Monday, December 10, 2012

5 Tips To Start Your Adoption Journey

Someone emailed me recently and asked, "During your process, what do you wish you would have known then what you know now?"  I thought this was a great question and wanted to share my answer. I am constantly learning new things about adoption and my point of view is ever expanding.  Things that worried me in the beginning are long gone and have been replaced with new worries like, picking a daycare, what crib mattress to buy, how will we adjust to our new lifestyle and so on.

Here are some things I have learned from our adoption process so far, maybe they will help as you begin your adoption journey:

1.  The home study isn't that bad. Yes, it's a lot of paper work, a lot of questions and a dreaded home visit, but if you stay organized the home study is no sweat. Answer the questions they ask honestly. If the social worker has questions about your answers, you'll be given a chance to provide further details.The home visit is the state making sure you have a safe environment for a child. They are not judging on your homemaking.  I admit it, I lost my mind temporary preparing for the visit. You can read all about it here. Make sure you have smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and a fire extinguisher and you're good.

2.  If you are adopting through an agency and they offer educational meetings, attend all of them. Even if you have met your education requirement or have been to a similar class before. We learn something new every time and we feel like we stay fresh in our social worker's mind.

3.  Don't get freaked out about an open or semi-open adoption.  I feel like you should accept the birth mother's role in your child's life. She gave birth to your baby and you have to honor that and not pretend she doesn't exist.  I went in being afraid of the birth mom and the relationship she would have with us and our child. If you do a domestic adoption, most of the time you are going to have some contact with her and maybe the birth dad too.  In the end, I think it's healthy for everyone. The birth mom isn't worrying if she did the right thing and your child isn't wondering about why they were placed for adoption.

4.  With your profile, focus on who you are as a couple and why you would be good parents.  Check out our profile here.  If infertility is the reason that you are adopting, be positive and don't dwell on the subject.  Give a single statement about what led you to adoption and move on.  In my opinion, an expectant mom doesn't want to feel like adoption is your second choice.  You've both may have had a difficult road that led you to adoption, but something brought you both to choose this path.

5.  Lastly, embrace the wait. You could be placed quickly or wait a long time.  Enjoy your time as a couple. This is the last time it will be just the two of you.  A lot of people who choose adoption want a baby yesterday. Do things to occupy your time. I started this blog and it's helped tremendously with the wait. Maybe take a baby care class or an infant CPR class. Browse the aisles at Babies 'R Us and make a wish list, just don't make yourself crazy waiting. I know it is easier said than done, but it will save your sanity. We've been waiting 16 months, I know my baby will come and so will yours.


  1. Found your blog through Adoptive Families. Sounds like we are in a similar place in the process, although our families are a little different. #1 is so true.

    1. Thanks Melanie! All the best to you and your family. Nice blog too, thanks for sharing.


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