Thursday, August 23, 2018

Why Your Adoption Hasn't Happened Yet
























Most adoptive families agree: the wait can be one of the hardest parts of the adoption process. It can be agonizing to not have a "due date" and often wonder if you'll still be waiting days, weeks, or even years from now. If you've found yourself in the wait and it's stretching for much longer than you anticipated, here's a few practical steps you can take:

Position yourself to be ready 
Did you know in the United States, it's estimated that 1 in 3 couples talk about adoption, but only 2% of those actually adopt? So many families are open to adopting, but so few take the necessary steps. I've talked to a lot of families who say they want to adopt, but aren't actually moving forward with the adoption process. Some of the first steps to welcoming a child into your home through adoption is obtaining a home study and having the finances available. Finding a quality home study provider in your area, filling out the paperwork, and going through the medical and background screening is necessary to adopt. After completing the home study, take the time during the wait to continue to finance your adoption. Apply for grants available, fundraise, and save any extra dollars you can. That way, your home and your finances will be ready when you match.

Work with the right adoption professionals
Traditionally, when a family decided to adopt they would find a local agency, complete a home study, and wait to be matched an expectant mother working with the same agency. Today, the possibilities to connect with other agencies, attorneys, and ultimately expectant families are available across the country. Now you care hire an Adoption Consultant that will not only help "connect the dots" between hopeful adoptive families and reputable agencies and attorneys working with expectant families, but is also someone who can offer education, support, resources, and guidance. Having a personal guide through your adoption journey to steer you away from pitfalls, connect you to reputable agencies and attorneys, and help with practical steps can be an indispensable resource.
One warning: it's important in the adoption process not to sacrifice ethics for speed. Some adoption professionals promise a quick match but it could be at the cost of ensuring everyone in the adoption triad, particularly the expectant/birth family has the support needed both during the pregnancy and long after they have placed their child. Make sure you ask the right questions to find the right fit for you.

Create a quality profile
Most often in domestic adoption, an expectant or birth family chooses an adoptive family after reviewing profiles: a book that gives them insight into who you are, what your family is like, what you enjoy, and your hopes and dreams for your family and children. The measure of a good profile is not the design and layout or the quality pictures used (although those are important features). A great profile will be one that authentically tells your story: who you are and what you value. It allows the expectant/birth family to clearly envision what it would look like if you raised their child and welcomed them into your home. Having an adoption professional help to put your story on paper can be invaluable since it's such a critical element to the adoption process.

Say "yes"
I work with a lot of families who have gone through the steps of hiring a consultant, completing the home study, and created a great home study, but then feel "stuck" actually agreeing to present to situations. With so many unknowns in the adoption process, it's complex reviewing details about an expectant mother and deciding to move forward or not. But I've found that families who are most at peace in the adoption process decide to walk through every door God opens for them and pray he slams it shut if it's not his will. They keep saying "yes" and wait on God. And most of them say "yes" over and over and over before they are chosen by an expectant family. As scary as it can be to put yourself out on the line, you'll only be chosen if you take a leap of faith, risk your heart, and choose to be vulnerable.

Rest in God's timing for your family
Maybe you've read through this list and you've already checked all the boxes. Home study and bank account ready, beautiful profile that depicts your story, and working with adoption professionals you trust, but you're still waiting. We know that ultimately, it's not a home study, the right agency, or the perfect profile that determines your adoption: God does. This is probably the most important step, but often overlooked and definitely the hardest to do. Because this step isn't about doing: checking a box or making the calls. Resting in God, finding peace in the wait, and trusting His timing is by far the hardest step, but can be one of the most rewarding and fruitful parts of your adoption journey.

If you're in the wait, you can rest in this truth: you can't mess up or miss out on God's plan for your growing family. In the end, He is sovereign over the adoption process, and you can trust His perfect timing for your family.

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