resentful…step away. Clear your head. Take care of yourself. Then, come back to the education in tiny pieces when you’re ready. It will still be there.


  1. Take inventory. At the end of each year, check back in with yourself. Hold yourself accountable, with a side of grace. Did you reach your goal? Was it too lofty and you need to scale back? Was there a certain format of education you really enjoyed so you’re going to seek that out more in the coming year? Was there something that just didn’t work for you so you’re scrapping it? Did you compensate birth parents and adoptees for their work?


  1. Have fun! Exploring adoption education does not have to be scary or laborious. Dare we say, it can be fun! There are amazing educators out there, funny ones even, with incredible insight and knowledge. Loosen your grip, open your heart, and enjoy the journey. The possibilities are endless!

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