The journey of becoming a mother does not begin the same way for everyone. Many consider pregnancy as the start of motherhood, but for many women getting pregnant is never a part of becoming a mother. Instead, their journey to motherhood begins with finding their child through adoption.
And while there are many unique reasons families are led to adopt, one thing is certain–the adoption process is not easy. In fact, it is normally long and somewhat exhausting and can involve repeated heartbreak. It’s not always easy to stay hopeful when you so badly long for a baby, but seem to face one roadblock after another when trying to get to him or her.
However, at the end of the road, once your child is in your arms, it is a miracle that is worth every ounce of effort. Or so I’ve heard from the many parents I know who have gone through this process themselves.
So today, I wanted to let several people who have successfully navigated the road of adoption share with you their favorite tips for staying strong, beginning with some words of wisdom from an adoption attorney.
1. Prepare Emotionally
“It is important that you grieve not being able to have a baby before you choose to start an adoption. It makes the adoption process go more smoothly.” –Megan
“Make sure you want to adopt for THE CHILD not for YOURSELF. An adopted child will not fill a ‘void’ or a ‘missing piece.’ That is too much pressure on the child and they will not live up to that expectation. And make sure both husband/wife are 100% on board. A lot of couples are more one-sided in their commitment, and that’s when marriages and families break down.” –Holly
2. Do Your Research
“It is also important that you talk to many sources and find a team you trust. You are your own advocate. You do not want to jump in and begin the process before you have done your due diligence. However, after you have found a team you feel safe with, trust the process. The more you try to control, the harder it will be.” –Megan
3. Find Community
“Talk to other people who have adopted to find support.” –Megan
“I was part of a Yahoo group of families adopting through our agency’s program, and we all became close. For those who travel ahead of us, we were glued to their adoption blogs for daily updates while they were in China. When it was our turn to travel, I already felt like I knew the families in our travel group. It was easy to bond quickly, going through the same process.” –Carrie
4. Stay Strong to Your Commitment
“There will be friends and family who do not understand what you are doing and why. They might say hurtful things. They might not agree with you. They might even cut off some or all relationship, but STICK TO YOUR CONVICTION or COMMITMENT. You don’t owe anyone else an explanation if it is what is right for your family!” –Holly
“Have patience, and don’t lose hope if something falls through no matter how perfect it felt.” –Esther
5. Be Authentic With the Birth Family
“My thoughts would be to be authentic! Don’t try to impress the birth family because they will see right through you. Be exactly who you are and don’t be afraid to love on the birth parents. You will most likely have an everlasting bond with one another. Be open and honest at all times–never ‘put on a show’ to be who you think they would like. Be supportive of them and be good listeners to them. As difficult as it may be at times, especially when the end result is unknown, as long as you stay true to yourself and kind to those throughout the process, you have not failed.” –Jennifer
“Love on that baby and those bio parents while you wait for those initial papers to be signed. You’ll have that memory forever. Shine love on those bio parents like you never have before. Sometimes you’re all they have in the world.” –Amber
6. Keep Hope
“The wait tested and strengthened our faith and even though our process was hard, I could not be the mom I am without her.” –Esther
“It’s worth it. Hard, impossible moments will come. You’ll be sure you were not meant for this road, that you cannot get it all done, write those checks, bear another roadblock or rejection from a birth mom. BUT God has a plan and your child is oh-so worth it all.” –Andi
“God truly conceived her in our hearts, and she is just as much ‘ours ‘s the boys are. She is not our ‘mission project.’ She’s our daughter. We are a family. Others have said that she is lucky to have us, we know that we are the ones who are blessed because we have her.” –Carrie
“We were completely incomplete without her but she makes us full in a way words cannot express. We prayed for her and I truly feel she is the answer to my prayers and the match could have only been made by God.” –Esther
May these words encourage you as you move forward to finding YOUR baby.
P.S. If you have adopted, we would love for you to show us a picture of or share a story about your sweet child to encourage other mothers in the process.