When we have a goal or an outcome in mind, we often envision it happening in a certain way. Usually, this imagining presents the ideal scenario: quick, efficient, and without complication.
During an adoption, it’s our job to make the process as simple as possible for both the birth family and the adoptive family. We’re always available to answer questions and we guide you step-by-step through the adoption process.
However, there are a lot of moving parts in an adoption: the birth parents, the adoptive parents, the child, the legal system, the agency, and even the weather could impact how the process unfolds – and how long it takes.
As an adoptive parent, there are certain elements of the adoption that can’t be controlled. When you try to control them, you end up feeling stressed and frustrated, which doesn’t help anything (and, obviously, can make it all worse).
Below are some of those elements, along with some tips about what to do instead of trying to control the uncontrollable.
The Waiting Period
There’s simply no way to know when you’ll be matched with a baby. It might be within a month. It might take several months. Even after the match, the child could be born within a week or in another six months.
Focus on your tasks: complete the paperwork and the home study, adoptive parent training, and your family profile. You can prepare your home for a baby, do tasks or activities that won’t be possible with a newborn in the house, or take a babymoon vacation! Don’t get so caught up in waiting that you forget to live your life. Take it one day at a time, and remember: you’re not waiting for a child, you’re waiting for your child. The right match is out there, and it’s worth the wait.
We all want a perfectly healthy baby, but part of parenting is providing the care he or she needs no matter what happens. Though you will be made aware of the birth parents’ medical histories, when available, before you agree to the match, there’s not always a way to know what will carry through to the child.
We do everything we can to ensure the birth mother has a healthy pregnancy, but sometimes there are unforeseen challenges that impact the health of the child, as well.
Remember: we all carry unique genetic blueprints, none of which are flawless. Waiting for an ideal birth mother medical history might mean waiting a long time for a baby. If you are open to adopting a child who may have drug or alcohol exposure or specific medical condition, you likely won’t have to wait as long to be matched with a child.
We file everything as quickly as we can, but it’s not all up to us: lawyers, courts, and more can impact when everything goes through. This is true before placement and until the adoption is finalized.
Look at it this way: it takes time because everyone involved, from the birth parents to the agency to the courts, want to be sure this child is finding the right home. You’re focused on the best interest of your baby, and so is everyone else.
Expectations vs. Reality
Welcoming a baby into your family might not match your expectations. It will be wonderful in its own way, of course, but she might cry more than you imagined. He might be allergic to the cat. You might decide you don’t want to go back to work (or that you do), after all. Your parents and neighbors might not be as helpful as you’d thought.
This is all part of parenthood.
You might have other expectations throughout the process, as well. Maybe you wanted to be present for the birth, but the biological mother changed her mind about allowing that, or the baby was born two weeks early and you didn’t have time to get there, or the weather was so bad you couldn’t leave the house. These things happen and allowing yourself to roll with them rather than getting too attached to any particular outcome will allow you to create a more positive adoption experience.
There’s no quick tip that will help you let go. Rather, it’s a practice you must undertake (which will come in handy as a parent, anyway!). Recognize the futility in trying to control the elements that are completely out of your hands. Instead of fighting for the story you originally wanted to create, step back and allow the story that is happening right in front of you.
Ready to start the adoption journey? We’re here with you every single step of the way! Whether you are interested in learning more about placing your child for adoption or interested in growing your family through adoption, our team can help!