“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” – Melody Beattie
The holiday season is the perfect time of year to reflect on the gratitude of having people impact our lives in positive and healthy ways. Holding an attitude of gratitude can completely change a negative outlook on life into a positive one. Instead of using Christmas as a time for morbid reflection, we can choose to use it as a time to appreciate those people who have shown us love. There is a woman that I know who essentially held my hand throughout my adoption process. She helped me navigate not only the tangible aspects of the process itself, but also helped me sort through some of the emotions that I was experiencing as well. This woman was my adoption professional, and I will forever be grateful to her for what she did for me.
Who Are Adoption Professionals?
Adoption professionals come in the form of adoption attorneys, adoption agents, adoption counselors, and other individuals who walk along an adoption journey with anyone in the adoption triad. A birth mother should always be able to feel like she can trust her adoption professional to inform her of the adoption process correctly, guide her through the steps of the process, and be there when she needs anything related to the adoption. My adoption agent never made me feel uncomfortable or like I couldn’t trust her. In a time when a woman needs someone to trust, an adoption agent can be that person. While I haven’t spoken to my adoption agent in years, I am still grateful for her and have only fond memories of how she helped me.
The Role an Adoption Professional Plays in an Adoption
My adoption situation with the birth father was very complicated, as is common with a birth father who isn’t supportive of an adoption decision. There were not only state laws and requirements that had to be navigated, but a plethora of emotions I had to deal with. My adoption agent made me feel like she took a personal interest in my adoption being a success. She was there when I needed someone to talk to. She helped me brainstorm when we needed creative ways to deal with my birth father. She connected me with my agency’s attorney and was with me at every meeting. She was thoughtful in what adoptive family profiles she showed me and listened to the desires of my heart for my child.
How Do I Find a Trustworthy Adoption Professional?
I highly recommend to any woman considering adoption to find an adoption professional who you trust. If you can’t trust who you are working with when it comes to adoption, then the process will be harder on a birth mother than it needs to be and may be unsuccessful. An adoption professional should be encouraging and supportive. They should know what they are talking about and be versed in their state and county laws for adoption. They are there to make sure the adoption is successful for the entire adoption triad. The adoption triad includes the potential adoptive parents, the prospective birth mother, and the child who is to be placed for adoption.
If you are a woman considering adoption and looking for a trustworthy adoption professional, my suggestion is to begin making phone calls and meeting with adoption professionals. Trust your instincts regarding your adoption professional interview and search, and don’t settle for anyone you feel that you may not be able to trust. If you don’t know where to turn for an adoption decision, consider calling American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION 24/7 and talking to an adoption specialist. Find out what services and resources the adoption agency you are interested in has to offer. Remember that support and resources will be needed even after finalization has occurred, so be mindful of this when you consider what it is you are looking for in not only an adoption professional, but an adoption agency as well. A woman facing an unplanned pregnancy should be encouraged to know that there is someone who can guide her through the adoption process that she can trust, and that should be her adoption professional.
This is the sixth post in a 12-part series on gratitude in adoption. Stay tuned for more.
Lindsay is a guest blogger for Considering Adoption. She placed her son for adoption seven years ago and hopes to use her experience to support and educate other expectant mothers considering adoption, as well as adoptive families.