Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Your Questions: When?

Hi ya'll!  I received a question from Janice that I thought would probably resonate with a lot of readers so I'm going to give my input today and I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic as well.

"How did you know when to pull the trigger and go for it?  How did you know it was time to adopt?"

We are adoptive parents by choice so when we decided we wanted to have kids, we decided to do that through adoption!  Every family comes to adoption differently.  Some families have children who are already grown, some have little children, some have already adopted, some are new parents, some are single parents, etc.  I'm not sure, Janice, where your family is at as far as whether or not you already have children, etc., but...

I think we all feel fearful to "pull the trigger," don't we?  Adoption is a huge deal.  It's scary and unknown and big and beyond our comfort zone.  It's also beautiful, adventurous, fulfilling, rewarding, and full of love!

That said, I don't think anyone is ever really ready to adopt.  We weren't ready for what lied ahead with our first adoption and we weren't ready for what came with our second adoption.  Just like being a parent in any form, can you really be ready and fully prepared before it happens?  I don't think so.  You learn as you go.  You make mistakes and you grow and you figure it out.

I believe there are things you can do to make yourself more ready. 

I'm a big advocate of reading about adoption issues before you bring your child home.  Read about attachment, trauma and children, transracial adoption (if that's the way you're going), etc.  Educate yourselves.  Of course, your agency will require you to do some reading and attend some trainings and those are helpful.  But go beyond that, too.

If you know any adoptive families, spend time with them and ask them some of your pressing questions.  Or ask me!  Read adoption blogs.  The more you know, the more prepared you are.

Here's the truth of the matter: when we started our first adoption process, we weren't ready.  We had no extra money so we weren't ready financially.  We were living in a 550 square foot duplex so we weren't ready space wise.  We had never been parents before so we didn't really know what we were getting into.  In all honesty, I had a moment during the first week we had our son where I thought, "What did we do?  And why did we think we were ready for this?" 

But it's okay.  We managed.  God helped us and we did it! 

Through my adoption journey, I've realized it all comes down to a simple equation.  There are children who need a family.  And I have a family.  So it just makes sense to bring those two things together.

It will be scary.  It will be intimidating and at times overwhelming.  It will be hard.  But it will also be blessed. 

"May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears."  -Nelson Mandela


Janice Nichols said...

Thank you! That helps, it truly does. We are hung up on the financial aspect of things. We have two biological boys ages 13 and 10 and feel strongly called to adopt a boy from the foster system. We honestly struggle a bit with finances. We get by until an unexpected expense pops up and WHAM we are drowning and playing catch up. So I feel on one hand maybe it isn't our time yet. Maybe the income hasn't increased because it isn't our time yet. On the other maybe it is our time and we need to step out in faith. Maybe our income won't increase until we show faith. So I don't want to go for it and miss God telling me "wait, not just yet" but I also don't want wait if he is saying "go". I'm an over thinker. So I've been standing at a fork in the road for months.

Laurel Feierbach said...

Janice, thank you for sharing! I am also an over thinker so I sympathize! The financial assistance involved in foster care and foster care adoption is something that's not talked about often because we all don't want people to think we're doing it for the money :) BUT, the state does pay foster families a monthly subsidy to help cover the costs of raising a child. And once you adopt, you continue to receive that money until your child turns 18. We are in the same boat where we never have extra money, but you do have to factor in the fact that you will have more of an "income" through foster/adoption assistance.

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