Preparing to adopt a child can be not only time consuming, but intimidating. All parents want to make sure they are ready for their new child to come home. Nesting is not reserved for only those giving birth. It is a very natural inclination to want to be prepared and to have all of your ducks in a row before considering adoption and before bringing your child home. How you prepare for your adoption will largely depend on the child’s age and the type of adoption you are pursuing. Here are a few guidelines to follow to help you prepare for your adoption.
1. Gather Information
In order to adopt, you will need to make sure that you are qualified to adopt. One great place to start is to read articles like this one entitled, “Who Can Adopt?” Once you have determined your eligibility to adopt, take some time to contact adoption agencies in your area. You are not committing to any agency at this point, but rather asking questions and finding out the process and fees involved. Gathering information will give you a greater scope of what to expect through the adoption process and allow you to get prepared if you are not there yet.
2. Get Your Finances in Order
It is no secret that adoption is expensive. However, there are many different ways one can afford adoption. The first place to start to raise funds is by going through your own finances with a fine-toothed comb. You do not have to be rich to adopt! An agency will simply want to see that you are financially stable. Financial stability is often in the eye of the beholder but, simply put, an agency simply wants to know that you can afford to add a child to your family without creating a hardship for yourself. It is also great to get a head start on gathering funds to pay for your adoption. You will need to have a plan for payment in order to adequately prepare to adopt. You will also need to have an idea of what each type of adoption will cost.
3. Commit to the Process
Once you have found an agency and figure out how you will pay for adoption, you are ready to begin the process. The process can take months to years, so you will likely have plenty of time to prepare to bring your child home. Once you have committed to an agency, the agency will outline everything it needs from you to make sure you are eligible to adopt. One of the biggest time wasters in adoption is hopeful adoptive parents not getting paperwork completed in a timely manner. Make sure you communicate with your agency and have them lay out all expectations. You will need a background check and may need certain identifying documents that you will have to send for. These processes can take quite some time, so you will want to prioritize. Set deadlines for yourself and commit fully to the idea of adoption. It can sometimes be hard to envision an end to the journey that has your child home, but commitment and steadfastness will get you there.
4. Prepare the Fields
In the movie Facing the Giants, the lead character tells one of his football players a story about two farmers. Both were waiting for rain, but only one prepared his fields, expecting rain. When it did rain, the one who didn’t prepare was not ready to receive the rain. This story is very much a testament to the adoption wait. It can get hard at times just waiting. It may feel like you will never get that call if you are waiting to be matched. However, it is better to prepare your fields, or in this case, your household. Take this time to make sure your home and your family are ready for a new child.
In addition to preparing your child’s room, make sure that you and your family are healthy. Focus on your emotional, spiritual, and physical health at this time. If you have children, keep talking with them about what it will be like to add a child to your home. If you are adopting with a partner, spend time with him or her alone and make sure you are connected through the process. Work at maintaining financial health by putting money aside each month you may have spent on your child. This will help you get used to not missing those funds. Prepare your fields for rain and wait for the blessing that is coming!
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 <a href=”//www.facebook.com/halfemptymom/”>Facebook.</a>