Expectations. They can kind of make us or break us, can’t they? As I’ve walked with many people through their adoption journeys, I’ve seen families crushed by unrealistic expectations and I’ve seen families beautifully hope in God as they’ve surrendered their expectations to Him. So what does it look like to have reasonable expectations during your adoption and specifically as you work with an adoption consultant at Christian Adoption Consultants? What does it look like for adoption expectations to “make you” rather than “break you?”
1) Remember who is in control.
Sometimes we can trick ourselves into thinking that we can make things happen if we just try hard enough or if others try hard enough on our behalf. But the reality is, in all of life, but especially in adoption, we are not in control. You cannot make an expectant mother choose you. You cannot make a child be placed with you. There is no escaping the reality that we are not ultimately in control of our adoption stories-God is. And that’s really hard but also really freeing because He sees the whole picture long before we do.
2) Remember, God’s timing isn’t perfectly predictable.
Working with an adoption consultant has many benefits (you can read more about that here). But working with an adoption consultant does not mean you’re guaranteed a perfectly easy, lightening fast adoption. Average wait time at CAC once you’ve applied to multiple agencies is 6-10 months to match. That’s the average so that also means you could match sooner or you could match later. If you’re one of the families who is matched before that 6 month time, that’s a wonderful thing! Everyone wants to be that fast whirlwind story, but most adoptions don’t happen that way. If you’re more in that 6-10 month range, take heart-that’s the experience for the majority of CAC families. If it takes longer than 10 months to match with an expectant mom, that doesn’t mean something is wrong with you, or that you aren’t meant to adopt, or that you are doomed! Your wait is still going to be absolutely worth it when your baby is in your arms, no matter how long it takes.
**As a side note, one of the large variables to your wait time is how open you are in your adoption preferences (gender, ethnicity, drug or alcohol use, level of openness, etc) but even that doesn’t ultimately determine anything because at the end of the day, it’s all about God’s timing. There is no way for you or me to perfectly predict when He will bring your child to you.
3) Remember, exposure to more adoption situations doesn’t mean presenting your profile each week.
If you work with a consultant, you’ll be taking a multi-agency approach and that providers greater exposure to available adoptive situations which can cut down the wait time considerably. That doesn’t mean our families see a situation every day or every week. On the flip side, there may be weeks when our families see multiple situations. When someone takes a typical approach to adoption and only works with one agency, it’s not uncommon to wait 2-3 years to be matched, sometimes barely presenting your profile much at all during those years. (This is not the case with everyone, but it’s common for many who stick with just one agency.) Families working with CAC are in a great position since they are typically seeing many more situations than they would be if they were just with one agency.
4) Remember, your consultant is on your team!
This probably sounds ridiculous to even point out but it’s still important to remember! Just like you can’t make your baby come to you, I can’t either. What I can do is pray, and guide, and support and educate you but I cannot tell you what to do in any given situation and I cannot bring your child to you! My heart as a consultant is for my families. I carry them on my heart. I pray for them, I cry for them and with them, and my heart breaks as theirs does. But I can’t make someone’s adoption happen-only God can bring them their child.
5) Remember, God is working in your wait.
Waiting is not purposeless! Press hard into the Lord during your wait. Waiting is so hard but it’s not worthless. God is in the wait. He wants to draw you to Himself and help you trust in Him. He wants to show you His love and His grace. He wants to increase your heart of love for the women in crisis pregnancies. He wants to lift your gaze away from yourself to Him. God is using the wait to bring your child to you and He is using the wait to bring you more to His throne of grace. He is able to give you all the help that you need during your wait.
I’ve got to be honest with you though-none of this completely diminishes the hard of waiting in adoption. But fighting to remember these things can help your heart. Waiting doesn’t have to break you-it can make you! It can make you more and more into His image.