Friday, February 4, 2011

Situational Anxiety in Adoption

It is that time of year: the ground hog didn't see his shadow, portending an early spring. Unfortunately, the shadow of Situational Anxiety lays heavily on the lanscape of the Korean adoption world. And with many families expecting an 11 month- wait between referral and travel*, this could be a very long winter.

So I'm taking the occasion to start a series on Situational Anxiety in Adoption, which I'll abbreviate SAA. While PADS, or Post Adoption Depression, is becoming well known in the adoption world, its twin, the situational anxiety that often accompanies the wait for referral and/or travel, while far more common, is hardly recognized. I'd like to see that changed: waiting families empowered with information about what it is, how it manifests itself, what that looks like from the inside and to outsiders, and how to survive it.

I am not a professional. I'm just a mom who, over the past seven years, has attempted five adoptions and has brought home three children. So my only real qualification is: been there, done that. I would be thrilled if adoption professions grasped just how common and how devastating SAA can be and would start systematically educating adopting families ahead of time. Until that day, I'll do what bloggers do: tell my story and trust it will reach someone who needs to hear it.

*The asterisk is good new/bad news. With my agency, CHSFS, there is currently almost no wait for boy referrals from Korea. But the wait to travel after referral for many Korea Program families is currently at 11 months. Overall, with the possibility of a year between homestudy completion and placement for boys, the outlook hasn't changed a lot. But families are experiencing the situational anxiety as more challenging, for reasons that I'll discuss in future posts.


Grace said...

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this!

Three Northern Stars said...

Wonderful idea Carrie. I agree situational anxiety with adoption is so real.