Is Adopting a Child Right For You?
A number of couples today are delaying or deciding against having children of their own. There are several reasons why, but a big one is because there are already so many children that need loving homes. Even if you currently are a parent, you can add to the family by choosing to adopt a child. Every child is a blessing in the home. But, consider all of the things that are required to give the child a healthy environment to grow and learn, and see if that’s within your means to give.
- Do you want to give a child a family?
Is your heart open to letting in another child into your family? This is a life-long commitment that will forever impact your family. That isn’t to scare you, but to set the reality of the seriousness of the decision. Having a child in your life is going to alter your priorities, your finances, and your time, which will make you put another human’s well-being before your own. A child will also bring your heart more joy that money can’t buy. Make sure that you and your entire family are ready for this transition in everyone’s life.
- Do you have the practical means of space, money, and time that you can give?
As you look at your living space, determine if it’s suitable for a child. Do you have enough room to accommodate another person? They’ll need a bed, furniture, clothes, toys, and space to be a kid. Do you have the finances to support feeding another person? Can you afford the extra costs of caring for another person? But, most importantly, do you have the time that the child will need to be loved? You’ll need to drop them off and pick them up from school, go soccer practice, spend weekends together, and be there to tuck them in every night. If you feel like you are lacking in any of these areas, make arrangements to be able to give the child everything that they need.
- The desire to help a child heal from previous pain.
Depending on the age of the child, there could be existing pain that the child has endured that needs to be reckoned with. If you adopt an infant, then there may be less pain, but that doesn’t mean that pain won’t exist. Have patience and recognize areas that you need help in. Look for counseling resources to help with healing.
- Is the entire family on board with adopting?
If only part of the family is excited about the potential of adoption, then don’t proceed with the adoption. Everyone who will be involved in the child’s life needs to accept the adoption choice. If not, this will exaggerate the pain the child is in, and hurt the other family members in the process. Talk to your children, and help them understand that adopting will give them a new brother or sister. Make sure that the child is included in all family events from the get-go, so they don’t feel like an outsider.
- Have strong contacts for assistance through the transition.
Surround yourself and the child with strong, supportive people who can help you through the transition. You’ll need assistance with daily life, and the child needs to have other people in their life that love them. It is healthy for both you and the child. If you don’t have anyone to turn to, find organizations that support adoptive parents.
If you have a heart to adopt, then set these pieces into motion so you can accommodate having a new child in the family. Reach out to local churches, put the word out to your friends that you are looking to adopt, and contact adoption agencies. It can take time, but it will all be worth it in the end.