5 Tips for Starting Your Adoption Journey
In the Philippines, roughly a mere hundred out of 2000 children are adopted per year, domestically. The sad reality of the orphan crisis is that hundreds of thousands of children grow up not knowing the love of a family. Why?
Adoption is not easy. Families rarely consider adoption as an option. Adoption consists of decisions that affect your entire life, preceded by a lengthy, tiresome, and complicated process. The road to building your family will be long and rough and it will, in fact, be the road less traveled. However, choosing to embark on this journey can make all the difference.
Adoption, caring for a child as if it was your own, is one of the greatest expressions of love. To adopt means to love the way a mother or a father does and to selflessly give yourself to a child to whom you owe nothing. It is to respond to God’s call for us to remember the orphans and welcome them into our homes with open arms.
You may be considering growing your family through adoption. Perhaps, now is the time for you to make that first step towards your own adoption story. It may not be easy, but you will not be alone. We have put together five tips to help prepare you for your own adoption journey:
- Prepare emotionally for the wait ahead.
The wait is a reality. Your adoption process will likely take a while. Due to the legal and administrative processes, the wait is pretty much be inevitable. You will in one way or another have your patience tested – we simply have not heard of a family that did not. However, please don’t let the fact that you’ll have to wait stop you from pursuing adoption. Don’t let the wait, no matter how long that might be, hinder you from adopting a child. Any child is worth the wait.
- Start sharing your heart for adoption.
Start telling your family and friends about your plans for adopting. You would want your child to come home to a family and an environment that will celebrate them. The same way that we would have baby announcements and baby showers, whether it’s a baby or an older child, you would want the child to feel celebrated as they’re welcomed into a family; the family that God has for them. Likewise, be wise about whom you share it with. There will be times when the people may not understand your decision. You will likely also have people asking you questions. Be open to hearing what they have to say but try to guard yourself from discouragement. Ultimately, the decision to adopt is between you, your spouse, and God.
- Prepare financially for your the adoption process.
The process will cost. Start saving up the same way you would save up for a baby if you were pregnant expecting to cover a hospital bill. Start thinking about setting aside finances monthly for the journey ahead. Expenses would include legal fees, administrative fees, medical tests, psychological examinations and possibly more. We encourage you to prepare financially start saving!
- Pick a lawyer whom you trust.
In the case of a direct adoption, you should select a trustworthy lawyer that advocates for adoption. In such a case, lawyers have the responsibility of procuring your adoption documents as quickly as possible. There will be ways to illegally cut the adoption process short and there are plenty of lawyers that are willing to make that compromise. We believe that the adoption process is something is sacred. There is power in the legal adoption of a child just like there is power in being legally married to someone. Don’t compromise the integrity of your child’s adoption. Work with people that will advocate for you and accomplish the process as quickly as possible – legally.
- Prepare spiritually.
The only thing that will sustain you through the wait, the process, and the complexities of adoption is knowing that God is the one building your family. Study the Word. The Word of God has so much to say about adoption. Not only does the Bible say that Jesus was adopted by his earthly father, but also that we are adopted as His sons and daughters. Adoption was never God’s Plan B. God intended to adopt us from the very beginning. God intends for every adoption to be a sacred story of redemption. Spend time with God and be fully convinced in your hearts that this is what God wants you to do. Being spiritually strong will ensure that you have energy and the courage that it takes to sustain you throughtout your adoption journey.