You are going to adopt?! Really?! It is soooo expensive!!!!
Yes, you will hear this many times when you announce that you are going to adopt. I won't lie. Adoption can be expensive. But, so can giving birth to a child. Lets face it, nothing in life is free. So, are there things that I wish I had known before we adopted. Absolutely. Today, I will share a few of those things. I will most likely sprinkle some in during the rest of the month too.
Know this going in. EVERY SINGLE ADOPTION looks different. Every. Single. One. Both of our adoptions were different. I think I knew this going into it, especially going into our second one, but somewhere deep inside my soul, I wanted it to be the same. I wanted it to all go through the same path and it didn't. So, remember, when you speak with others about their adoption journey, remember, yours will be different. For your 1, 2 or 6 children that you adopt, they will each be different.
Expenses. Yes, there are expenses with adoption. You will have them coming and going, or so it seems, but there are costs. I can't tell you how much yours will be, because as I just previously stated, all adoptions are not created equal. We had a private adoption with our first and an agency adoption with our second, and they were very different in cost. There were various reasons for those cost differences, but simply put, they were different. The one good thing with an agency, you usually have the costs laid out to you ahead of time *although remember things do happen & additional costs may arise*. There are avenues that you can get help with your adoption costs. There are various scholarships, grants, fund raising opportunities, etc that you can do and don't be afraid to do them!!!!! Allow others to bless you in your journey! Share your journey with them!
This next topic is tough, but I have to share it. Remember, while you are celebrating becoming parents, there is a family that is suffering a loss. When we were blessed with our oldest, we were so happy. It literally was crazy how excited we were. Honestly that first week we were home we had close to 100 visitors in & out of our home. *I promise to share our entire story this month* However, throughout all the excitement in our home, my heart hurt. I knew that there was a beautiful young lady who was suffering severe loss. She was crying. Her family also knew of the placement and they were going through the loss with her. Was it her choice? Yes, but that doesn't mean it hurt less. Should you be happy & celebrate becoming parents? ABSOLUTELY! But, remember to at least pray for the birth family.
We will speak more of this is the coming weeks, but know that people have good intentions. You will hear things like, where did you get him/her? How much was he/she? Where is his/her real mom? And many more things, but remember this....we have to educate people. We have to share with them the "lingo" so to speak. I am normally kind to people to start with unless they catch me on a bad day (HA!) and I usually will be a little obnoxious. Usually the "where is his real mom" question will get an "I'm right here!" answer. But, overall, I try to filter their questions, but I only answer what they need to know, which isn't much. I will gladly share my love for adoption to anyone, but they don't need to know particulars.
Know this....at some point, you will most likely hear...."You're not my real mom/dad!" or "I want to go live with my real mom/dad!" from your kid. It hurts. It stinks. But, it is reality. My oldest is 9 and I've already heard it. After he calms down and we talk, like really talk, we get to the questions. He has questions y'all & that is ok. We answer them. To the best of our ability.
So, will they come, most likely yes, but those statements may not, but if they do.....know they are normal! Talk. Talk. Talk. Adopted children deal with lots of emotions and that is OK! Know there are many people professionally who can help you deal with this too!!!!
Even though you didn't "birth" your child, you may experience post-pardum. Normal. Also, remember that you may experience loss of not carrying your child. Normal. Also, remember while you dealing with your own emotions your child will deal with some loss as well. Normal.
Surround yourself with people who understand adoption. Parenting is tough and adding adoption to it adds on a whole other layer. Remember to involve other adoptive families in your life. Seek out help when you struggle and don't be afraid of that! Keep in mind, when you adopt, it is for life. That child is yours. If you adopt an infant, if that child doesn't develop normally or as fast as you expected, be that child's advocate. You are the parent. You. Regardless of birth or adoption. When we were adopting our 2nd baby, there were drugs involved. We had many questions about, what if the baby isn't normal? I immediately thought, "and what if I were able to get pregnant and my child had special needs?" I would love that baby just the same. So, we would answer it that way. People didn't mean it wrong, they just don't think sometimes. So, surround yourself with those who will support you through life. The good, the bad and the ugly and sometimes the extreme ugly.
I will stop here for tonight.....but....these are some things to chew on!!!!!