The Top 3 Things Adoptive Parents Should Know About the Adoption Process From Parents That Have Already Been There
For both individual and couples, making the decision of adopting a child through the adoption programs offered by adoption centers is not an easy one. It’s a tough choice that’s right up there with making the decision to get married or have a biological child in terms of difficulty. And in many cases, it can be even more difficult. The process of adoption is rarely, if ever, an easy one. But the reward of becoming a parent and giving a child a second chance always is! It’s always important to keep in mind that though they may not be the biological parents of a child, adoptive parents are no less important, influential and loving.
For so many adoptive parents to be, the process of adoption, from thinking about it, finalizing the decision to go for it, and moving forward with working with adoption agencies is often physically, emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually exhaustive and rife with setbacks. And although there are plenty of resources parents interested in the process can turn to in order to learn more about adoption, these resources only do so much in terms of preparing for the emotionally charged roller coaster to come. Often times, there’s not much that can prepare individuals and parents for the process of adopting a child besides just rolling up their sleeves and getting into it!
There are however insider tips from adoptive parents who have been there and done that to consider. Keeping these tips in mind throughout the process of adopting can help adoptive parents to be navigate the often confusing process a little easier. Here are a few tips for adoptive parents to be to keep in mind in order to make this major life change and transition a little smoother for everyone.
Don’t expect everyone to be happy for you
This gem of wisdom can be applied to nearly ever situation in life as it is, but it’s especially true when it comes to adopting children, more so if they’re from an ethnicity that differs from your own. Not everyone’s responses to your choice will be positive and some may even be downright mean. And some of the harshest critics may even be family members and close friends! It’s important to dismiss this kind of commentary entirely. Refuse to entertain this kind of ignorance. There is no reason to defend your decision to someone who refuses to understand! Validate your own choice within yourself and keep it moving.
Be firm and clear about your “coming home” rules.
This is more so for adoptive parents that are adopting a child from another country, but it still applies to domestic children living in foster care. It’s important to give these children a few days or longer to adjust to you, their new home, their new surroundings, and their new life before allowing an onslaught of well meaning folks to stop by and interact with the child. For example, you can host a small, intimate gathering a week or so after the process in order for everyone to celebrate or mingle, but it might be a bit too much for both you and your adoptive child.
You might consider quitting, but you won’t
Many adoptive parents may not want to admit this publicly, but there are times when the wait will seem so long and so tough that you may feel like throwing in the towel. This is completely normal and nothing to feel guilty about it. Keep in mind that no two adoption timelines and processes are the same, just as no two pregnancies and births are the same. Some are easier or tougher than others, so it’s useless to do a side by side comparison.