I remember anxiously sitting in a domestic adoption informational meeting with my husband and other potential adoptive parents. I felt hopeful at the start of the meeting, but as the speakers started to list the necessary requirements, fear crept in.
The counselors emphasized the sacrifice birthmoms must make and the common tendency for them to change their minds. They explained the struggle that often occurs in their hearts as they grow closer to placing their child for adoption.
They were clear on what to expect when you are adopting domestically:
- You will likely wait a long time for a birthmom to select you.
- You will likely have at least one failed adoption (where the birthmom changes her mind).
At the end of the meeting, they encouraged us to be cautiously optimistic. But I left overwhelmed, defeated, and consumed with fear.
In the coming weeks, I moved forward with the necessary paperwork, but I still felt overwhelmed. We had so many questions and concerns, and we felt alone.
So today, I want to come alongside you and offer advice and wisdom I wish I knew before we adopted.
I will share three of them with you now, and next week, I will share three more in a separate post. My prayer is that I can encourage you as I share what God has shown my husband and I.
You will have doubts along the way and that’s ok.
I was terrified as we began the adoption process, and my heart longed for a biological child. While still wounded by infertility, we had to prove that we were good enough people to parent a child. I often asked God if we made the right decision. Instead of feeling exciting and hopeful, I felt exposed, wounded, and scared.
I realize now that the doubts were just part of my adoption journey. Every time I doubted, I leaned further into God. He would then reassure me that we were making the right decision. My doubt caused me to depend on God every day for every step of our adoption.
Doubting God’s plan for your life isn’t wrong. Let Him use it to draw you closer to Him. Lean on Him and stick with the decision you felt him leading you toward. Our enemy will do everything He can to discourage you from adopting, so lean heavily on your Heavenly Father and let Him carry you and your doubt.
Follow your instinct and God’s leading as you make tough decisions.
In domestic adoption, you have to make some difficult decisions. We felt like we were playing God when we had to decide what we type of child were open to adopting. Were we open to boy or a girl, a child of a different race, a child who had exposure to drugs and alcohol, or a child who had a family history of mental illness? Those were questions we wish we didn’t have to answer.
A few months after we answered those questions and were home study approved, we were asked to accept a match with a birthmom. She had several outside factors that complicated her pregnancy, and we were not comfortable with her situation. As we prayed, my husband was confident that this was not the child for us. I wavered because it was our first potential match. I didn’t want to turn a birthmom and her unborn child away, but in the end, we passed on the match.
A week later we were matched with our son’s birthmom, and it was a perfect situation for us. The birthmom we had turned down, was matched with an adoptive couple that had been waiting over a year for a match. Our “no” opened the door for another couple’s “yes.”
Accept the call God is placing on your life and do not feel bad for what you say “no” to. Look to your spouse to keep your decision making in check, and strive to both agree with every decision you make. Entrust your decisions to God and allow Him to give you wisdom along the way.
Record God’s leading and His faithfulness along your adoption journey.
Over the years, I’ve learned the importance of writing things down. I record what I feel God is leading us toward and why. Later, when I doubt our direction, I can look back and see His leading. I have also learned to record when God moves on our behalf, so that I can remember His faithfulness.
When we adopted our son, I recorded the events of our matching process leading up to his birth. But I didn’t write down when we had initially decided to adopt and why. Looking back, I wish that I did so that I could have referred to it when I doubted His direction and leading.
I encourage you to take the time to write down all the details of your adoption journey, because it will be a gift to your future self and your future child.
I pray that if you are adopting, you will find peace and comfort as you apply these principles to your decision-making process. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have along the way. I’d love to come alongside you through your adoption journey.
But if you are not adopting, I pray you can apply these principles to any tough decision that you make. I pray that you can pass these principles on to those you know who are in their own adoption journey.
Please join me next week as I continue to share three other things I wish I knew before we adopted.