Friday, July 23, 2010

Interested in Adoption?

I had a few questions to respond to that were sparked by my last post. So, I thought I would address them in a new post. I'm just going to outline the adoption process for those of you who are not familiar with it.

STEP ONE(maybe the most difficult step of all)

Deciding on Adoption as the best way to build your family. This is a must...Adoption should not be viewed as a second best option or a "have to" situation. Although I understand the sadness and grief that goes along with the battle of infertility(been there, done that, refused the t-shirt), I am not in a "have to" situation. No one ever told us we couldn't have babies biologically. Our road would have probably been a difficult one, especially since we would have been going against God's call on our life. I'm not saying that if you are unable to conceive without medical intervention, you are being called to adopt. God may need you to go down that road of treatment so that you can be a light to someone else or so that He can teach you some valuable lessons of love and patience. I'm simply saying that, if you are considering adoption as a way to build your family, please be sure you don't have any feelings of it being the second best option. If you have those feelings, work through them before you begin the journey of adoption.

As part of the decision making process, I would recommend reading about it. I almost never recommend reading, but you need to educate yourself on the ins and outs of adoption. You need to be prepared for comments and questions that will come your way. You need to be educated on the types of adoption...the cost...the adoption versus closed adoption...the effects of adoption on your family (immediate and extended). When we were beginning our journey, we read the book Raising Adopted Children. We have recommended it to friends who recently adopted and we all believe it is worth the read. We also subscribe to a magazine called Adoptive Families. We find the articles to be worthwhile and insightful. When I say I almost never recommend reading, it is because I worry that too much reading can lead to unnecessary fear. I know people who read those "What to Expect" books and think that everything in there is probably going to happen to them and their babies. That is a totally incorrect assumption and leads to a lot of undue stress and fear. So, if you intend to read the book I have recommended or subscribe to the magazine, please use them as an educational tool instead of fear inducing documents!

I would also recommend that you and your spouse openly talk about this method of family building. It is important that you are both on the same page and your children (if you already have some) are with you on this, as well. You don't need to be sitting at an agency and realize that your husband is just along for the ride. This an expensive and emotional road that you don't want to be on alone or with an uncooperative sidekick! It will also be important to discuss adoption with your extended family. Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunts, and Uncles will have questions and fears just like you. Be prepared to field questions and calm concerns or even admit that you have some of the same concerns. Remember that they may be new to this adventure as well. They want to be excited for you and will need some direction from you as you travel the road.

Most importantly, PRAY! God will lead you to your child. He will direct your path if you will seek Him out above all else. He wants to give you the desires of your heart (a heart transformed by Him). As you pray, allow yourself to be open to His plan and direction. Pray for wisdom, direction, courage and peace. Pray for the birth family of your child(ren) and pray for clarity as you seek His path!

Oh...I only got through step one...

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