Everything I Know About Adoptive Parenting I Learned From My Baby

This guest post is by Amanda Jane Avis, a single adoptive mother.

I know your head is whirling in a million directions. Thoughts of cribs, car seats, diapers—do you choose organic, cloth, standard?

What education philosophies do we align with? How do we talk to our son or daughter about adoption? All these incredibly important topics in your brain right now, occupying so much real estate with so few solid answers!

Guess what? You won’t have the answers now or a month from now, or maybe even several days, weeks, months after you bring baby home.

And here’s the thing…it’s ok! Your baby, yes, that sweet, precious, prayed for, intended, envisioned bundle of amazingness has the answers.

Your baby is now your teacher. This seems insane at this moment, I know. Take it from me, as I am the poster child for Type A, uber organized, focused, prepared and researched people in all genres of my life.

I had next to zero preparation time because my daughter arrived less than 18 hours after I was matched. Thrown to the wolves of parenting bliss, I would not change any of it!

By all means, please do as you see fit and read all the books you can. Talk to as many adoptive parents you can connect with.

Discuss scenarios or potential challenges with your partner. Just be prepared for mass uncertainty until you truly, sincerely LISTEN to your baby.

My dearest friends who know me all too well laughed when they met me at my newborn daughter’s meet and greet when she was just a week old.

Their giggles were prompted by the thought of me, the perfectly prepared person who had just begun the adoption process with this perfect soul in my arms and zero research under my belt.

Their response was just shy of a dare, urging me to go ahead and give it a shot, completely removed from my comfort zone. It was a gift, heaven sent and her name is Phoebe.

Phoebe has been my mothering guru for 4 years now. I, of course confer with my parenting peers and lean on Google, here and there, but in the beginning, it was the Amanda and Phoebe show, and she was the leading actress.

My mommy instincts kicked in like a soccer player finding that sweet spot as she figuratively held my fumbling hand in our first year as a mommy/daughter duo.

It was she who made me realize I needed to simply breathe a few times before reacting to something unknown and unfamiliar, like when she began to teeth, or eat solids.

What formula? She was my guide on that, too. No need to study other’s experiences on a million websites. I simply listened to her.

You will feel as if you are in survival mode much of the time with your baby and the phrase, “too many cooks in the kitchen” may easily and smoothly be applied.

A way to quiet the energetic noise and honestly become more focused on that gorgeous cherub in your arms would be to allow the opinions and examples of so many before you to diminish and float away.

This may seem counterintuitive, but I firmly believe it will allow you to connect more deeply with your child and who would want anything less?

Give this approach a go…let it simmer in your mind for a bit.

Maybe it will help bring calm and peace during the chaos of wondering when, how, where and so on in your adoption journey.

Know that you will have the answers in those tiny cues coming from the most important person in your life!

Amanda Jane Avis is a lover of all things movement. She teaches pilates, yoga, gyrotonic and many other modalities both online and in person. She and Phoebe can may be found dancing to Motown and striking yoga poses out west in Huntington Beach, CA.

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