Letting Go of Control During the Adoption Wait

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When parents decide to adopt, it is usually not a decision that is reached quickly. Maybe they have struggled with fertility issues and needed time to grieve this loss and the realization that they would not be able to have a family biologically. Maybe they needed time to weigh the pros and cons to decide if adoption would be a good fit for their family. Perhaps they needed to make sure they were financially stable before pursuing adoption.

But, when the decision to pursue adoption is finally made, there is nothing a family wants more than to get started on their new life with their child! Unfortunately, the adoption process can take many months, and there isn’t much the adoptive family can do to control that. In fact, adoptive families often find that there isn’t much they can control in the adoption.

This can be very difficult for some families to grasp. While the birth parents fully control their adoption story, adoptive families are sometimes surprised at how little they can control. Knowing and understanding all the steps in the process can help prepare you for what you can’t control in an adoption.

You can’t control when a birth family will choose you for their child.

Your profile will be seen by many birth families. The important thing to remember is to stay true to yourself and your family values. If you try to please every potential birth family in hopes of being chosen sooner, you will lose sight of who you are. The right family will come along at the right time.

You can’t control the administrative process of adoption.

There is no way around this. There is a lot of paperwork to finish, home studies to complete, ICPC clearance, and then waiting for the paperwork to be processed and approved! As tempting as it is to check in with your adoption professional about where things are in the process, rest assured everyone is doing their best to make this adoption happen. You are at the mercy of the many departments that need to review your application. This is all done with the safety of the child in mind.

You can’t control genetics.

Adoptive parents often worry about biological traits their child will inherit from their birth parents, especially their medical history. But you need to remember that you can’t control your own genetics either. What you inherit from your family tree is out of your hands. While your adopted child may not physically look like you, you will begin to see the character traits and values you instill in them. You will see the nurture you provide your child.

You can’t control the future.

Once your adoption is completely finalized, you may think that your time of surrendering control to others is over. Some see the ups and downs of the adoption process as the most challenging aspect of parenthood. The truth is that the challenges have only just begun. Caring for and raising an adopted child comes with a new set of ups and downs. Nobody can control the future in any circumstance. Look for support from family and friends to manage the down moments, and relish every up moment that comes your way every single day.

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