Adoption is something to be talked about and good news to spread! However, it is not always easy to know how to go about it. There are so many myths related to adoption that many only know about adoption what is right in front of them, oftentimes, that may be only media coverage. Being an adoption advocate is incredibly important as it spreads awareness and dispels myths. Even if you have not adopted, you can be an adoption advocate through your support. There are many different ways to advocate for adoption within your community and support those around you who are doing some of the most important work in creating forever families.
Be an Open Book
One of the biggest factors in allowing adoption myths to be perpetuated is the lack of people speaking up about adoption. You often hear talk of adoption of animals, but it is not seemingly as common for child adoption to be addressed. While there are many reasons this occurs, the first way to help is by telling your story. Whether you have adopted, have been adopted, or simply know someone in your life affected by adoption, talk about it. Protect your right and the adoptee’s right to privacy but focus on dispelling myths about adoption. I tell everyone I can that adoption can be affordable as most think only the rich can adopt. I also make it a point to share that open adoption is a wonderful option and a beautiful experience. There is so much mystery in adoption that needs to be brought into the light!
Support Foster Parents
Even if you do not know any foster parents in your community offhand, I guarantee they will not be hard to find. There are also likely foster parent support systems within your community such as clothing donation centers. If you are able to explore becoming a foster parent, you may find that is a very viable option for you. You may also want to look into respite care which is very short-term care of children to give their foster parents a break. Most foster parents I have spoken with have noted an extremely high deficit in respite care providers. Call your local child welfare agency and ask what ways you can support the foster parents in your community and also for more information on what it takes to become a foster parent or adopt from foster care. Even if you cannot adopt or foster, being informed about the process can help you support foster parents and spread the word about adoption from foster care to others.
When my husband and I adopted for the first time, we were a little taken back by the lack of support we received. We had many people close to us who supported us tremendously; however, the sense of the general community was not one of excitement as it would have been with a pregnancy. This is not only hard for adoptive parents but is a little crushing. Every child deserves that excitement of being welcomed into a family! If you can support an adoptive parent financially, every little bit helps. Even if you can only support with encouragement and prayers, it will mean the world. If you know a birth mother placing her child for adoption, that process can often feel very lonely. If you are able to be an encouraging and steady emotional support in the life of anyone involved in adoption, it can make quite a difference. Being an adoption advocate is largely about supporting those who are journeying through adoption and telling others about the beauty of adoption along the way.
Lita Jordan is a master of all things “home.” A work-from-home, stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of five, she has a BA in Youth Ministry from Spring Arbor University. She is married to the “other Michael Jordan” and lives on coffee and its unrealistic promises of productivity. Lita enjoys playing guitar and long trips to Target. Follow her on Facebook.