The Power of Words

by Michele Fried

Those of you, who know me well, know I love quotes. I guess I am a quote collector if there is such a thing. I love quotes from famous people and from those known by just a few. I love words and the meanings they possess. I love how sometimes just a few words can affect so many people and give them insight and inspiration.

I was reading something my cousin wrote to his daughter. He posted it on her blog. His daughter is 26 and lives overseas as she is in what some consider the holy land studying to become a clergy. He writes to her telling her how proud he is of her and how much he looks forward traveling a great distance to see her. He writes about his itinerary and the length of time – the many miles and many, many tiring hours that will pass – before he will see her, and then he writes, “But a journey to a child is never long.”

Those words just stopped me from reading and I read them over and over again. You know, it was one of those moments when I just fell in love with words, when I needed to cut and paste them and email them to myself, when I wish I said them myself. How profound. How meaningful. How true.

I love the word “journey” and use it daily when I speak to clients about what they are embarking on. There is not a day that goes by when those of us at the agency listen, support, and give encouragement to those who wait to become parents.

Waiting is so difficult. For some it can illicit intense emotions and for others physical pain. I frequently share that when your baby is placed in your arms, the wait becomes meaningless and somehow all that time disappears. The wait, I have been told and can tell you from my own experience just simply becomes “worth it.” For some their journeys are simple and sweet and for others it is bumpy, perhaps a bit roller-coaster like. However your journey has gone or will go, if you stick with it, perhaps change your route here or there, you will arrive at your dreamed of destination. I believe whole heartedly that you will feel that your journey had a purpose and your child was meant to be yours.

Another neat quote came to me when speaking to a waiting client about birth mother’s selecting the right profile for them – I loved what she told me and she said that she read it on our online group and it was written by a fellow adoptive parent, AmyJo Lauber. So I contacted AmyJo and she emailed me the words she used to help others understand the “selection” process: “A birth parent doesn’t choose her child’s adoptive parents like choosing from a Chinese menu but, rather, recognizes them.” Another profound sentence that made me read it over and over again. I just love it. I love it because it’s true. AmyJo describes her thoughts when writing these words, “Of course, I’m making a huge assumption but that’s truly how I feel it works. Just like when you meet someone and you feel you’ve known them forever, it’s more like you remember them.”

How we struggle to describe what is un-describable – the act of a woman deciding who will parent her child. We are always asked, “Why were we chosen?” and of course, “Why weren’t we chosen?” While at times reasons for both are available, many times, even the woman herself can not find the words to describe the why’s but rather the fact that she “just knows.” AmyJo’s understanding of the process and her special words, hopefully will help those who sometimes feel adoption is just a competition to begin to realize that it is also a part of the journey. We must remember that a birth parent has a journey to travel too. Eventually they will intersect because it is with these two paths that the child begins his own journey.