Top 5 Lessons for Prospective Adoptive Parents

Top 5 Lessons for Prospective Adoptive Parents
#1 Life Happens

People begin this process with great intentions. They are ready!

But, then life happens!

You have family members who need you, work becomes all-consuming, health issues arise, or you just really aren’t ready when you thought you were. Whatever it is, stuff gets in the way to either stop or divert you.

I was surprised by the number of clients who started the adoption process, invested a fair amount of time and money, and then disappeared…for one reason or another. For some, I have no idea where they went…poof, they were gone! For others, life just simply got in the way. Some have resurrected and some, well, haven’t.

Wherever you are in the process, in your head, in your life, it’s ok…but probably best to communicate it with your “team,” the people who are there to support whatever you are up to.

#2 Let Go

It generally takes people with a certain personality to adopt a child. Usually pretty outgoing, organized, likes to take charge and dare I say, Type-A (pretty much sums me up).

Adopting a child, in some ways, really prepares you for being a parent – letting go of control, things usually not going as planned, slowing down…you get the picture.

It’s hard to let go.

Example: You’re putting together your profile…one of the most important pieces of the process. This one book is how you are chosen. You have put aside your absolute favorite pictures of yourself to include in your book.

I come along and put a big, red X through them!

But, But…But, it’s not about you looking your prettiest…it’s about you telling your story in a way that will appeal to a birth mother.

Until you let go just a little bit, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle. It may take some time to realize that, but once you do, it gets a whole lot easier. I tell people all the time – trust the process, it works!

#3 The Internet Can Be Your Enemy

If you are one to research a ton on the Internet, ask people’s opinion and Google everything, just approach it with two eyes open. I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t research on the Internet, I think you should.

Here’s what I mean…

People will take all the time in the world to write online about their negative experiences through the adoption process, or even as part of an adoptive family, but when everything is great, they just go about their lives and you never hear from them.

At some point, you just have to weed through and take from it what is useful information to you and then trust your gut and take a calculated risk.

#4 An Adoption Counselor Is Your Friend

I have learned a ton since adopting my son. Things I wish I knew before I adopted. Whether or not it would have changed the outcome for me, well, I hope not, but I would have been way more informed and maybe would have approached things a bit differently.

There is a lot to think about when considering adoption, as well as issues that will arise later in your lives. There are things you can learn to prepare yourselves.

I truly believe that building a relationship with a coach or counselor who specializes in adoption, even before you begin the process, would be really healthy for you and your family in the long run. That way, when issues DO arise, or questions come up…and they will…you will know who to call. Something as simple as when and how to approach adoption with your child, how to handle your child’s responses, or how to answer questions from the person in line at the grocery store is important knowledge to have. Are you adopting a child who is a different race than you? What will that mean for you and what will that mean for your child? What do you even know about the race of your child? Will your child have attachment issues even if you adopted him or her at birth? And there are so many other factors that we, as prospective adoptive parents, don’t consider or take the time to learn about since it’s not required of us.

I suggest you make the investment of adoption counseling for your family and take the time now! I have resources for you if you need.

#5 A Positive Attitude Takes You Places

I’ve had clients come in positive and excited, and I’ve had clients question everything and just be negative about the process ever working for them. Guess which people are at home with their babies right now?

I’m not saying that you won’t be scared, nervous or question things along the way. You absolutely will. But, keeping a positive attitude and believing you will find your baby, makes all the difference in the world. You get back what you put out there – the power of attraction.

Have you adopted? What’s a lesson you would pass along? Just starting out? What questions do you have?

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