It’s come up in discussion, with your spouse, with your friends, with your parents. You see the ads on Facebook, hear them over the radio, and wonder again if this is what your future could look like. You even go as far as to check out adoptuskids.org, looking at each child, your heart hurting. But you still have your doubts.
Could you really adopt a child from foster care? Is this the right time?
You search Pinterest for more information, you click on my page every time I share something about adoption and foster care. What about your biological children? What about getting attached? What if they don’t get attached? You’ve read my posts about how dang hard foster care adoption can be.
Is foster care adoption really an option for you?
If you’re at this point in your walk, I’m writing this post for you. Heck, even if you’ve only had the fleeting consideration of adopting from foster care, this post is for you. Are you really ready to adopt a child? Is this something you should move forward with?
I have put together a list of seven questions I believe you need to mull over, discuss with your partner, family and support system, and consider before telling you to go forward with adoption. I’m by no means an expert on adoption but as a person who has been on a few sides of this lifestyle, for a very long time, I have seen a few make or break areas for whether or not a person should choose to move forward with foster care adoption.
- Is your significant other on board? If you are married or in a committed relationship, this is the most important part for me. I’m going to be really raw right here; I would adopt again before having another biological child at this point in my life. Josh disagrees. He would rather have more biological children. Because he’s not 100% on board with it, I will not pursue another adoption(but I will torture myself and look at these precious faces and pray over them). Your spouse must be on board. If you don’t have a significant other, are you willing to only pursue future relationships with someone who is positive about adoption?
- Are you physically/medically capable? Shockingly there aren’t too many requirements to parent. That being said, if you are medically fragile or physically unable to care for a child, I would personally tell you to hold off on adoption for now.
- Are you emotionally stable?(for the most part) I became a foster parent despite having mental illnesses; I’m not sitting here to say you can’t struggle with depression/anxiety/etc. Nor am I here to tell you that you must be 100% or not taking any medications. However, adoption through foster care is hard. It’s challenging, it’s emotional, it takes it’s toll on you. If you are not in a stable place, I recommend waiting.
- Do you have the room/financial stability? Y’all, we’re minimalists. Well, we’re minimalists who have a grandmother who loves to buy things and a father who doesn’t get rid of anything. I’m a firm believer that children don’t need that much. It may be an uncommon thing to hear, but kids can be easy to provide for. You do need to be financial able to give them what they need…and they need somewhere to sleep! Foster care adoption comes with a stipend, but we are not making the big bucks off of it.
- Who would be your support system? Outside of your spouse, who are you looking at to support and love you through these grueling months? Will your family support and love an adopted child as much as a child you create? There was never any doubt in my mind that our family would support us in this. We are lucky to have a church that accepts and loves all our children, foster, adopted, bio. Who will you lean on in the hard times?
- What are your hard nos and soft nos? There are some things you can’t accept into your home and there is no shame in that. I’ve talked about why we would say no to a placement before. If you have biological children, if you’re uncomfortable with parenting after certain traumas, there is absolutely no shame in that. Talk about what you would say no to flat out and what you would consider saying yes to but also may say no. We didn’t plan to take younger kids until we were called with a placement for a 2 year old. That was one of our soft nos that we reconsidered. Know what your no’s would be.
- Are you ready to possibly fail? Are you ready to let your heart break? I love adoption. I love adoption so much. But your heart will break. And sometimes, love is not enough. I say this with tears in my eyes, wishing I didn’t have to write that. But it’s the truth. Are you okay if your child will never attach to you? Are you ready to cry for a woman you never knew? Adoption is tragic. There’s pain in it. And before I tell you to go forward with this, please be ready for this.
As always, I don’t share any of the negatives to turn you away from adoption through foster care. If given the choice, I would go back and do it a million times over. There are over 100,00o children in the USA waiting for a forever family. These kids need somewhere to rest their head at night. They deserve someone whose heart will break every day for them.
If you are ready to begin the process of adoption after going over these things, please feel free to ask me any questions! I would love to help people get to a place where they are ready to adopt, because as you are all probably aware by now…adoption is such a huge deal to me! We are celebrating one year as a forever family today!
That’s right, we have been a forever family for one year. 365 days have passed since we stood in front of our judge, our families, the news(we were a media family for National Adoption Day) and God-promising to love and parent these children to the best of our ability. They took our last name and we ate cake. We are so happy that this day happened, though it’s not all sunshine and roses, because the two beauts we adopted a year ago mean the world to us and we love them so very much.
As today continues, please keep our children’s first families in your prayers.