Making the decision to adopt a child can be one of the most loving, difficult, complicated things you’ll ever face as an adult. It may mean that you’ve had to come to terms with your own infertility issues, failed attempts with your own pregnancies, questions and exterior complications thrown in from those around you, and finding the perseverance to overcome it all; it can be a mix of every emotion…but adoption is so worth it. Here’s what you need to know about adoption.
1. Everything will change
There is nothing more pure than the love of a child. Bringing a child into your world opens your heart and mind to possibilities you may never have had before. Everything in your world will change; absolutely every single detail, regardless if you deliver the child yourself or make the choice to adopt, will change when you bring home a child.
Deciding to open your heart and home, and welcome a child into your world to raise, isn’t an easy task; you don’t just wake up one morning and think, “Today I’m going to adopt a child.” Endless hours of thought and preparation go into making that first decision about adoption, but once you’ve made it, it is just beginning and the rewards are already building.
2. Excitement about adoption
You’ll be so excited to share your news, you’ll want to tell everybody around you. Some may have gone through the process themselves and want to share their stories with you, others may know someone who has adopted a child and want to share their second-hand version of a story, and others may not have any idea of what you’re going to experience. You’ll get ideas from a variety of sources: family, friends, friends of friends…the internet; take what you want from each and start your process. From someone who has been right where you are, I’d like to offer my two cents worth to the pile.
3. Many Options
Consider your ideal experience: does it include a private adoption using lawyers or one through an agency? If you’re considering a private adoption, you may need to review your financial situation and find a good adoption attorney. You’ll need to get the vital details written down for all parties to agree upon before moving forward, and it can be extremely costly. If you decide to use an agency, research is key. Local, national, and international adoptions are all quite different experiences; it’s good to know your comfort zones and know the difference between what you find acceptable, unacceptable, or questionable before moving forward.
As you start looking at your options…local, national or international for starters…find some time to be alone with your thoughts. Make a list of the things that are important to you, considering things such as: do you want an open adoption? What is an open adoption to you? What age of child would you prefer to adopt; does gender matter; what about health issues and/or birth defects? The more time you put into these issues beforehand, the more time it will save you later on in the process.
4. Adoption is love
Some may think a family can never love an adoptive child as much as their own. Let me tell you flat out: that is not true. A parent’s unconditional love for each of their children starts the moment they’re born in your heart; sharing the same blood type or genetic pool is just a formality. Love for your own child–biological or not–is always the best blessing.
Congratulations on your decision about adoption; you will be amazed at how wonderful your life is about to become.