Recipe for a Successful Adoption
When it comes to preparing your heart and home for a new adoption, many prospective parents want to know the keys to success. They question seasoned parents and agency workers about what they should do and when. How much time should they spend reading literature? Is there a secret to choosing the right agency? Which books have just the right content to prepare them for the years ahead?
The truth is that nothing can truly prepare you for the beauty of an adoption. However, there are a few key ingredients that you should include for a successful outcome. Consider these key steps to put you on your way to a successful adoption.
Find the right agency or attorney.
Adopting a child means that you will need to have some experienced professionals working alongside you. Take time in the early stages of your adoption process to research all of the available agencies and attorneys who can help. Each will likely take a different approach to bringing your new child into your home.
Some may focus on open adoptions that incorporate a relationship with birth parents into the child’s life. Others may allow you to do your own advertising and searching for a birth mother. Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of each approach will help you to feel more in control throughout the process. You want to ensure that you select an agency or attorney that will be a great fit for your family – both personality-wise and in their approach to adoption.
The importance of a solid education about adoption-related issues cannot be overstated. Even if you have parented biological children before, an adopted child will face unique challenges that can test parents. Before your child arrives, take the time to educate yourself on identity issues and new ways of interacting with your child. You may need some of these tactics to promote attachment and bonding with a new son or daughter.
While not all of the content may appear relevant right now, you will be grateful for it in years to come. Your child may eventually have questions about where they came from, why they were placed for adoption, and who they really are. Many of the adoption books will touch on these key issues and give you some framework for how to respond.
Establish a support system.
You may not make it far before realizing that you need help raising a new child. Adoption can be difficult on everyone, even though you’re tremendously joyful to invite this new child into your family. Surround yourself with seasoned parents who are a few years ahead of you on the adoption journey. They may be able to answer questions as you finalize the adoption and provide sage parenting advice as your child ages.
They can also assist you with some of the more practical things that need done for a new child. A good support system may throw you an adoption shower to provide things you need for the baby. They may supply a few meals so you can focus on adjusting to life with another child. Allow some of these trusted friends to help care for you in tangible ways so you can focus on bonding with your new child.
This is also a great time to begin talking with family members and friends about your plans to adopt. Many times, you may encounter some initial discouraging responses when you share your excitement over a potential adoption. Telling your family and friends in advance gives them time to adjust to the idea. Make sure to give them space to process their own feelings about adoption without taking it too personally.
Prepare your home and lifestyle.
You want your new child to have a comfortable and safe environment from the first moment they walk through the door. Preparing your home in advance of their arrival allows you to rest easier during the wait. Go ahead and assemble the crib, purchase clothes in a variety of sizes, and paint the walls. All of the nesting you do right now will ultimately be useful when the child comes home.
This is also a great time to start stocking up on the essentials for a new baby. You may stockpile your pantry, load up the freezer, and deep clean the entire home. Every item you’re able to check off your to-do list right now will bring you more peace when the child arrives.
Knowing that you have a child on the way, you probably expect to have a fair amount of lifestyle adjustments. Will you need to find a daycare for your little one? Maybe you need a new car that can better accommodate an infant’s car seat. Consider the daily things that you will need in order to make things work with a new child. Arranging those things now can be a great relief to you in the near future.
Complete your fundraisers.
Depending on the type of adoption you pursue, you may acquire a lot of new financial obligations. Don’t wait until the child comes home to begin fundraising for your adoption expenses and attorney’s fees. You can go ahead and brainstorm creative ideas to raise the money you need while you wait.
Maybe you can enlist the help of friends or local businesses to help bolster your adoptions savings account. Sell t-shirts, sponsor a silent auction, or host a pancake breakfast where all of the proceeds will go toward paying your adoption expenses. These can be very time-consuming and exhausting endeavors, so fundraising before the child arrives is an excellent way to be proactive.
There’s no specific combination of these items that will lead to the ultimate adoption success story. However, each family will need a dash of all these ingredients in varying quantities to make their dreams into a reality. Evaluate where your family could spend more time in the coming months while you pursue an adoption.
You may find yourself lingering in one area longer than another. Your adoption is going to be completely unique, so your expectations and the ways you prepare for that adoption will be also. No matter how you get there, don’t forget to enjoy the journey while you wait.