Monday, May 29, 2017

Dear Sugar: How Adopting is Like Making Coffee

Dear Sugar:

You know the line "Life is like a box of chocolates" made famous in the film Forrest Gump?  Well I'm here to tell you that adopting is like making coffee.   

For Christmas, my in-laws got me a new coffee pot at my request.  Ya'll.  I never used to drink coffee.  I'd get an occasional latte at Starbucks.  But since becoming a mom for the fourth time, I started drinking coffee like all the other (cool) moms:  daily.   

The other morning, I go to my trusted coffee pot and begin preparing.  I pour in the coffee grounds, top it with the filter, and then IT happened.  The top lid was unhinged. I made several attempts to fix it and was finally successful.   

I leave the (I thought) brewing coffee to soothe the baby and tell my son (for the one millionth time) to stop breaking up his sister's Lego creation.  I manage to loop back into the kitchen for my cup-of-energy, when I realize there's nothing (NOTHING) in the pot.   It's sizzling a little.  It's making groaning noises.  But there's no.  flippin'.   coffee.  Not a drop.  

Um.  Seriously?  This coffee pot, though not top-of-the-line, is decent quality, a reputable brand.  And it has decided today, of all days (my kids are on BREAK), to stop working.   Like it's just DONE like a toddler who is choosing to do the "flop and lay" (aka:  fall on ground screaming and become dead weight so mother has to peel child off floor and leave the store with a child as stiff as a board).   

I mutter a few naughty words under my breath (because I'm a good mom who doesn't say them TOO loudly---snort).   And I'm kicking myself.  Because I should have filled out that warranty card and mailed it in.  It would have taken just a few minutes.  Then I wouldn't be in the position of having to research and purchase a new coffee pot with FOUR children at home.  

I see so many, so many, posts on social media about those hoping to adopt or those waiting to adopt who learn they chose the wrong agency or attorney.   They rushed into the adoption process, eager to finally have a baby in their arms (or, at least, the possibility of it), and picked the first agency that sounded good and was somewhat affordable.   

They figured an agency with "Christian" in the the name meant that the agency was ethical.

They figured "what you pay for is what you get," so they stretched their budget $20,000 over, because the agency had a pretty spectacular website and made some hopeful promises.   

They figured the only way to secure a placement was to "pay to play," going against every single thing a financial adviser would ever agree to (second mortgage, borrow from retirement fund, etc.). 

They figured that a placement statistic was a guarantee.  

They figured that it was "now or never," so they rushed.

They figured that if a friend-of-a-friend "loved" the agency, they would too.

They figured "bigger is better," and they signed on with a well-known agency.  

There are a hundred reasons why a person or couple may rush into choosing an agency.  But there is one very, very important reason why rushing is a poor choice: because a little preparation up front means less likelihood of trouble later.  

Not all setbacks are preventable, of course, but overall, it's wise to do the work BEFORE committing to an agency or attorney.   You want to see if the professional is ethical.  You want to see if you can afford what the fees are, and if not, have a plan in place on how to raise the necessary funds.   You want to know the heart of the adoption professional, looking past the shiny surface.   (Some of the best agencies are small:  they might not have "big numbers" or fancy websites or national acknowledgement.  That's OK.)   

Sugar, don't be like me and my coffee pot.  Don't toss the warranty card in the recycle bin out of eagerness or laziness or inattentiveness.   Deep breath.  Slow down.   Eyes WIDE open.    Because adoption is too important to rush, bypass, and dismiss.  

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated and published upon approval. Your thoughts and questions are also welcome via e-mail at whitebrownsugar AT hotmail DOT com.