For couples who’ve faced infertility, adoption quickly becomes one of the best ways for them to realize their dream of being a parent. While adoption is a wonderful way to start your family, as with any life situation, it is very important that the expectations about the process and the outcome are realistic.
You may not be realistic in your adoption expectations if you:
- Can’t stop worrying. If you can’t focus on your daily tasks, or sleep, or eat, because you are worried about adoption, you may need to adjust your expectations. If you can’t focus enough at work or take care of your living requirements now, how will you do when you incorporate a child into your life equation? Keep things in perspective. Adoption isn’t “all or nothing.” It’s a process and you can’t make it go quicker or slower than it needs to go. Be open and flexible with regard to deadlines and steps. Try not to let your social, financial, or work life suffer because you have made the decision to adopt. A child is supposed to be a positive addition to your life, not take away from its overall fulfillment or stability.
- Get upset whenever you see a baby. While it’s only natural to have some feelings of envy, as things may not have gone as you anticipated in your own life, it is not good to feel angry or upset with those that already have a child.
- Think that adoption is the answer to all of life’s problems. Adoption is about giving of yourself for a child and making your family more complete. It may not change the other aspects of your life with regard to your own personal struggles or acceptance.
- Think that adoption will “fix” your marriage. To be honest, if you are looking to adopt a child for the sole purpose of satisfying your spouse or changing your relationship, then, it is pretty fair to say that adoption is not your answer. Adoption is not a magic wand and won’t erase years of marital issues. While adding a child to your marriage could enrich your family’s life, it won’t change everything for the better.
- Can’t accept that your adopted child may not look exactly like you want them to look. Adoption is about sharing your life with a child and giving that child a wonderful upbringing. The baby that you have envisioned in your dreams may not be your reality if you choose to adopt. Before you go too far into the process, you should know and understand this. If the organization that is helping you finds that you appear “shallow” or stuck on looks, then, finding a suitable match with a birthmother or child may become virtually impossible.
Your life can be fantastic and your dreams can come true if you make adoption a priority in your life. But, when you do make the decision to adopt, make sure to put and keep things in their proper perspective. Otherwise, you may find yourself disappointed, disoriented, and disheveled because of unrealistic expectations.
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.