Announcing Your Decision to Adopt

When my husband and I began to consider adoption, we kept it to ourselves. We wanted to explore our feelings on the subject without outside influences coloring our perspective. We didn't want to hear warnings from people who know nothing of adoption. We knew the risks; we'd done the research. And people often forget that biological children don't come with guarantees, either!

Once the process was officially under way, we mailed a letter to our families and friends telling them about our decision and answering the questions people commonly have. Those who were immediately thrilled wanted every detail. We didn't hear from some recipients right away, and we're guessing those were the ones who needed some time to adjust to the idea.

Here are some points you can include in your own letter. A Q&A format is clear and concise, but regardless of how you choose to present the information, remember that personalization is key.

The Big Introduction
This is your opportunity to set the tone for the letter. Pretend you are speaking to your readers face to face. What would you say, and how would you say it? In our case it was: "Dear Family, Grab a soda or a cup of coffee and sit down. We have some good news we want to share with you!" With a more-than-generous sprinkling of exclamation points, we shared our plans. "Sitting? Good. We're adopting a little boy! We're hoping a little guy between the ages of 3 and 5 will come home in the next six months."

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