During your adoption journey, you might find that you need additional help to work through some of the emotions that come up. Seeking the help of a licensed counselor can be a valuable tool because it allows you to learn methods for how to cope, react, or address the challenges and feelings you’re encountering.
Here are just a few examples of situations where past adoptive couples have gotten counseling:
- Finding a sense of loss for the unfulfilled hope of pregnancy
- Feeling as if it’s time to give up because the wait is too long
- Anxiety over the process of becoming parents, especially when compared to friends who can conceive biologically
- Marriage issues that seem to appear out of nowhere (or are amplified by the adoption process)
- Disagreement over adoption goals or preferences
- Experiencing a reclaim or failed match
- Or, just simply to get more support
There’s no “wrong” reason to get counseling when you’re waiting to adopt. The wait is a very stress-filled time for some adoptive couples, and it has anxious highs and discouraging lows. At Lifetime, we provide access to free adoption webinars once a month. Visit AdoptionWebinar.com to sign up for this program and get notified when the next webinar takes place. The monthly webinars will give you tips for increasing your opportunities for success in adoption, as well as the chance to hear other’s adoption success stories.
Yet for some adoptive parents in the wait, an outside counselor is needed to assist in finding other ways to make this time less anxious and more focused on the bright future ahead.
If you feel like there are issues in your marriage that need work, now is the time to get counseling. It’s important that both spouses are on the same page regarding adoption, and are dedicated to working on their challenges together.
You might be wondering how to find counseling for adoptive parents. Visit your health insurance coverage’s website to search for specific providers. You can also ask your doctor for referrals to qualified counselors nearby.
While you might not find any counselors who specialize in adoption, most Marriage and Family Counselors will be able to support you.
Seeking counseling for adoptive parents may reveal other issues which are coming up in unexpected ways. Lifetime has found that this is very normal in adoptive parents. Another important benefit to seeking out a counselor now is that they can help after you adopt too, if you experience the ‘baby blues’ (also known as Post-Adoption Depression.)
No matter what struggle you’re facing, please know that you don’t have to go through it alone and without help. A skilled counselor is there to help you work through these issues. Seek out the extra support if it’s needed.
As the Chief Operating Officer (COO) 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.