Adoption Lessons We’ve Learned From Our Dog

This guest post is by Preetha, a hopeful adoptive mother.

Although we are not parents, we are currently “pet parents.” We have a 2 1/2 -year-old dog, Mia, whom we adopted as a puppy.

We were instrumental in teaching her a lot of things including respecting boundaries, all the basic commands, and silly tricks. At the same time, she has taught us several things that we are trying to implement as we are going through our adoption journey.

Living in the moment

Mia is the only one I know who has the ability to completely live in the moment. Whether she is eating, chewing her bone, or chasing after a rabbit, she is totally focused on the task at hand. We think there is a lesson to be learned here.

During the early part of our adoption journey, we had a tendency to constantly think of the outcomes, but given that the process is unpredictable, we’ve learned to “live in the now” and not think too much about the future. This has helped us maintain our sanity and not obsess too much about what might or might not happen.

Being grateful for what we have

It doesn’t take much to keep Mia happy. She is perfectly content with an old bone or a ball that is worn out. She doesn’t particularly need new and expensive things. What this has taught us is to derive happiness from what we have instead of focusing on things we don’t have.

Often, in the adoption process, there may be a tendency to dwell on what is not happening. But we have learned to focus on the things that are going right in our lives. That has helped us keep things in perspective.

Adapting to change

We are amazed at the number of things Mia has adapted to. We are constantly introducing something new, changing, or replacing something in her environment. Although these new things have caught her attention, she has accepted them and completely adapted to them.

Thinking of our adoption journey, there have certainly been ups and downs, and there have been things that have gone down a different path. We have learned to accept them and go with the flow.

Not holding grudges

One of the endearing things about Mia is that even when we reprimand her or withhold something from her, she never holds a grudge. She always greets us with the same level of enthusiasm, and her behavior toward us doesn’t change.

In the same vein, we have learned that it is not constructive to feel angry or bitter when things don’t meet our expectations in our adoption journey. We are trying our best to stay calm and experience the same level of commitment as we go through our journey.

For us, the hardest aspects of our adoption journey are waiting and not being able to influence the outcomes. Over time, we have learned to manage our expectations and be realistic. Having a pet has certainly taught us many things, but most importantly, it is helping us stay distracted and is keeping us on our toes!

Preetha and her husband, Don, have been happily married for ten years and are currently living and working in Bloomington, Illinois. They are looking to expand their family through open adoption and are working with Independent Adoption Center (IAC), a licensed, non-profit organization.


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