Making the decision to adopt a child may seem like the easy part when compared to the often long, unpredictable wait inherent in adoption. Many questions will likely fill your mind, sometimes casting doubt and bringing you down. However, you can turn these fears and concerns around by practicing a little positive thinking and creative visualization. Here are some common concerns you may have and how to help ease your mind and stay positive.
What if we never get picked?
I’ll admit, during our wait to adopt I occasionally wondered this myself. In domestic newborn adoption, you have to wait for an expectant mother to choose you, which can be a stressful and unpredictable experience. As time goes by, you may start to doubt whether it will happen for you. This is normal. We all have doubts and fears. But we don’t have to let them control us. Whenever you fear you may never get picked, remind yourself that the majority of hopeful adoptive parents do eventually get matched, as long as they continue their journey. My family is proof of that and is also the reason why I share my story in From Pain to Parenthood: A Journey Through Miscarriage to Adoption. I want to help other potential adoptive parents stay positive and know that it can happen for them too. The key is to always look toward the future and try not to dwell on the negative aspects of adoption. Instead of focusing on your fears, think instead about what you can do to increase your chances. Sometimes it’s necessary to take extra steps to help ensure success, such as working with an additional agency or attorney, networking, creating an online profile or even switching agencies or programs. Statistically, the odds of successfully adopting are in your favor! Never forget that – even when you feel discouraged or depressed.
What if the potential birth mom changes her mind?
She may, and she has every right to. This is her child after all, and it’s definitely not a decision to take lightly. I once read that about 50 percent of expectant mothers who choose adoption for their babies ultimately decide not to place. It’s definitely not uncommon for this to happen. If you find yourself in a situation that leads to a failed match or adoption placement, as heartbreaking as it is for you, remember that every adoption is about what is best for the child. If an expectant mother decides it is in the child’s best interests to remain with her, then so be it. That child wasn’t meant to be with you. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a child out there that will one day join your family. It just means that this particular situation wasn’t the right one. Allow yourself to cry and grieve, and then do your best to pick yourself back up and keep moving forward. Tell yourself that the child who is meant to be with you will come when the time is right. Keep repeating this phrase as often as possible throughout your wait to adopt.
Should we just give up?
There may come a time when you feel like you’ve had enough. You may grow tired of the wait and the many stresses of trying to adopt. You may even wonder if you should just quit. The simple answer is “no.” If you truly feel in your heart that you want to be a parent, don’t give up on your dreams. When you feel discouraged or sad, instead try a little creative visualization. Allow yourself to imagine what it would feel like to bring your baby home. Picture rocking him or her and giving your child soft kisses. Imagine how your baby would look, feel, smell and sound. Visualize all of the activities you want to share with your child – trips to the park and zoo, holidays, birthdays, swimming, bike riding, playing catch, reading books, etc. Allow yourself to believe that this can and will happen for you. Think of how much you will cherish and love this precious child. Isn’t that kind of love worth waiting for?