Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Great Equalizer

This post was written for and shared on America Adopts! Facebook page.

What do a passionate and loyal war veteran from Texas, a loving and determined Packers fan from Wisconsin, and a creative and compassionate housewife from California have in common? They all want to be moms. Not just any moms, adoptive moms. 
Crystal, Shelli, and Kristen would have never crossed paths if it wasn't  for the amazing, wonderful, stressful journey that is adoption. Each has struggled, along with their husbands, with different stories of infertility. Each has imagined holding a child in their arms. Each couple has opened their hearts to open adoption, with the goal of a healthy, happy, and supportive relationship with an expectant mom. Each is waiting for a phone call and a dream to come true. 
While they wait, they wait actively. Between Crystal's schedule as a registrar and Certified Nursing Assistant in Wisconsin, Shelli's work as a Nurse Anesthetist in Texas, and Kristen's work as a volunteer and homemaker in California, they have all made time to connect and support one another through social media. They share resources, advice, and inspiration. After meeting through their individual blogs, each was inspired by the others. Now each one shares the other's stories on community Facebook pages and regularly leaves encouraging comments on posts. If one finds a helpful resource they pass it on. For them, there is nothing competitive about adoption. Crystal, Shelli, and Kristen all want to be mothers and all want the others to achieve the same dream.
For each woman, adoption means pure love. While in time, each will become a mother through adoption, for now social media has allowed them to become friends. Facebook, Twitter, and blogging are fast becoming widely used tools in connecting expectant moms with waiting families. Using these tools, each of these woman feel connected to the children they haven't yet met. They can also provide expectant moms with information and a means of support and contact. Social media, to them, feels  like a way to reach out and comfort one another through the uncertainty.
Crystal and Her husband Chad met through social media and now, after being
Crystal and Chad (Picture by Oh! Photography)
married a little over two years, hope to expand their family the same way. After trying to conceive for about two years they felt led to adoption and have been waiting for their call for four months. Here's what Crystal writes about how social media has helped her. "The support I have found on Facebook and other social media sights including Twitter, Pinterest, and Blogger, has been amazing. When you put yourself out there and make yourself available, you will find there are a lot more people like you. I have seen struggles, shared in happiness, and asked for advice on many social networking sites. All of which have been such a blessing. Shelli, Kristen, and I offer each other advice, are an ear when needed, and share stories and offer support whenever possible. It's nice to
know there are people going through the same struggles as you. That you're not "not normal". If there is any advice I could give through this whole process it is to reach out to families and friends who are experiencing infertility, loss, or going through the waiting period of adoption. You are not alone. Be sensitive and be available. Sometimes, your ear is all that is needed. " In preparation for their adoption, Crystal and Chad's families have thrown them baby showers and are all very excited and supportive. Crystal frequently posts updates and inspirational encouragements on their adoption Facebook page "Waiting For Baby Brown". Chad and Crystal were also recently featured on their local news station through a connection Crystal made on Twitter. They receive constant support through social media and couldn't be happier to accept it.

Shelli and Adam met as army reservists and have been married a year and a half. Both knew going into marriage that starting a family would be a challenge. They
Shelli and Adam
tried IVF but ultimately knew adoption was the path for them. They have been on their adoption journey for five months and are very excited to be parents. Here's what Shelli writes about her experiences with social media and adoption. "Social media has been surprisingly helpful. I have had some very good advice and words of encouragement from some very surprising sources. It is also a nice outlet for my energy during the wait. It helps me feel like I am doing something. Becoming a family is a process with many emotions. It is definitely a roller coaster ride of ups and downs! I can empathize with anyone that wants to be a mother, and I know what it is like to reach out to others for support. That is why I have not hesitated to offer support to others when I can. I found Crystal and Kristen through their blogs and felt an immediate connection to their stories. I don’t know who is helping whom more! I know there are babies out there for all of us, and I am looking forward to seeing God’s plans for us." To prepare for their future as parents through adoption, they have read books and blog, and have attended multiple webinars on adoption. Shelli also writes on their blog "We Love St. Patrick's Day" and frequently posts to their Facebook page of the same title. Shelli is grateful to
have support through social media while she and Adam wait for their little one to come home.
Kristen and Josh

Kristen and Josh are high school sweethearts married for seven years. After many years of fertility struggles and losses they have found hope and peace in adoption. For them, the goal is parenthood, not pregnancy. Here is what Kristen writes about social media and the adoption process. "We have been waiting for our little one to come home for about a year and half now, but it's only been in recent months that I've used social media to broaden our exposure. We are taking the viewpoint that we should pray like it depends on God and act like it depends on us. While we totally trust and acknowledge God's timing and plan for our family, there's no reason to sit around and do nothing. Social media has been an outlet for me to connect with other people in the adoption community, learn about different adoption stories (because no two are alike), and connect with and support other families during the wait. Blogging especially has been a great tool to focus on my blessings and share our trials. I feel particularly blessed to have met Crystal and Shelli. Knowing that we are connected through our desire to be mothers and that we likely would have never met if we weren't on the same adoption road, is amazing to me. The three of us are so different and so the same. Adoption is the great equalizer!" While they wait for parenthood, Kristen and Josh enjoy making videos about their adoption process on YouTube (Josh&Kristen WantToAdopt). Kristen also writes a blog called "Adoption Love" and posts to a Facebook community page of the same title. Social media has provided a great outlet, source of comfort, and a way to keep friends and family updated on their adoption journey.
To some, social media may seem cold and impersonal, but to these three woman and many others waiting to be parents through adoption, it's a way to reach out. To them it has become a kind of "nesting" as they prepare to grow their families. These unlikely friends have connected through social media and support one another through their "paper pregnancies".

*UPDATE 8.31.14- All three families are now home with their little bundles of joy!


  1. It can be an amazing thing to make good friends through social media in spite of geographic distance, people who understand your journey.

    Best wishes to you all.

  2. We've walked the path you have chosen, and the view is spectacular! God bless you as you wait to be picked by your child's super hero mom. It's the journey of a lifetime. Blessings!

    1. Thank you for your kind words and support Colleen!


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