Is Adoption for You?
Joe and Mariah sat devastated in the doctor’s office. It was determined that the long road of infertility treatments were just not working, and after 6 long years of waiting and trying everything, they had all but given up. Lifting her chin, Joe said four little words that would change their life forever, “We can always adopt!”
Each year, thousands of people file for adoption. The reasons are not always like Joe and Mariah’s who had problems conceiving on their own. Some people quite simply adopt because they have space left over in their hearts that they desperately want to fill with children. Others do it because they can – and because they know that adopting one of the MILLIONS of children that live in orphanages can make a radical difference in the life of that child. Still, it isn’t for everyone, and it definitely shouldn’t be looked at as a band-aid for couples who are infertile. The adoption processes, the waiting, the financial ramifications, the disappointments, and heartbreak that you are sure to witness first hand can be too much for some couples to handle. But in the end…it can be worth it.
There are millions of adoptive parents. Often the first thing that a parent worries about is whether they will be able to love their adopted child as much as they would love one of their own. Love is infinite. If your heart is open to a child, then chances are you will do just fine. Certainly, there is an adjustment period of getting to know one another – but beyond that, mutual love will grow. Quickly!
Before you decide to adopt, you should of course do your research. Make sure that you can afford it. You should also check into your options, as there are many different avenues you can take when you want to adopt. Some may be right for you while others aren’t. Probably a great starting point is to hook up with other parents who have either adopted or who are in the process of adopting. They can be your best source of information, while also giving you a firsthand peak into how the choice to adopt can change lives.
You also have to be realistic about your financial capabilities. Can you get a loan? Are there any benefits that you can take advantage of? Start with a few adoption agencies and look at fees, read the contracts, and see just how much money you might be expected to pay. Don’t forget that travel arrangements and other expenses are considered out of pocket. Check with the state and federal government as well to see what sort of assistance and benefits that you may be able to take advantage of throughout the adoption process.
You also have to take an assessment of your mental state. Adopting a child isn’t always easy, and you will have numerous hoops to jump through. Mountains of paperwork will await you, and you will have to take a full life inventory of your life thus far. Additionally, if you are adopting because you cannot conceive on your own – you should take time to work through those emotions before jumping aboard the adoption bus. This by no means indicates that adoption isn’t for you, but you owe yourself a bit of healing before you change course into adoption. You may want to join support groups online or meet up with some in your area to help you through this process.
When you have answered the important questions, then you will know if adoption is for you. Even if your entire life you never thought about adopting or believed that you would be a candidate for an adoptive parent, you may find that life changes drastically for various reasons. There are millions of children in this world without homes and families, and with patience and time, he or she will find their way to your doorstep.