You can never ask enough questions. Make sure you feel comfortable with the agency you choose. When you think of a question, write it down so you don’t forget to ask later. Dive into any fears or concerns you have as well. It’s important to feel comfortable with the process.
2) Find Support in Others Walking the Same Path
It can be hard to find other people who truly “get it” unless they have traveled a similar path. Get to know other waiting families, join support groups, connect with others adoptive parents online, and lean on your social worker.
3) Make an Effort to Learn About The Other Parts of the Adoption Triad: Adoptees and Birth Parents
Read birth parents’ and adoptees’ adoption experiences. If you are adopting transracially, read not only articles written by adoptive parents in transracial adoptions but also from adoptees brought up in that environment. It’s important to understanding what other members of the triad may be experiencing.
4) Keep Your Promises
One of expecting parent’s most common fears is “will the adoptive parents keep their promises”. Be genuine in your profile and in your promises. Do not agree to something if you are not ready to back it up with action. It not only will hurt your child’s birth parent but in the end it hurts your child as well.
5) Don’t Hold Back Love
The pre-placement education touches on the importance of protecting yourself emotionally for the possibility of a placement falling through. It isn’t about holding back love. It’s about a way of thinking that reminds adoptive families they have been asked to be the temporary caretakers of a child who may indeed come into their family while his or her parents are ensuring they are making the best and final decision. If a disappointment or disruption happens, allow yourself to grieve but do not turn it into anger towards the child’s parents. They are making a tremendously difficult decision and it is important to respect their wishes.
6) Let Frozen’s Theme Song Be Your Mantra…Let It Go
Release all your expectations and embrace the unknowns in the process as a part of the journey. You will need to be flexible and remember that it isn’t your journey alone.
7) Most Importantly, Remember Adoption is Bittersweet
Adoption stems from a loss that cannot and should not be ignored. Fully respecting that aspect of the journey and the adoptee and birthparent experience as well is vital.