Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The 5 Questions Hopeful Adoptive Moms Ask Me the Most


I'm on year #13 of being part of the adoption community.  When a hopeful adoptive mom learns I've had quite a bit of experience, I'm often asked one (or more) of these five questions.

What I tell these women first is that what I experience will not be what you experience.  Every adoption journey is unique.  But I know what they want:  a sense of security, a source of knowledge, and a voice that says, "I get where you are, sister." 

1:  How long did you wait?

We waited the longest during our first adoption journey:  14 months.  During that time we probably had 15 profile showings.  Interestingly, almost all our showings were for white baby boys.   Then, on a balmy November, while painting our kitchen, we got THE call.  A baby girl already born.  

Our second adoption journey was quite different. We assumed we would wait a long time, perhaps even longer than our first time, because we were no longer a childless couple.  But we were wrong.  On our very FIRST day of waiting, we were chosen for a baby girl already born.

Our third adoption journey, we assumed, again, that we would wait longer because we already had two children.  Within two months, we were matched, and then within another two months, placed with our son.  

We waited four years to adopt again, and we were matched BEFORE we officially started waiting, got a homestudy done, and waited four months for our daughter to be born. 

It might seem, on the surface, that we've had an easy road.  But as I've shared previously, we had four "failed" adoptions

2:  How do you choose an agency? 

This is a BIG question, one I cover in my latest book and in several blog posts, including this one on Christian adoption agencies.  I encourage people to read these.  My #1 piece of advice is to choose wisely and not on numbers (stats of the agency placing babies).  We were very fortunate to find small, ethical adoption agencies that were affordable.  I am a big advocate of using an agency vs. trying to find a placement on your own, mostly because going rogue can lead you to be scammed or to engage in an unethical situation.

*I do not recommend agencies.  Because of the turn over in staff, policies, and laws, it's my policy not to make recommendations to families.  Rather, I offer advice on how to CHOOSE an agency. 

3:  What does an open adoption look like?

Open adoption is different for every relationship.  For us, our open adoptions include:  snail mail, texts, FaceTime calls, e-mails, and visits.   Open adoption is NOT easy or simple; it requires a lot of work, commitment, and flexibility.  You also need empathy and grace in order for the open adoption to be successful.  And there are certainly times the adoption should not be open (or wide open).   We believe open adoption, when healthy, can be great for adoptees.  

4:  How could you afford to adopt?  

We used small, ethical, affordable adoption agencies.  We did not choose to fundraise for our adoptions, though I do encourage families who choose to fundraise to do so graciously and appropriately.   Many families apply for grants as well as fundraise.  I cover fundraising in my new book.  Preview:  my #1 tip?  Don't be tacky.  It's not cute.  

5:  Why did we adopted transracially? 

For the first year of our first adoption wait, we were open to a white child.  It was a rather thoughtless decision.  After a year of waiting, we decided to get educated on transracial adoption.  Once we spent many months researching, reading, and talking, we felt that adopting transracially would be a possibility for us.  I write extensively about being a multiracial family (the joys and challenges).  Race absolutely matters!   Adopting transracially is not a decision one should make lightly.   

And despite our family standing out, we are a real, regular family.  

If you're an experienced mama-by-adoption, what are you asked often by those new to adoption?  If you're a new, waiting parent-to-be, what do you want to know more about?  Hit me up on Facebook or Insta and share/ask away! 

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