Falling in love at first sight is often a thing of fairy tales — but finding your perfect adoptive family match doesn’t have to be!
You may be thinking, “There is no such thing as ‘The One’ when it comes to choosing an adoptive family.”
I say, “You’re wrong.”
Finding the perfect adoptive family isn’t about finding the “picture-perfect parents.” It’s about figuring out your vision of what a perfect adoptive family match looks like. Whether you are a single pregnant woman considering adoption for your baby, a new mother seeking an adoptive family for your newborn, or a prospective birth mother in one of a million other scenarios, know that “The Ones” are out there.
They are waiting for you. You just don’t know it yet.
How Do I Know If I Have Found “The Ones?”
The first and most important indicator is a prospective birth mother’s motherly instinct. I know this from personal experience and wise words once gifted to me from a dear friend.
I have a friend who was told she could never bear children. So, her and her darling husband decided they would become adoptive parents. After adopting their two oldest children, a miracle was given to them, and my friend had a natural birth from her very own pregnancy!
I chose adoption for my baby and, when it was my turn to go through the rollercoaster ride of the adoption process, I was sure to call my friend every time it looked like there was about to be a scary turn. No matter the situation that I was facing, this friend kept giving me the same advice:
“Don’t spend energy trying to cultivate relationships that are not meant to be. When you are faced with a decision during this adoption process, listen to your gut. When it’s time for you to meet the prospective adoptive family who will raise your child, God will place them before you. When you meet your perfect adoptive family match, you will just… know. Trust your motherly instincts. They are a gift from God.”
So, I listened to her. And I couldn’t find appropriate words to express my gratitude to her and her advice even if I tried.
Oh, and she was right. I found them.
Creating Your Adoption Plan
The first step in an adoption process is creating an adoption plan with an adoption professional. This is the point where every prospective birth mother can start dreaming about the future for both herself and her baby.
In my adoption plan, I specified all the factors that were important to me in a waiting family. I knew I wanted my child to be raised in my home state so I could have an open adoption relationship with him after placement. I also knew I wanted a couple who had a strong moral compass and a desire to live a life based on other principles that I value. Many other factors came into consideration, as well, including the length of their relationship, their parenting and discipline styles, and the type of education and extracurricular activities they were involved in and which they wanted to share with their own child.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you finalize your adoption plan — and your wishes for an adoptive family — with your adoption professional:
- What type of post-placement relationship do you want to have with your child after placing him or her for adoption?
- If you prefer an open adoption, what type of contact do you want with your child and how often would you like that contact to take place?
- Where do you want your perfect adoptive family match to live?
- Do you prefer to find a local family in your state through a local adoption agency?
- Or do you have dreams of your child experiencing life from somewhere else in the United States?
- Do you have a preference on what religion an adoptive family practices?
- Do you have certain parenting or discipline styles that you want your child raised with?
- Are there certain experiences you want your child to have during his or her upbringing?
- Do you prefer your child attend a certain type of education institution, like public or private school?
- Would you like your child to be the oldest? Or would you like your child to have other siblings?
These are only a few questions that every prospective birth mother should consider as she decides what family is right for her baby.
Remember that prospective birth mothers have a bittersweet choice to make when it comes to choosing the perfect families for their babies. I know that, for me, I felt a great responsibility to my child when creating my vision of what a perfect adoptive family would be like.
“Our” Perfect Match
I think it’s important that I say one thing I’ve found true in my own adoption experience:
Don’t just choose the waiting family that’s perfect for your baby. Chose the adoptive family that is perfect for YOU, too!
When I first decided that I was going to place my baby for adoption, my focus was on my son and finding the perfect adoptive family for him. However, very early into my adoption process, I realized that the only way I would remain at peace with my decision was to find a waiting family that was perfect for me, as well as for my child.
You see, I was looking for a very open adoption. I wanted frequent contact with my child during his upbringing and I also wanted to have a relationship with his adoptive parents. I wanted to find an adoptive couple who also desired to have a loving relationship with me. I didn’t want to be cut off from my son, and I knew that the perfect adoptive family for me would be a couple who wanted an open adoption as intensely as I did. Therefore, I told my adoption professional that I would only be looking for waiting families who were hoping to find an open adoption with a prospective birth mother.
No matter what you are looking for in your ideal adoptive family, express it to your adoption professional. You never know if an adoptive family is telling their adoption professional about the same thing in hopes of finding you.
So, go ahead and dream, girl! Dream big! Your perfect adoptive family match is out there. Just remember what my friend told me:
“Trust your gut.”
Lindsay is a guest blogger for Considering Adoption. She placed her son for adoption eight years ago and hopes to use her experience to support and educate other expectant mothers considering adoption, as well as adoptive families.