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The other day I came across this picture on Pinterest of a stork flying by as an adult tossed their baby up to catch them. It was titled “Finally someone has accurately depicted adoption.” But the truth is that I’m not seeing a baby fall into my arms – at least not yet. What this image fails to depict is what adoptive parents have to actually do in order to even be considered for adoption.
So, graphic designer that I am, I changed up to the Meme to something that felt more authentic.
Of course this is meant to be humorous. But I bet if any adoptive parents saw it, they would start shaking their heads in agreement.
You don’t become an adoptive parent on a whim
The truth is, all adoptive parents have to really want it to make it through the process. There’s the invasive study of your home, finances and well-being. There’s the financial commitment to the actual process, let alone the financial commitment of raising a person from birth to adulthood. You have to tell your friends and family so they provide reference letters about your character, state of mind and ability to be responsible. You have to tell your employer because the agency needs to verify your employment. You need fingerprinting, a federal and local background check and they ask about your health insurance. You have to tell your doctor, because a physical is required. There are education requirements, journaling requirements and reading requirements. There are first aid classes and water safety classes…
And eventually, you tell anyone who will listen because it’s hard to keep such a big thing in your life a secret. You ask for prayer and you give updates – always hoping that the next call from agency will news of a match.
While the top image was meant to be humorous, the image below is more representative of the path I’m on – prayers were added by me because I do pray before every next step.
Right now I’m sitting squarely between #4 and #5. I should have added multiple prayer hand here because every day I pray for the woman who will choose me to raise the child.
All the business gurus and fitness gurus out there say that when you’re working on a long-term goal, create a vision board. Nowaways, Rachel Hollis talks about creating a Pinterest board. What I like about Pinterest is that you can make certain boards private so that only you can see them. They are called “Secret Boards.” I have a small Pinterest following through my blog on books, but I keep a few private boards for things I’m working towards long-term.
One of those boards is named Baby-Baby. You can actually track my thought process through starting a family. The earliest posts include ovulation calendars and maternity clothes. Later, when I start fertility treatments, you find images of twins and advice on how to raise multiples on a budget. When I start the adoption process, I started including images of multi-ethnic babies and adoption grants. Throughout you’ll see images of gender nuetral nurseries and funny onesies. Diaper coupons that never expire and a couple hundred of posts related to what you “reallly need” for newborns when you get home from the hospital – of course one list talked about bottle warmers so I’m pretty sure most of these posts are sponsored.
I just had a friend share with me that she is starting the adoption process by looking for an agency. I told her that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and to find ways to keep her and her husband motivated while they wait for the perfect situation to be found. To find the motivation needed to fill out one more grant application or listen to one more educational podcast.
It’s only 1 side of the story
On the other side of this process is a woman, who finds herself needing or wanting to give a child over to an adoptive parent. I don’t know what her side of the story looks like, but one day, I hope to hear it. Until then, whoever she is, wherever she is, I am praying for her – not about her, but for her. I pray health over her, I pray peace over her and I pray favor over her. And I have an army of supporters who are also praying for her.