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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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I was involved in a few play groups, and still am for my children, but found it difficult because the other mothers are younger than I and none are adoptive parents.

But on, I found a local play group specifically for mothers who are a bit older than the norm. It’s called “Forties with Shorties,” but women in their mid to late 30’s are also welcome. And, not surprisingly, there are other adoptive mothers in the group as well.

See if there is a similar group in your area. If there is not, consider starting your own. I think you’d be surprised at how many other families you might meet this way.

By Global Librarian on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 8:00 pm.

I’m a single mom “late bloomer”  . . . so when I adopted my daughter I was doubly “blessed” by the challenge of being a bit older than most moms of two year olds while trying to juggle my new role as a single mother. I sought out local families who adopted and found my friends with much older children loved to experience a little one again. They weren’t ready for grandparenting, but they often asked to have my daughter come over for visits, and they still do! It got easier as she got older and we developed relationships with friends of friends. We also live in a community with lots of cooperatives, so cooperative ideals work well with finding links to families.

By klyoho on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 10:22 pm.

We had the same problem!!!  We moved from a big city to a small(ish) town.  I found myself telling everyone we met that our son was adopted hoping that if we threw it out there, someone was bound to be another adoptive parent.  Low and behold, I was right and we have met 3 families so far.

By denfran on Thursday, October 06, 2011 at 3:49 am.

Jamie, thank you for your well wishes regarding the playdate. We are suppose to get together this weekend, so hopefully all goes well. It really is hard when your kids only have the kids from daycare to play with. Kind of hard to meet the other parents when everyone drops off or picks up at different times. I hope you are able to arrange a playdate soon as well! Good luck!

Global Librarian, what a GREAT suggestion!! Thank you so much! I am so excite to check this out!!!

Klyoho, thank you for your feedback. My hat goes off to you, parenting is a big job and to parent as a single mom is an even bigger job. What an inspiration!

Denfran, how wonderful that you have met three families so far! Amazing what happens when we put ourselves ‘out there’. Thanks for sharing.

By Maximilian's Mommy on Monday, October 24, 2011 at 1:10 pm.

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