I had a pit in my stomach for days. Were we really going to do this? How were people going to respond when we told them?

Announcing your plans to adopt can be both exciting and nerve-racking. We solicited help from our favorite cupcake shop; other families have been creative with their announcements (click here for some adorable examples).

Whether you decide to share your plans publicly or keep them private until an adoption is finalized, here are a few things to keep in mind before telling others you’re adopting.

1. Be Prepared for Questions

Not everyone is familiar with the adoption process. They may have questions about why you’ve chosen to grow your family via adoption, how much it may cost, where you’re at in the process and how they can help. Be prepared to answer these commonly asked questions if you’re comfortable. You may even consider typing a letter with frequently asked questions to leave behind or share with others.

2. Have Realistic Expectations

Some people may not know exactly how to respond to your adoption announcement, especially if you’re in the early stages of the adoption process. It can be hard for them to visualize a baby or child joining your family without a pregnancy to conceptualize the process of growing your family. Have realistic expectations surrounding your news, and be prepared to answer their concerns about the adoption process.

3. Make it Special

Whether it’s with cupcakes or photos, making the decision to adopt takes a lot of thought and consideration; this is an exciting time for your family! Make it memorable and share your special news with others however you feel appropriate.

4. Be Happy

When others see how happy you are with this decision, they’ll naturally be happy for you! Be honest with how you’re feeling about the fluidity of the adoption process, but share what makes this time exciting for your family as well. Your optimism will be contagious, and it’s great to have others share in your happiness.