1) Adoption is worth it!
There will be ups and downs throughout your adoption journey. It’s OK! It’s a lot like life. Every adoption is unique and you won’t have all the answers to all the questions. Try to rest in the knowledge that every other couple that has adopted before you have been there.
2) Adoption is not a quick process.
Adoption usually takes a while. And that’s OK. You’ll be busy doing all the adoption things (paperwork, training classes, etc.) so just breathe and let God determine the timeline. When I finally realized that I wanted the child God had for us and that meant I had to wait for that child to be born, I got a little more relaxed about the timing.
3) The cost to adopt is likely not as prohibitive as you may think.
If you start googling the cost of adoption, it can be enough to make you say, “this is impossible” and put it on the back burner. Don’t! There are so many financial options available. You can learn about many of those on my site. If we had let finances get in the way, we wouldn’t have these two precious children! And, they were meant to be ours so I’m glad we pushed through this!
4) Tell others! The support is important & will keep you going.
There was a time when we entertained the idea of keeping our adoption plans a secret. We thought it might be easier. In hindsight, I’m so glad we told everyone! Honestly, we couldn’t have done it without sharing our plans. The support was integral to making adoption possible for us. Not only did the prayers and words of support help more than we’ll ever know but the financial support friends poured out made all the difference!
5) Be honest in your profile.
I remember being so concerned when it came time to create our profile book. It felt like our simple life, our small home, and other factors might not fare well for us when it came time to being selected. I was even more concerned that our specific preferences to adopt a specific gender would go against us! It didn’t! Don’t worry about it. Just be honest. God already knows what child/ children he intends for you. And, that child is going to fit in just fine with your real life. So, be real and honest.
6) An experienced adoption agency and/or lawyer is worth every penny!
I can’t say enough about our experience with our agency. Were there moments of frustration throughout the adoption process? Absolutely. Probably more than I can count. But, it was not the fault of the agency. When I got overwhelmed or frustrated I was able to call our caseworker and talk it out with her. It was amazing!
Also, we were able to rest in the fact that they were taking care of all the important details and we didn’t have to worry about that.
With our second adoption, which was a direct placement, we used a lawyer familiar with adoption. I highly suggest getting a referral for an adoption lawyer. You do not want someone inexperienced with adoption handling something (and someone) so important.
7) Open adoption is awesome!
If I could go back in time, I would not waste any time or energy being concerned about open adoption. Initially, I was so worried about what open adoption would be like. Would we be co-parenting? Would it be too invasive to allow us to form the family bond that is so vitally important? No! Not at all. It is now my preference that we have an open adoption. For more info on open adoption, check out this post.
8) Don’t worry about careless comments.
Remember that we, as adoptive parents, are in the minority. This means that most people you meet don’t adopt. It’s hard to understand something if you haven’t experienced it. Try not to take what seem to be careless comments to heart. One common comment many adoptive parents get is about your child’s “real” parents. I hear it often. Try not to take it personally. I know we are their real parents. Just smile and know that they most likely mean well. You are their “real” parent in every sense of the word.
9) The love is the same.
Don’t ever worry that you won’t love an adopted child as much as a biological child. It’s just not how it works. For some encouraging quotes that speak to this, check out this post.
10) Gods got this!
As I said in the beginning, there are going to be unanswered questions. Try to rest in the fact that God already has it all worked out. He already knows who your future child is. If you just follow His lead and do the next thing in front of you to do, which sometimes in adoption is just to wait, you will be able to enjoy the journey much more than you otherwise would.
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