Guiding Values, Week 3

As we continue to look at the values that drive our “alt” parenting, this week’s excerpt from Magic Lessons looks at possibly the most important value of all, fit:

For adoptive parents, you are introduced to fit the day you start the search process for your kids. All children have both good and challenging qualities—what you want is to find the kids who are the right fit for your personality, values, and lifestyle. This is just my opinion, but I believe detecting fit is a matter of gut-level, versus brain-level, knowledge. A kid can look perfect—or very imperfect—on paper, but when you meet him or her in person, something kicks in that tells you “Of course” or “No way” or “Maybe . . . .” (For the maybes, I’d recommend a second or third visit before you commit.)

And that’s just the beginning. From the point at which you and your kids become a family, you can apply fit to . . . well, to pretty much everything that follows. Over the years, we had to suss out fit for obvious things like babysitters, coaches, therapists, tutors, and music teachers—but also to less-obvious things like behavioral systems, travel destinations, movie picks, restaurants, and so on. As just one random example, the boys and I had more fun on our previously-described first trip to Victoria (where there is Nothing. To. Do.), than we did on our one trip to Hawaii. All because the former, with its quirky charm, was more us at the time.

Now it’s your turn! Share your family-building story by leaving a comment, or contact me at to have your story featured as a post in a future week!

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