Waiting for an adoption can be a long nerve-wracking, frustrating, and just downright difficult process. Between waiting for that special message and the disappointment of scammers, it’s easy to get bogged down and stuck in a negative loop. Although the circumstances may warrant this uneasiness, constantly being dragged down by negative thoughts (“Our adoption will never happen.”) or self-doubt (“Their profile is so much better than ours.”) will only hurt your personal well-being and stress levels. Many adoptive parents believe their adoption will happen quickly, especially when they start networking their family - not only in their local community but on the internet too. The internet is HUGE. It has to happen quickly, right? Not necessarily! Just because you are reaching a lot of people, doesn’t mean you’ll find the right person right away. Continuing your journey until you find the right match is what matters. Changing your perspective throughout the process can help you maintain the balance you will need to continue forward with hope and optimism in your adoption. The journey to find your missing family member may be treacherous, difficult, and long. And like most difficult things, it is worth it in the end to fulfill your dream of completing your family.
Here are some insightful tips to help keep your adoption attitude on the right track:
1) Playing your odds. Remember, you are increasing your chances through your networking and advertising. You never know when someone might be looking for families. While nothing is guaranteed and advertising isn’t like waving a magic wand, you know you are reaching more people than before. So your chances of reaching the right people are increasing automatically.
2) Be Discerning. Expectant mothers come from all walks of life. Many are facing personal hardships and can be going through some challenging times. These situations, when presented to families, may even sound like ‘scammer’ contacts at first. But sometimes a birthmother will come back into your life after several days or even weeks of silence. Remember to be discerning, but also open to being contacted.
3) Don’t beat yourself up. Remember that just because you are not seeing success instantly or even within a few months doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you or your family. Stay true to who you are. Stay authentic. Expectant mothers come from all different backgrounds and walks of life. So there is no particular family type that is more successful than another. It is best to focus on your strengths and what makes you unique as a family.
4) Do the work & remember your why. Keeping up with an adoption profile, diary posts, or social media can feel daunting and in the darkest moments, pointless. Just remember that the search you are on is your family’s dream. This may make the work feel less mundane and more opportunistic. Putting in the extra effort to keep your profile updated with new photos or keeping your social accounts active, shows a potential match that your family is focused and motivated to adopt a baby. And it shows your family is ready to do all the work that goes along with it.
5) Put your thick skin on. No one ever said it would be easy. No one ever said it would happen overnight. The more outreach you perform, the more likely it is that you will meet up with scammers. The longer you wait, the more discouraged you can feel. Do your homework ahead of time and learn how you can protect your family. Learn to recognize red flags. Join a scam board and learn from other families. Be prepared to let these scam encounters roll off your back in a way that works for you. Go into the situation knowing it could happen and plan for how you might feel when it does. Know that just because you didn’t have someone contacting you in a month or 3 or even 6, that your efforts are not in vain. Many adoptions are years in the making and they absolutely wouldn’t happen if a family gave up after a few months or a few discouraging leads.
6) Stay in the moment. Staying positive and productive is all about not getting too focused on worrying or the anxiety of the future and all the things that are out of your control. Take action on the things you can control (e.g., updating your adoption profile or social) and just keep going! Keep the dream of completing your family in your mind everyday and let it be your prime motivator, the driving force behind the daily actions you take to make your adoption dream a reality.
Your adoption journey may potentially be a long, bumpy road. Maintaining balance and positivity will only help you in the long run. It’s a struggle that is worth more than most: your fulfilled dream of completing your family. Having hope that your adoption outreach will result in a quick and easy adoption is good. But being mentally prepared to endure the wait and frustration can be even better.
There are many other resources on our blog to help you with different aspects of this process. Check them out now, and continue your journey with an ‘Adoptimistic’ attitude.