Often, we find that women lead the way in the adoption journey, making that initial phone call to Lifetime, ensuring all the required paperwork is turned in, creating their adoption profile, and so on. They’re the ones doing the research and asking all the essential questions.
Along the way, they might not voice that they need more support from their husband. This can lead to frustration with him, causing friction in the relationship.
Most husbands don’t want to discuss adoption, let alone take the lead. However, couples should walk the path to adopting together, because after all, you will both become parents. Adoption should be a couple’s decision and journey together. Before you adopt, both of you should be fully on board and participating. Parenthood is something that will change both of your lives.
Lifetime Adoption recognizes that the adoption wait can be challenging in different ways to each spouse. In this post, we’ll share some tips on how you can support your wife during the adoption wait.
Be There for Her
Tim Elder is the podcast host and founder of Infant Adoption Guide. He and his wife Tisha adopted all three of their children through Lifetime Adoption. He says, “Your adoption will be the biggest journey you and your wife will ever be on together. So get fully on board.”
He created a website, blog, and podcast to help hopeful adoptive families with their domestic infant adoptions. He suggests that you should be onboard and step up to support your wife. Ask yourself these questions to evaluate where you are in the process:
- Why am I reluctant?
- Am I where my wife is on this journey? Why not?
- How can I get on board with her?
Talk with your wife and be honest about where you are. Reach out to your adoption agency because they can address your concerns and help you determine where to go from here.
Accept What You Can’t Change
The adoption process can be discouraging at times. You might both feel discouraged, angry, or emotionally drained. It’s a struggle to remain patient during the wait to be chosen by a birth mother. Plus, other things can prolong your wait, like a delay in getting your adoption professional profiles about you so that they can present your family to potential birth parents.
It’s common for men to want to fix everything. But with adoption, you need to realize there are limitations. You need to be okay with accepting what you can’t change. It’s all part of the process. Pray and ask God for help to wait and know He’ll bring your baby at just the right time.
Get in There, Husbands
It’s easy to let your wife lead the way in the adoption, but it’s important to step up and support your wife. Get involved in everything. Help her prepare your house for the home study, lead the way in the background checks, or assist in putting your online profile together. Be sure the two of you talk throughout the adoption journey. Walk alongside your wife, not behind her on your path to parenthood.
Be a Strong Male Role Model
Every birth mother wants a loving home for her child. She especially desires for her child to have a dad involved in their life, as a two-parent household may not be something she can provide.
Many birth mothers hope for their child’s adoptive father to be strong, honest, and caring. Show her what kind of dad you’ll be with pictures on your profile of you working on your house, playing with your nieces and nephews, or coaching the little league baseball team. Let her know you’ll be an involved dad!
After you adopt, be sure to show your child’s birth mother that you are a loving and attentive father. You can do this by keeping the lines of communication open and sending her updates on her child. For your open adoption, this might look like monthly emails with photos and videos attached. Or, it may look like meeting up once or twice a year, in a location that’s halfway between yourselves and your birth mother. Your future contact is something that you’ll determine together with her once you match.
See the Blessings
It’s easy to get caught up in the end goal of bringing home your baby. But take time to celebrate the milestones as you reach them. Find gratitude along the way. It can bring you joy, even in the waiting. Be sure to see the blessings in your journey when, for example:
- You finish the paperwork for your home study.
- You attend an adoption webinar as part of your required adoption education.
- You submit everything needed for your background checks.
- You complete your adoption profile.
- You talk or meet with a birth mother.
Every step that you complete is part of your unique adoption journey. Treasure each moment of the adoption process. Someday you’ll be able to tell your child the story of their adoption with a sense of gratitude.
Hang in There
The process of adopting a baby can bring with it a roller coaster of emotions. It will test your patience. Be strong and support your wife through every part of the adoption. Don’t leave her feeling alone.
It’s easy for husbands to want to throw in the towel when they realize the adoption will cost a lot more money than expected, or the process gets too hard. But don’t give up! If you persevere, you will adopt. Encourage your wife not to give up. Walk together even if it’s hard because someday you will hold your precious baby in your arms!
It can be very helpful to find like-minded parents who will encourage you along the way. Adoption support groups are beneficial because you can learn so much from other hopeful adoptive parents in them.
If you’re a Lifetime adoptive family, make sure to attend Lifetime’s educational adoption webinars. In them, you’ll get valuable advice and insight from Lifetime’s adoption experts. Our webinars also allow you to hear from successful adoptive parents who were recently in your shoes, waiting to be picked by a birth mother.
Continue to seek education during your adoption journey. Read about adoption, take parenting classes created especially for adoptive couples, listen to adoption podcasts, and follow relevant adoption blogs. These can be great resources to answer questions about adoption, get helpful tips about finances, and find support.
Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).
Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.
“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!
Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.
I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.
It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”