Monday, June 2, 2014

5 Things to Know if You are Thinking about Adoption

Last week (in the same day!), I had two different people tell me that they are thinking about adopting.  
My first reaction when someone tells me this is: “YAYYYYYYYYYYY!!!”  I try really hard to refrain from jumping up and down and hugging them for a good 5 minutes, but I’m always just so excited when people share that they are starting the adoption process.  I know I’m biased but I think adoption is really the best thing ever in the whole wide world. But I also know that it’s a little bit of a scary time full of unknowns and anxiety.  

Rest assured dear friends, we’ve been there before. Those who’ve traveled the adoption road (with all its bumps and hurdles) have survived and arrived (perhaps a little weary) but with words of wisdom to share.  

Looking back almost 2 years (wow!) since Emily was born, here are 5 things I wish someone would have told me:

  • Cast a wide net. There are several adoption options (surrogacy, foster care, adoption agency, private attorney….) to choose from. Start by exploring each (reading and talking to others who’ve done it) and then narrow it down to the one that is a good fit for you.
  • Start saving now.  Yes, adoption can be expensive. But I was more surprised by little things that popped up that we hadn’t budgeted for (like living in a hotel out of state for 2 weeks!).
  • Build your circle of supporters. Adoption is like any other major life event. Sadly, not everyone is going to support you and some people will say (and do) hurtful things.  Keep a few close friends that will truly encourage you along the way.
  • Trust your gut. You will be faced with making some really tough decisions. Go with what feels right.  Early on we got a call about another birth family. I wanted so badly to say “yes” to but looking back there were red flags and I’m glad we didn’t.
  • There is a plan. God truly does have a perfect plan in His perfect time. Just go with it. It might not be easy at first, but learn to trust Him and accept that nothing we do will change or speed it up!

Adoption changes your life in a way you never expected. At the end of the day, it’s about being a part of something truly amazing. You learn how to open up your heart and home to a little person that makes you look at the world in a whole new way. You love unconditionally and are loved unconditionally. They may not have your eyes or your hair but they have your heart. And it's a beautiful thing.