Nothing can prepare you for becoming an adoptive parent.
You can read all of the literature and talk to all of the experts, but you will still have no clue what you are doing at some point (if not multiple points) along the way. Let me tell you what the key to success (and keeping your sanity) is: support. You can have all of the money in the world, but if you don’t have people to keep encouraging you, you will fall. You will want to give up many, many times. This isn’t a sprint. It is a marathon.
I have known since I was ten years old that this was the path chosen for me. My husband, Chris, and I have been going through the process for two years now, and I have never been more emotionally tired. We have had countless opportunities present themselves, just to fall through. I have wanted to give up. I have cried and screamed and asked “Why me?” I have questioned myself as a person and as a woman. Do I really have that mothering instinct? Is it enough to have someone else trust me with the beautiful gift of their baby? It seems though every time I feel like I just can’t do or go anymore, I get an encouraging text, or call. Something that says, “Hey, I am praying for you.” Or “Good things are happening. I can feel it.” Some friends just know when I need a good cry and a listening ear. They may not know what I am going through, but they are there the best way they can be. Sure it may take longer than what we desire, but good things truly come to those who wait.
Each adoption journey is so unique and challenging in its own ways. You will have setbacks. You may even have people who want to stand in your way or bring you down. Don’t let it. Keep your eyes on the end goal. You want to be a parent so much and so desperately, that you chose one of life’s most difficult journeys. Anyone can train to climb Mt Everest, but you can’t train to be an adoptive parent. It is hard. Don’t let anyone tell you it is not. They’d be lying to you, and if you believed them, then you are just lying to yourself. It also happens to be the most rewarding things you can do, not only for you, but for the birth parents and that sweet, chunky, beautiful baby that will one day be a part of your loving family.
So if you are adopting make sure you have a good cheering section waiting for you along the way and not just at the finish line. You need people you know have your back the entire way. If you know someone who is adopting, be their encouragement. Be their reason to hang on just that much longer. You will forever be treasured for doing so.
Jennifer is a proud Army wife and expecting mom via adoption. She and Chris can’t wait to complete their family with a new baby! Outside of work and she is a loving furbaby mom to three crazy pups, a photographer and a “wannabe” chef and baker.