After my last blog post, I really struggled with what to write next, our son’s birth mom did an amazing job sharing her heart and I really wasn’t sure how to follow it. So, I put off writing for a few days but an idea kept coming to mind earlier this week and today, so I feel that maybe there is a reason I need to write what I write today….
When my husband and I first announced to those around us we were adopting, we realized we were more connected to a world of adoptive parents, those who’ve been adopted, and birth parents than we ever imagined. It has really been wonderful to see how adoption has touched so many lives. In the process of sharing our story with others, we have been able to have open dialogue with those just thinking about adoption. In these discussions, I talk with people at all points in the journey to parenthood and want to share the very basic information I’ve shared with them.
Grief and Loss: I hope I don’t scare anyone away, but this is important. Not everyone who adopts has fertility issues and not everyone with fertility issues adopts. But if, like my husband and I, infertility led you to consider adoption sooner than you thought, you’ll need to address it. In order to be ready to adopt, you need to be in a place emotionally to do so. The “funny” thing about grief is that it never really truly goes away, and it brings on a journey of ups and downs, and that’s putting it lightly. Adoption in itself is a process grief and loss in its own way and until you’ve come to terms with prior grief, you just won’t be ready. This topic in itself deserves its own post, and I plan to write one in the very near future. If you have questions, email me, and lets talk.
Research, Research, Research: Adoption can be very different depending on the route you take and the professionals you work with. You need to know all your options, be able to make educated decisions, and make sure the right people are helping you on your adoption journey. One of the reasons I started a blog is because I knew how much reading blogs of other adoptive families helped me. Research cost, types of adoption, openness in adoption, etc. Research local agencies and adoption consultants. Research grants and fundraising ideas.
Talk and Ask: Along with researching, you’ll find that you know more people who are part of adoption in some way that you thought. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Talk to people who’ve been there, I’m sure they’d be happy to share their experiences, good and bad with you. I am one of them. Please email me and I’d be happy to even talk over the phone if that is easier! (firstname.lastname@example.org – just in case you forgot! 🙂 )Talk to those near and dear to you about your desire to adopt. People are more willing to help than you realize. It may be awkward to talk about, but you’ll find people are more than willing to utilize the skills, finances, and talents they possess to help you add to your family through adoption!
Budget and Save: I tell people that even if adoption is just a distant possibility, start saving now! Really look at your finances and find ways to cut back and start adding to a savings account. The sacrifices will be worth it.
Be prepared: There is no easy road to take in adoption, no short cuts. Buckle in, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Sorry, that sounded so cheesy as I typed it, but it’s so true! Once you’ve committed to adopting, the journey is just beginning, you’ve really got to be “all in”. Adoption is sacrifice – your time, money, emotions, and privacy. Take the paperwork on one form at a time, make the calls to agencies, and embrace the waiting.
Gather all the papers and photos you have in your house!: Not really, but it will feel like it! You’ll start right away on your home study, applications, and profile book. Save time and frustration by having all your important documents available and easily accessible when you need them. When we knew it was time for our profile book, I was nervous. We don’t take a ton of pictures and I really don’t think we’re that interesting, but as I looked through our computers and camera, we had more pictures than I thought, thank goodness! I went through them, saved them all in one place, and had them ready to go when the consultant helping with our profile book needed them.
I really hope I haven’t overwhelmed you, but if you read this, I hope it helps. One of the reasons I feel so strongly about working with an adoption consultant is that a lot of the things I listed above are addressed by the consultant you work with and they are there to personally see you through the process and any uncertainties you may have. Please contact me with any other questions and I’d be more than happy to talk to you or connect you to the consultant, Casey, I am working alongside with at Christian Adoption Consultants.