Life has a way of putting us in ironic situations?
When is the last time you read an article about infertility from the male perspective?
When is the last time you heard from an adoptive father that is divorced? These are two aspects of my reality that I have learned to deal with and have actually come to embrace. It has not been an easy journey, but there are some key points that have helped me.
Take the Time to Mourn:
All of us mourn in different ways and in within different timelines.
As my first wife and I were attending a session with a therapist after our first adoption opportunity feel apart right before the birth of the child, the therapist said something I will never forget, “Mourning is the process of the death of one of our dreams so that we can give birth to a new one.”
Make sure you seek out professional help to overcome life’s hurdles when you feel you need a little extra help. For me I know that I will never have my own biological children. That was a hard pill to swallow at different points in my life and creeps up every once and a while even today. Through that loss has been born a passion and love for the adoption process. Having children placed in my home were some of the most spiritual experiences I have had in this life and are so precious to me that I am grateful that I had to experience growing my family in a different way.
Seek for Understanding and Knowledge from Others:
As I attended an annual conference recently put on by United for Adoption (www.unitedforadoption.com), I realized how much I enjoy hearing about others experiences and their journey along with receiving great information to help my kids. It has been a few years since I have attended one of these conferences. I always feel more passionate about the cause of adoption and better armed to be the best adoptive father I can be. Take the time to be involved in the groups and conferences around you in your area of the world!
Perspective is Key:
I have realized over the past couple of years that I have a tendency to define others by the negative actions and poor decisions they have made.
Don’t get me wrong, there are individuals in our life that we need to set healthy boundaries with to have healthy relationships and there are those that are better to just not be around or interact with. For the majority of people in our lives, we can define them not by the negative experiences, but by the positive ones.
This process has helped greatly with my divorce. I can choose to focus on the negative action of my first wife filing for and following through with a divorce or I can focus on the thirteen-year marriage that I cherish and with which I have fond memories.
The more we can choose to focus on the positive, the more healing we will find. The key to this point is… if we want to focus on the positives of those around us, we also need to focus on the positive of ourselves. By choosing to focus on infertility or that we are broken versus the positives about ourselves and our lives, we are choosing a path of less healing. Take the time to be grateful for the haves and not the have nots. Gratitude will take you to a place of healing.
Embrace and Move Forward:
We often do not find ourselves in life circumstances that we anticipated.
By embracing our current circumstances, we are empowered to move forward. When we avoid our reality, it puts us in a state where we are stalled or in limbo.
As I consult with entrepreneurs looking to launch businesses, I find one of the best exercises they can do is to list all of their constraints. These might include time, capital, knowledge, etc. By doing this they are able to structure a business that fits their lifestyle. So many of us want to start businesses that fit our ideal lifestyle, but those will never succeed.
By embracing the reality of our current situation we are able to move forward, make progress and find success.
Become an Advocate:
Get out and do something!
Use your skills and your talents for good and to move your cause forward. Each of us is benefiting in our lives from the blood, sweat, tears and work that has been done by the generations before us.
Now, it is our turn to make a difference and make the opportunities available for the generations to come. I am so grateful for the framework of adoption that has been established and the organizations that were involved to help make each placement of my kids possible.
Because of that I am starting my own organization using my skills and abilities to help bridge the financial gap for couples looking to adopt. Take the time to check it out at www.weheartadoption.com.
When we all do our part we can change the world and make it a better place. These principles can be applied to any loss of a dream in our lives. I know as I went through an unexpected divorce, that these principles have helped me move forward, but they have also helped when my basketball career ended, during the loss of a job and other circumstances we all face in life.
Remember, “It is not what happens to us in life, it is how we react to it!”
Jared Van Orden
My background is in Entrepreneurship and Financial Management. I enjoy working with organizations and businesses to help them clearly define their objectives and surround those objectives with processes and systems to meet their goals.
In my spare time, I give my time and energy to worthy causes that impact the community I live in and love. Some of that time is spent consulting with individuals who want to begin their dream of business ownership or are currently involved in their dream and want to take it to the next level. Some of my time is working with couples to help eliminate gaps to successful adoptions. With three amazing adopted children of my own, my only thought is to pay it forward. My hope is to impact those with whom I associate, so take the time to let me know how I can help you!