The Path to Adoption
And the Road Ahead
Making the Decision in Your Heart
When you and your spouse begin considering whether adoption is an appropriate pathway to grow your family, there are many steps that follow. As best as you can, be clear with each other and yourself as to why you are contemplating this path. Perhaps you have issues with fertility or you’d like to play a part in making the world a better place. Whatever your reasoning, conceive it through Truth, with clarity and conviction. This step will benefit you throughout the process and for the rest of your life.
Next, consult with others who have adopted. Ask all the questions you may have. The answers can help affirm your decision or perhaps give you caution and cause you to dig a little deeper. This can come easily if you have close friends who have adopted. Do not have any fear or be embarrassed by your questions as adoption is not for the faint of heart and you want to know everything before moving forward. Some common questions include: Can I love an adopted child? Will my adopted child love me? What is open adoption? Can my child be taken from me?
Making the Decision with Facts
Learn about the adoption laws in your state and your rights as an adoptive family. In addition, research the adoption laws of other states as you can travel to nearby states to adopt. Here is a list of states believed to be adoption-friendly: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Oregon, Tennessee, and Utah. We use an agency in Mississippi and found it to be wonderful. We also have a bit of experience in Tennessee and Florida. Do satisfy your soul by doing the work of gathering information as you continue to make an informed decision.
Continue your research by contacting specific agencies to learn more. Below are a few of the many questions you should ask your agency. Again, don’t be afraid to ask every question that comes to mind.
- How many children did you place last year?
- What are your fees?
- What support do you provide for the birthmother?
- Will someone from your office support the birth mother during her actual delivery?
- Can your agency perform my home study and provide post-placement support?
- When adopting older children, do you provide support to deal with any issues they may have from their first years of life?
Nesting for Your Adoption
Once you have the ball rolling with the logistical side and your home study is finally complete, nest over the reality of adding a new bundle of joy. It is a wondrous thing to nest over your future child. As you come and go, envision life with your new bundle of joy and contemplate the following activities and routines. Simply allow your imagination to soar as you fashion your mind around the reality that your life will soon change.
- While at dinner, where will he sit?
- When at the grocery store, will she accompany you or temporarily be in the care of another?
- At bedtime, will he join you and take over your room for a bit?
- What about as you snuggle on the sofa with a cozy throw? Is your sweet snuggled with you, or would she lie nearby in a Moses basket.
The adoption process can be finicky and there are many variables throughout the process. Wait until after your new child has been placed in your care to purchase most of the items needed. It is best that you exercise patience through the waiting period.
Adoption - Part of Their Story
Once you begin raising an adopted child, refrain from overly focusing on the reality that your child is adopted and view them as you would your biological child, with their adoption as just part of their story. This may be difficult at first. Work to take your thoughts captive and train your mind to this end.
Some adoptive families may experience attachment issues after placement and even during later years. Children are looking to be attached to someone so it is likely that you as the parent may be having heart issues. This is not uncommon. Do not be hard on yourself. Taking small steps towards nurturing your child will subside this issue. Gradually pour into your child, no matter their age, with gentleness and kindness. Your well of love should never run dry. When you find yourself empty, find a confidant who will pour into you, so that you may be filled. Consistently showering your child with love tears down walls and works to minimize any hurt or uncertainty your child might be experiencing because of adoption.
The Big Picture
Understand this; in God’s economy we were all orphans at one time in our lives. He adopted us into His family. He has taken us to be His sons and daughters without partiality. We are fellow heirs with Christ. He is not only our Father, but also our defender. So fight for your child’s emotional stability. Whatever they may face in this life, journey alongside them, so that they may have a chance at hope. This is what adoption is. This is what adoption does. It gives hope.
Oh the wonder of adoption. Though it is not a path intended for everyone, for those who are called, it can be an inspiring delight. The key is to be informed, be reasonable, be committed and understand how it fits into the broader context of life.
“For He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would
be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption
as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.”
- Ephesians 1:4-5