Many times when people find out that James and I have adopted we are always asked why. Why did we choose to adopt? Why did we chose M? The conversation often includes the person asking these questions saying that they themselves have thought about fostering or adopting.
Here are some questions to ask yourself if adopting is something you often think about…
- Do you want to parent? I know this seems silly but many people start down the road of adopting and once they see the work that it takes to parent adoptive children they quit. So it is important to want to put the time and effort into parenting a child that is not yours. Does your current life allow you that time or are there adjustments that will need to be made?
- Can you provide a safe loving home? Is your home emotionally safe? Are there areas in your life and past that you need to deal with and face before allowing a child to enter into it? This child will come with trauma if adopting older, or if adopting infant they will have questions and curiosity when they are old enough to understand. Are you as their parents capable of handling their emotions towards adopting? If you are struggling to handle your current life situations then you will not be able to handle the child’s. In that case it is best to wait a year or two before welcoming a child into your home.
- If married, is your spouse on board? If your spouse is questioning or totally against it do not, I repeat, do not bring a child into that home. That child will need both parents love and affection. Everyone parents differently, even within the same marriage, and there will be vital aspects that your spouse will provide that you can’t. A spouse who is rejecting the idea or unsure will cause hurt and pain to a child all over again.
- Do you have the room? Is your current home able to house another child? Do you need to move some beds around? Make an addition? Turning a basement into a bedroom that meets code is a possibility. Do you have the finances to do these?
- Are you willing to take on the financial responsibility? Adding another child will add to your monthly costs. Is that something you are willing to take on? Note that I didn’t say if you have the finances, I said if you are willing to take it on. The difference? God is our provider and if he calls you to adopt he will provide all the needs. We have seen it happen time and time again.
- If you have children old enough to understand, are they ok with it? Do they want to have another sibling that will possibly look and act different? If they are against it, refer back to number 3. Our son Chase will know no different. He loves M and cannot wait for M to get home off the school bus. After the child is in your home for awhile take note of how your biological children bond with the child. If they don’t and there is a lot of tension between the kids that are not age appropriate then it is wise to postpone the adoption.
- How does your extended family and friends feel about it? Are they excited? Do they want to take on the role of grandmother, uncle, cousin etc? Having a supportive family makes the emotions and experience for you and the child so much easier. If your family is very against it then think about how they will act towards that child. Imagine what that child will feel in the years to come? Everyone doesn’t have to be on board 100%, but I encourage some to be. Others may follow when they form a bond with the child. If everyone is against it then you need to be ok with your family dynamic changing, forever.
- Are you ok with there always being another mom/dad? They may not be in the picture, they may not even be alive, but they are there. They are real to the child even if they never met them. There will be questions, tough questions that you should be willing and ready to answer the best way you know how. Are you ok with the possibility of your child wanting to find their parents as adults? Many kids search to see what their life could have been, to see where they came from, to find their history, and its hard as a parent to have to watch this. Are you ok with them possibly wondering about this portion of their life to the point they may search for it?
What are some questions you find asking yourself if you have considered adopting/fostering?