Hi, I'm Sherilyn, and my husband, Tyler, and I have always wanted to be parents. In fact, it’s our biggest dream. Having a big family sitting around a table, making memories and providing love. The path we are choosing to build that family looks a little different than your “typical” family. Tyler and I are in our early 30s, and it feels like every day I open Instagram to see another pregnancy announcement. Yes, I am so happy for you. (And yes, I am jealous of you. Both things can exist.) But most of what we see on social media is the “typical”.
What people may not understand is that Tyler and I chose adoption as an option for growing our family long before we discovered our struggles with infertility. But unless you are a part of either of those communities, it’s rare to see people talk openly, get advice, or share their experiences. You need to seek it out, and that’s exactly what we did.
"(Adoption 101) was the best thing we could have done, not only for us, but for our future children"
That course was the best thing we could have done, not only for us, but for our future children. The set up of that class was much more relaxed and conversational than we anticipated. There were four other couples there, and while all of us seemed so different, it was nice to be in a room with other people who were interested in the same thing we were, without judgement. We loved being able to talk to adoptive parents, ask tough questions, and be challenged with having to think about aspects of adoption we had never considered before. We left that class with excitement, and to be honest, a little bit of fear- because we knew we were finally ready. No matter what choice you make for your family, it is hard. But that fear and difficulty was eased knowing that we had discovered a community of people in our city that we could relate to, a community where our children can see other families that look like theirs, where they can one day have friends that they can talk to about being adopted or having an adopted sibling. A community where they can have positive strong adult role models of the same race and culture as them and a resource Tyler and I can reach out to as parents when we need advice, are faced with challenges, or to help us celebrate the small wins and milestones that only adoptive families can truly relate to.
Of course, we discovered ASA at the onset of a pandemic, but we still can feel their presence. We can’t wait to get together and celebrate our anticipated new family member with them one day.
These days, we are consuming as much content as we can on adoption while we anxiously wait to be chosen by a birth mom. Now, I open Instagram and see stories from adult adoptees, book recommendations for kids about adoption and transracial adoption advocates. I listen to podcasts and read books about adoption and race (in between the true crime podcasts). More than ever, I pray every day that the birth mom of our future child is protected and loved through her journey as well - something I had never truly considered before. We simultaneously are navigating infertility and trying to have biological children as well.
I firmly believe that whether you choose to become a parent biologically, with IVF, surrogacy, through adoption, fostering, or choose not to be a parent at all - it is your journey and your choice and it is a brave one. We are lucky to know that we have such a great community behind us in our choice to adopt.