There are two truly frightening journeys I have embarked on in my thirty-two years on this earth. The first of these journeys was a cancer scare during pregnancy and the second was adoption. Both of these journeys were scary largely due to the unknowns that came with each step. I did not know day to day when each journey would resolve and if it would have a happy ending. I remember thinking to myself during my first adoption that I could never take on this journey again due to the stress. Stories like our first adoption make people afraid to adopt. Overcoming these and other roadblocks in the adoption journey makes happy endings possible.
People who adopt are subject to what many call “the wait.” This is when prospective adoptive parents wait to be matched with a child. This wait can take mere days or weeks or even years. The wait alone can be enough to scare anyone away from adopting. Even after the wait, there is no guarantee that an adoption journey will end in an adoption. Birth parents have every right to choose to parent once the child is born. While we rejoice when a birth mother is able to parent, it does not make that moment any less devastating for prospective adoptive parents who thought they would be bringing their child home with them.
One of the most common deterrents from adoption is the cost. Depending on the type of adoption you are pursuing, adoption can cost under $1,000 to over $45,000. With numbers into the thousands, I do not know many who would not be afraid of the cost. The risks are often high, but the reward is great. It is definitely scary to think about the unknowns associated with costs and the fact that you simply can’t fully gauge the cost until you are almost done with your adoption journey. The good news is that there are many great ways to afford adoption, unknowns included.
If you haven’t heard an adoption horror story on the news, you’ve likely seen one on TV shows like Law and Order and other crime dramas. There are many myths and generalizations about adoption that originate solely from made-up storylines on TV. Regardless of where the ideas originate, prospective adoptive parents are often scared that these horror stories will happen to them. Unfortunately, adoption scams do occur, and it is heartbreaking. However, it is important to take heed that the horror stories are much more advertised and shared on social media than the success stories are. People are drawn to drama but also want others to be aware of the risks.
Adoption itself is scary. There really is no way around it. The risk is great and the process often all-consuming. Adoption can be a drain emotionally, physically, and financially. Yet there are thousands of families who have successfully adopted, sometimes multiple times. Our first adoption did not go at all as planned, and we still chose to adopt a second time. We knew, as many adoptive families now know, we would overcome those fears a thousand times for our children and the life we have with them now.
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=”https://www.facebook.com/halfemptymom/”>Facebook.</a>