Most of this article about prospective adoptive parents was written by Adoption STAR staff members for a previous blog. Some of the content was edited to fit this post.
What type of prospective adoptive parent are you? There are many great ways to deal with the sometimes stressful experience of waiting for a match.
One type of prospective adoptive parent already handed in their profile for expecting parents to consider even before their home study was complete. They frequently “tweak” their profile whether or not it is suggested that it needs “tweaking.” They not only receive monthly check-in calls from the agency, but they also phone the agency to say hello and to check in on their own. They are excited to hear about other options to creatively present themselves to birth mothers.
They may post their profile online, create “baby cards” and hand them to everyone they meet telling them they are looking to adopt, contact Adoption STAR with referrals! They also revisit their grids frequently and challenge themselves with hard questions related to a child’s race or ethnicity, domestic versus international adoption, and drug exposure, mental health issues within the child’s birth family, etc. They not only “think” about “tweaking” their grids, they actually do their own home work by way of talking to other adoptive families, reading medical journals, articles, etc. on such topics.
While medical professionals may assist with obtaining answers to help complete the child interest grid, they work hard to understand many of the issues on the grid themselves. Most importantly, they chat on the online group and even more importantly they join SOFIA, the adoptive family support group and meet many new friends and continue their adoption education so when they adopt, they are more ready then ever to be the best parents.
They will tell you that the wait is not easy, but taking control of the wait is easy and makes the process all the more special. They remind themselves that adoption is a journey that does not end with a placement of a child but rather it continues.
Another type of expectant adoptive parent does much of the above but also finds a hobby or project that they can work on before they become parents. This may be one hobby/project or several.
One adoptive mom found great enjoyment in knitting and during her nesting period created many beautiful blankets and donated them to babies being placed for adoption. Several other adoptive moms spent their before parenthood period volunteering to help spread the word about the agency by disseminating literature around their community to doctor’s offices, clinics, schools, etc. Prospective moms and dads can also work together on household projects needing to get done, etc.
A third type of prospective adoptive parent rarely contacts the agency and sometimes does not return agency messages. They may have been given advice on “tweaking” their profile, but don’t appear interested in making those suggested changes. They truly may be very busy at home and at work that they haven’t gotten a chance to get around to making those changes, but time is going by and we are concerned they are not being presented in the best possible way. They may have been encouraged to participate in the private adoption track, international adoption information may have been shared, they may have been advised to re-visit their grids specifically the child interest grid. They may have been invited in for a meeting to explore these and other options, but have not yet accepted our invitation, or only one member of a couple comes in for a meeting.
Often they say that it is money that is preventing them from exploring the other options. There are so many creative ways to expand one’s profile without a great deal of money. We know of many who were successful with the private track without breaking the bank and others who cut back on some personal extras in order to create a larger adoption budget.
Sitting at home or at work “waiting” for the phone to ring is not a healthy way to approach adoption. Actively participating in your adoption journey is the way to go. It is not always easy, but in the long run it is worth it. We find “healthier” and “more prepared” adoptive parents when the prospective adopter takes control of their adoption path.
No two prospective adoptive parents are alike and our illustrations can not include everyone, but the idea is for you to determine “what type of prospective parent are you?”
If you are feeling stressed out or feel the need to speak with someone about your adoption journey, it is important that you contact your Adoption STAR family advocate.