Through the first years of our marriage I wondered if I’d ever be where I am now . . . a mother of five, grandmother of seven with more on the way. I hoped I would be! Oh how I ached to have children—to have all of my children!
The discussion of adoption came and went several times in the first few years of our marriage. Finally, it became more than just a discussion—we both felt the call, the excitement, the urgency. At long last, we knew we would adopt. This was in the early 90s—before most who read this article were born. The internet was new and computers were just barely starting to be a household item, so searching for information about adoption felt somewhat like being a detective. Today, thanks to technology (and special thanks to incredible people who are happy to share their experiences and their knowledge), just a click of the mouse brings masses of adoption information right in our own homes.
You may be like I was—vacillating about adoption until the time is right. And that time is now! You’ve made the decision and are somewhere along the adoption journey. If you’re at the very beginning, having just made the decision, now you need to know where to start.
Adoption.com writer Sarah Baker has been through the process and is an incredible coach. Perhaps the best way to actually start on the journey is by creating an adoption profile. Sarah guides new hopeful adoptive parents through writing the introduction, your family bio, sharing the interests and activities you enjoy, introducing your extended family and friends to potential birth mothers on your profile, and completing your profile with the summary. With Sarah’s tips, you will be well on your way to finding your child.
Your profile is written and you’re moving forward! But there is more to do, including your adoption home study. Social worker and adoptive mom Meghan Rivard has been through the process and is often asked, “How long does it take to get an adoption home study?” Although time frames vary, Meghan addresses this question as well as more details about what a home study involves in this article. If you haven’t experienced a home study yet, it can seem intimidating. But as you realize the purpose is to make sure you and your child are well matched, it takes away some of the intimidation and helps you see your home study social worker as an advocate rather than an adversary.
So your profile is complete and you’ve submitted your paperwork. The home study has happened, and now everything seems to be at a standstill. Really . . . how long is it going to take? Writer Shannon Hicks has had to wait! She knows the pain. But she also knows that “waiting is not wasted time.” In her article about waiting, Shannon shares ideas on ways to fill the time. She tells us, “When you know that your child is in foster care, or in an orphanage across the ocean, you will do whatever you have to do (and wait as long as you have to wait) to bring them home.” How long will your wait be? No one knows for sure, but read Shannon’s article to help you through the wait.
As you prepare your home, your hearts, and your minds to bring your adopted child home, unanticipated questions will arise. What if my child is bullied because he’s different? How will I really know this child is mine? Should we foster to adopt, adopt internationally, or find a child to adopt privately? How will we incorporate our child’s culture into our family life?
These questions and more are addressed in articles written by adoptive parents on Adoption.com. Are you hoping for information not listed in this article? From the Adoption.com home page, click on the “HOW TO ADOPT” link at the top of the page. Or find the search bar at the top right and type in your question. Maybe you’re just needing a break from all the information and are ready to enjoy some feel-good-adoption stories. They are plentiful!
If you’re considering adoption and would like to speak with a professional about your adoption options, click here.