What Adoptive Parenting Has Taught Me About Persistence

I have underestimated the importance of being persistent.

Caroline Bailey August 09, 2017
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More than once, I have described my children as being persistent little things and have done so to deflect from the true nature of those moments when their defiance or strong-wills come out. My hope is that through parenting persistent children, my husband and I can shape their determination without bending their spirits. I also hope that this characteristic will lend itself towards their futures so they will not back down from achieving their life goals. Ultimately, it will pay off. Right?

In many respects, I have underestimated the importance of being persistent. What (adoptive) parenting has taught me is that it is vital to get up each day and work hard at molding the lives of children who found their way into my life. To understand the importance of persistence in adoptive parenting, one should look at the beginning of the process.

Families who have been able to adopt recognize that without persistence, they would have never made it to their adoption days. It takes a lot of fortitude to finish the stacks of paperwork, background checks, home visits, and any other pertinent requests by the courts, other countries, or placing agencies. In some ways, the process to be approved is a way that families begin to understand how patience and persistence come into play with adoption.

After the approval has happened, families are put into a waiting period…waiting for a match…waiting for the go-ahead to travel…waiting for the courts to deem the child legally free for adoption, etc. This alone seems like an eternity to hopeful families and children. Throughout the times of waiting, I found myself digging in a little deeper and just hanging on.

Adoptive parenting and persisting go together.

When it comes to parenting children who have been adopted, persistence is one of the keys to success. We (adoptive parents) need to not give up in our quest to help our children through whatever life experiences they had prior to becoming members of our families. We should continue to seek valuable and appropriate resources to meet not only their current needs but ones that will potentially help them in the future.

As parents through adoption, we have been given the incredible gift of raising children not born to us, but with that gift, also comes the responsibility to never cease in the growing of our wisdom, the outreach of our hearts and the task of parenting to the best of our abilities and in ways that meet our children right where they are at.

What does all of this have to do with persistence? Everything. I have learned that each day is a new opportunity to try something different or choose to parent in a better, more loving way. Each moment with them guarantees me the chance to lay down a foundation of trust and love; especially on the difficult days. I have learned a whole lot about life since becoming a parent through adoption and I am thankful for it. When I think about parenting and the choices I make with my children, I hope with all hopes that persistence does pay off.

Adoptive parents need to be resilient. We are our children’s best advocates. We should not be afraid to ask others for help. Whether it is advocating for our children’s educational or medical needs to defending our children in various settings, our persistence in these things will pave the way for the futures of our children.

Adoptive parenting and persisting go together. Our children watch us. If we choose to persist even on the hardest of days, we can show them that they are valued, cherished and can also keep on keeping on when life gets hard.

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Caroline Bailey

Caroline is a mother of three children through adoption and a strong advocate for the needs of children and families involved in the child welfare system in the United States. At the age of eleven (1983), she underwent an emergency hysterectomy in order to save her life. Caroline is the youngest person to have a hysterectomy. Her life has been profoundly affected by infertility. In 2006, Caroline and her husband, Bruce, became licensed foster parents. They were blessed to adopt two of their children through foster care in 2008 and 2010. Their youngest child is a relative of Caroline, and they celebrated his adoption in 2013. Caroline works for a Christian child welfare agency in Missouri. She has been a guest speaker at churches and conferences regarding adoption and is currently working on a memoir about the impact of illness, faith, foster care, and adoption in her life. Caroline is also an avid cyclist and enjoys cheering her children on in their various sporting activities. She shares her experience about foster care, adoption, barrenness, parenting, and faith on her blog. She would love to hear from you! Contact her at barrentoblessed@gmail.com.


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