Right here, Right NOW

11 Apr

That’s how you feel after the home study is finished- you want the child RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!

Recently, He-wood and I were part of a panel of adoptive parents with an audience of prospective adoptive parents. Sharing the journey of adoption is hard but necessary. God has been so faithful to us throughout the whole journey and we know he will continue because in all honesty it doesn’t end when we finalize the adoption.

One of the questions we got and we’ve heard before is what do I do to prepare. My heart sinks because 90% of what you would do to prepare while you are carrying a child or your wife is carrying a child is the exact same as for an adopted child. You have certain things you will always need to do. Obviously you need to get supplies- car seats, sleeping arrangements, supplies to feed whether its a toddler or a baby they need these things. I stockpiled diapers because I knew we were set on an infant. If you are getting an older child maybe buy a gift card once a month to a shoe place or clothing store so they can help influence the clothing choices once they are in your care. A pediatrician is needed along with childcare if both parents will be working. If one is planning to stay home after the child comes then maybe start living off one income and saving the other for finances of the adoption.

Things that are adoption specific- maintaining an active status with the adoption agency and keeping paperwork up to date. Finding an adoption attorney- someone who specializes in this an understands the laws. Note about pediatricians- if at all possible find one that is pro-adoption and consider the race of the child. We were blessed with a practice where the two main doctors we always see one is an adoptive mom herself the other is African American which is key to helping our transracial family. If you have an older child- particularly of a different race- consider where they will get their hair done. I am looking forward to Wee-Wood 3 having a great relationship with a barber- Lord and budget willing. Speaking of budget- adoption can be costly. Ask your HR rep if there is adoption assistance. Have a Both Hands project like we did to raise funds. Sell stuff, garage sell, make stuff to sell…etc to help you afford adoption. Also explore the tax laws on adoption tax benefits since they change from year to year.

Another aspect is education- while you may not be reading “What to Expect While You are Expecting” doesn’t mean reading should be crossed off your list. Grab books, blogs, etc about how to educate yourself on the many different facets of adoption. Help your family understand how to be part of the process and allow them to know how to answer questions people ask. People will ask the grandparents crazy things just like you.

Prayer and Patience- You can never pray too much for the birth parents of your child. I can do a post on open verses closed adoptions later but lets just say we grieve (and know our child will too) that right now I cannot tell Wee-wood 3 what his birthmom looks like. What his birthfather’s favorite sport is…does he even like sports? What would make them proud of him? I pray she chooses to have openness one day. Also pray for their safety and support during this tough time. While it’s a very happy time for you it’s one of the hardest decisions they have ever made.

There is so much to be done and this child is just coming into your family in a different way,  but preparation is still so similar. I’m a firm believer that whether you are walking out of a hospital with a biological baby or out of an adoption agency with an adoptive child you are never fully going to be prepared…but I think that’s God’s plan. If we were fully prepared we wouldn’t NEED him.

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