"Year of the Adopted Family" book release

Friday, January 15, 2010

5 Ways How Adopting a Story is like Adopting a Child

To be released November 1, 2010, National Adoption Month, will be a book called “Year of the Family: 12 Adoption tales to place in your home and to value the process today”. Pre-orders and updates are at www.yearofthefamily.com. All proceeds go to our adoption fund.

My husband and I have always wanted children. I have wished to peak at the Lord’s planner to find out when we would have kids as we have been married over eight years. We are one of many couples in the world who wish to grow their family. Then came the beautiful word of “adoption”.

We knew that whether we were blessed with children biologically or not, part of our family would come through adoption. Things would work out.

Since I am a professional storyteller, I tend to think about stories and how they relate to all aspects of life. While my husband and I began the adoption process, I contemplated how similar the steps were in finding and developing stories.

Here is the Adoption Process of a Story:
  • Decide to adopt a story in the first place
  • Determine what your heart may be open to receive in a story
  • Figure out your story agents in the process
  • Be patient and expect changes along the way
  • Love the new story as one of the family

Decide to adopt a story in the first place
Sometimes it seems life would be easier to stick to the stories already in your repertoire. There is so much research, refinements, and rehearsals to each tale that it could feel like you truly went through labor to deliver and give birth to the story.

Yet, something inside the storyteller’s heart urges us to have another story and another story and another story. The search for the story that would fit within your style could be an exhausting . . .yet satisfying journey. When you decide to take the first step for a new story, then you are one step closer to performing it.

Determine what your heart may be open to receive in a story
There are so many genres and kinds of stories. Are you interested in telling stories that heal the soul? Challenge the social norms? Stretch and exaggerate the truth? Explain how certain landmarks or traditions came to be? Interact with the audience through improvisation? Relate a personal or family experience to cherish a moment? The list could go on.

Likewise in the actual adoption process, there are lists that a couple marks known as a matching sheet. Preferences such as desired age of the child, racial background, and medical conditions could be pages in length.

As storytellers, we may feel open to experience each kind of story at least once. Perhaps we find our niche or specialty and pursue one or two kinds.

Figure out your story agents in the process
I meet with three different “story agents” normally known as my “story buddies” every week. We divide the time equally so that full attention could be given to our most recent projects.

An adoptive couple may decide to connect with one or more agencies. We have chosen to work with one. We keep in contact with the caseworker appointed to us. With more agencies involved, then the process may quicken. There is also the balance of time and money.

The number of “story agents” a storyteller has may also be determined by time and money. Friends may give of their time for free, though there are storytellers who specialize in coaching and could charge a fee.

Be patient and expect changes along the way
A story may not come to together as fast you dreamed. The creativity could be flowing and then suddenly stop. Months or years may pass before any development actually happens with it.

As for the paperwork involved with adoption, once completed there may be an average of six months to a year because placement with a child in the home. Some potential adoption couples have waited for five or more years.

Love the new story as one of the family
The story will develop and arrive on that stage . . .after the proper time creating outlines, storyboards, imagery explorations, or whatever ways you use to piece a story together. Celebrate this success by premiering the tale with family, friends, or community. Take pictures. Record the experience. Do all you can to relish in the moment.

The story may be new, though you could love it as much as any other story in your repertoire. Mix it with your other tales. Watch as the story grows. Congratulations. The story is part of your family.

The same can be said the moment that a child is placed in the arms of an adoptive parent. Some wonder if one could truly love someone who is not biologically connected to them, and yet this love happens every day. The child will sense your care for them and emulate the feeling.

So. . .are you ready to start the story adoption process?

There are many tales waiting for a teller like you.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
Professional Storyteller
Tel: (801) 870-5799
Email: info@rachelhedman.com
Family Famine Series Site: http://www.familyfamine.com/

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