I was intrigued when I read the short synopsis of Tracy Citron’s adoption experience posted on MyAdoptionAdvisor.com. Shortly after making the decision to adopt, Tracy and her husband attended a seminar by Hal Kaufman who said, “You don’t wait for a job. You look for a job. So why would you WAIT to adopt?” Why indeed?

Many of us mistakenly wait for much of life to happen to us (myself included), thinking that the normal course of things is that life will eventually play out as we expect it to. We just have to wait for it. But experience has taught me that LETTING THINGS HAPPEN TO US is vastly different than WORKING TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN! I wonder . . . if we all took the approach that Tracy did, would everything adoption-related become easier, more systematic, more peaceful, and more timely for everyone?

Here are some ideas of ways to LOOK to adopt rather than WAIT to adopt:

Create “Hoping to Adopt” Business Cards. I’ve known people who have used their business card so freely that without a doubt, eventually the card will land in the hands of someone who can help! For example, every time you need to leave anything anywhere, add the business card along with what you’re leaving. When you drop off your library books at the front desk; when you pay your dry cleaning bill or any other bill; when you send a note to your child’s teacher; when you check in at the airport; when you leave a tip for the valet; when you mail a letter. Needing ideas for business card design? There are printing companies that specialize in adoption-related business cards. Just do a Google search and you’ll be surprised at the list that pops up.

Make “Hoping to Adopt” Bumper Stickers. Consider getting a handful of bumper stickers printed up saying “COUPLE HOPES TO ADOPT” and list your website or a phone number dedicated to adoption. Find family and friends who are willing to put the sticker on their car for a bit of time and see if it pays off.

Open Your Mouth. Sure, people get sick of hearing about adoption sometimes, but who cares if it gets you your child, right? Take every opportunity to share your desire to adopt. Tell the person next to you on the plane; tell your church leader; tell your neighbors; tell your co-workers and the cafeteria server. Be bold!

Advertise Where Lawful. It might seem a little tacky, but honestly, there are some birth mothers out there who don’t know where to look, or who are afraid to ask others where to look. So advertise on Facebook and ask your friends to share; create a website; advertise on Craigslist. (But check your state laws first! It’s not legal to advertise your hope to adopt in all states.)

Be creative as you search for your child. Yes, there are those who think that when you advertise in any way you’re reducing the child to a commodity. But in reality, you’re simply expanding your search for the child who will call you mom or dad forever. It’s a proactive approach to growing your family. So be brave and be ACTIVE!