Much of the adoption process is work and business. Finding a good consultant who can point you to the right agencies, filling out paperwork for your home study, gathering pictures for your profile, obtaining background checks and physicals and references, applying for grants.
Almost every family reaches a point where their home study is complete, their profile is created, and their applications have been sent to agencies across the U.S. In the beginning there’s a clear plan. I walk families through exactly what to do and when to do them. Follow these steps. Complete this paperwork. Apply to this agency. Pretty straightforward.
Inevitably, if I’m working with a couple in the adoption process, there is one person who thrives in the “get it done” stage of adoption. They stay up late filling out paperwork, applying to grants and love the check boxes they can begin to check off getting them closer and closer to adopting their sweet baby.
The hard thing about adoption is there’s no “due date.” Before a match, no social worker can narrow down when your baby will be in your arms. You don’t know to buy winter or summer 0-3 month clothes or even if they should be pink or blue.
This is the point when I’ve had numerous families say adoption has done for their faith what no other experience has. This waiting stage has couples lean into Jesus in a way they’ve never experienced before. But what do you do when the busyness of adoption wanes and you’re left waiting?
Take this opportunity to educate yourself more about adoption. Read good books, blogs, and articles on adoption; things like adopting trans-racially, openness, and birth parents. Educate those around you on your endeavor. Tell friends and family why you’ve decided to adopt and bring them into your story. Are there things you can do in this stage to bulk up your finances; more grants to apply to, fundraisers to plan, loans to apply for?
Yes, the paperwork and the process is done to this point. But I encourage families to do what will be helpful to still feel like their on the journey and anticipating a little one. Create your baby registry and decorate the nursery. Make the most of your time before a new baby: projects to complete around the house, travel, special time spent with other children.
During this time your profile is being presented to birth parents. What an incredible opportunity you have to pray for a birth family and a child. When you say “yes” to being presented, I firmly believe you are on the front lines on the battle for life. You have told a mother that her life and her baby’s life is worth it. During those few days when a birth mother is choosing a family, you have a unique opportunity to pray for this family. There’s the chance that no one has ever prayed for this sweet baby. What an honor God has given you to pray LIFE over this birth mama and her sweet baby. You can also use this time to passionately pray for your little one wherever they may be.
Although this period of waiting can feel static, waiting on God is anything but passive. It requires strength, a devotion to what God has called you to, and a steadfast hope that He will bring to pass what He has promised.
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