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Adoption Blog: Our Family Grows With Love
Finding Playdates for Our Kids
My husband I are late bloomers, so to speak, when it comes to joining the ranks of parenthood. We were married for eight years when we were blessed with the adoption of our son, Max. By the time we became parents, most of our family and friends had been in the parenthood game for some time. Though we hope for Max, 2, to have a sibling, there is a very real possibility that this may never happen. As a result, we often worry about Max not having other children close in age in our immediate family or group of friends with whom he will grow up. We long for Max to have someone to share his childhood with.
My husband and I both had siblings with whom we grew up. By default, we always had someone to color with, put together a puzzle with, ride our bike with, get into trouble with—a forever friend. My husband and I have had discussions expressing our concern over the guilt we sometimes feel that we may not be able to provide this for him. We feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility to allow him the opportunity to be around other children of his age with whom he could potentially build a friendship. My husband and I spend a great deal of time doing various activities with Max, but there is something special about sharing your childhood with another child. Someone whom, when you have grown up, you can sit and share your "Remember when…" stories with.
We have found it somewhat difficult to meet families with children the same age as Max. I joined a local mothers' group, but unfortunately most of their social activities take place during the day when I am working. This prevented us from attending planned activities and meeting other families. We have looked into attending story hour at the local library, but again, our work schedules have created conflicts. When Max was around 6 months old, we did a trial of a music class geared toward infants, but that didn’t feel like a good fit either.
Recently, we decided to sign Max up for gymnastics and toddler P.E. classes, both of which are with kids in his age group, at our local YMCA. What a great way to meet local families with children the same age as Max! Why didn’t we think of this sooner? I blame it on the sleep deprivation so often experienced in the early years of parenthood.
The first night of gymnastics went very well! Max enjoyed the class, and oddly enough, I recognized one of the fellow moms as someone from my hometown. She is a mother of three and a very sweet woman. I am looking forward to having the opportunity to talk with her more, and maybe our kids could even become friends.
The following night we had toddler P.E. Much to my delight, we met a fellow adoptive family! They too have an only child, a son. They are new to the area and, like us, often worry about their son not having someone close in age with whom to spend time. Max and their son seemed drawn to one another somehow and spent the majority of the class playing together. As the class ended, I began speaking to the parents, and they too talked of the difficulty they have had with meeting families with children of the same age as their son. Maybe they are late bloomers, too!
When Max and I got home that evening from toddler P.E., my husband was just arriving home from work. I told my husband about the family we had met that evening and how we had discussed potentially meeting at the park sometime soon so the boys could play. We were both excited at the possibility of a friend for Max, and were even more excited by the idea of him having another adopted child with whom he could potentially build a friendship.
We are looking forward to getting to know this family through our toddler P.E. class and are hopeful that we can build a great friendship with them. As the next class is quickly approaching, I am actually kind of nervous! We so rarely meet families with children the same age as Max, let alone an adoptive family. What if they don’t like us? What if Max and their son don’t get along? What if, what if, what if. It feels like we have entered the world of dating again, only this time it is for playdates at the park. Wish us well: We have been out of the game for a number of years now, so I hope we can remember how to do this!
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