Ideas on how to offer support to a friend in the adoption process
Do you have a family member or friend who is trying to adopt through a Foster-Adopt program? Here are a few ways you can be of help:
During the Waiting Times
- Be a friend. Be someone your friend can vent their fears and frustrations to. Waiting is hard. They don’t need advice nearly so much as they need compassion. Open your heart and your ears.
- Do not tell an infertile friend about how lucky they are to get to skip labor and delivery. Women long to experience giving birth; it’s somehow a part of who we are. We know it hurts, but we still wish we could go through it.
- Educate yourself about adoption and foster care. It is so helpful to talk to friends who have a level of understanding about what you are attempting.
When a foster placement arrives:
- Offer to make a trip to the grocery or discount store.
- Bring an evening meal, or arrange a care calendar for the first two weeks. It is can be discombobulating for the new foster child and they need a lot of one-on-one attention. Feeding the family can really help.
- Please do not ask, “Do you get to keep this one?” They may not know that right away.
- Understand that they may not want a lot of people in the house while they are trying to help this child attach to them. Foster and adoptive placements alike need to attach to their caregivers.
- Ask what size clothes or what type of toys the family needs and clean your closets. Foster kids usually come with very few possessions.
- Find out the requirements to be a babysitter for your friend’s foster child(ren). Usually the requirements are few, like a background check and a CPR class. A friend who can watch a foster child a couple of hours can be a lifesaver.
- Be willing to listen without judgment; be a secret-keeper. Your friends will need someone to talk to about their child(ren), but they also have to respect that child’s right to privacy.
- Sometimes the best help is a quiet, heartfelt hug or a note saying, “You’re doing a great job!”
Thanks for caring enough to want to help. The adoptive family is lucky to have you!