Yesterday, a conversation with a friend reminded me of our early days as a new adoptive family. Our daughter was 16 months old when we brought her home from China. She was NOT a happy girl. She would wake up screaming in the middle of the night, push us away, hit and even scratch us. I’ve never publicly talked about this because I didn’t want anyone to judge her. But, who would judge a baby? That was MY ego. I was afraid of being judged and even though I knew my daughter was terrified, her lashing out was so hard. I cried many tears and worried for our future. A wonderful therapist reframed it for me at the time. She said, “I’m glad she’s fighting! She’s got spirit and is strong.” The therapist was right. She is strong, and confident and she is also sweet, funny and generous. She has won several character awards including student of the year at her school! Yes, she still has anxiety that we work through almost every day. Adoption isn’t always rosy; it’s so much more than that. It’s transforming.
Published by Jana M. Rupnow, LPC
About the Author Jana M. Rupnow, MA, LPC, is a licensed professional counselor and consultant specializing in fertility and family building. Jana has helped hundreds of people facing the challenges of infertility as well as those preparing for third-party family building and adoption. Jana works independently in private practice in Dallas, Texas. She has built relationships with fertility doctors across the country to help their patients with the psychological challenges of donation conception prior to medical intervention. She works with couples, parents, donors, agencies, and endocrinologists across the nation in her Dallas offices and via Skype or FaceTime. Jana also helps parents learn to communicate with their children about donor conception and serves as a liaison for communication between donor-conceived or adoptive families and genetic or birth parents. She is a speaker and a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s Mental Health Group and a professional member of the National Infertility Association, Resolve. Jana has a clinical background in physiology and has published articles through Baylor University Medical Center. Jana is also an adoptee and adoptive mom. She and her husband, Scott, live in Dallas with their son, Caden, and daughter, Jade, and two goldendoodles, Oliver and Chloe. For consultation, counseling, training for professionals, or a speaking engagement, email Jana@JanaRupnow.com or learn more on JanaRupnow.com. Follow Jana Rupnow on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @janarupnowlpc. View all posts by Jana M. Rupnow, LPC