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What tip would you like to share with prospective adoptive parents?

What tip would you like to share with prospective adoptive parents? Maybe something based on your own adoption process. What would you wish was a bit different (besides the adoption itself)? What would you like to share to help prospective adoptive parents in their journey?

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As an adoptee I suggest that you are always 100% honest that the individual is adopted and I believe that it is important not to stress the fact that they are adopted all of the time. When they are ready to ask questions they will unless it is an open adoption. For example, I didn't have an open adoption but reunited at 11 with my mother it was tough for me but my parents always answered questions they knew the answers to. My adopted parents were very interactive with AFT adopted families together in mass. I believe that my mother was the chair there but am not positive. Yet that allowed me and my siblings to interact with other children who were adopted which is also great! Sometimes it is rare to meet other adopted kids when you yourself are adopted. I know this is kind of shambled but this is how I feel...ask me questions whenever!
A couple of thoughts.....

Live life and enjoy one another as you are working towards a match/placement. I wish I would have finished my degree, took more trips with Brad and did fun things while we were trying to family build. I focused so much on what I didn't have I was misserable. Looking back being truly happy would have been pretty hard but I wished I would have tried harder. :)

Don't fear your child"s Birth Parents. Be excited about having them in your life. We always say when you adopt it is a package deal! :) I think it is important to embrace everything about your child...that includes their birth parents....even if you aren't fully open in your adoption the way you speak about them and refer to them speaks volumes to your child.

Enjoy your journey...we all worry about failed placements happening but don't let the worries stop you from living your dreams....go shopping and buy that outfit you saw etc etc. If the Birth mom you are matched decides to parent then you will hurt and you will grieve...you will do this even if you don't buy one thing. I found it helpful to have something to hold in those dark moments of grief. If you do go through a failed placement don't give up hope....your joy will come! I have witnessed this in my own life....3 times. It hurt alot but I also grew alot.

When your baby is placed in your arms enjoy every tiny moment....goes too fast. :)

hang in there and good luck!!!
Children are not possessions whatever you paid.
Make sure they know their heritage.
Keep your eyes open for the unscrupulous and exploitative.
Be realistic about the trauma all adoptees experience and know many have other major problems, always.
There nothing as disempowering as pity.
Don't label them with cutesy T-shirts.
Love them ,care for them but never expect them to experience the same bond and attachment a child does who is born to you.
Remember you are asking them to live your story not theirs.
Adoption is for finding good parents for children not for finding children for adopters.
As a Bmom just starting the rather exhausting journey to find a pair of adoptive parents, my biggest tip is to be careful of the impression you put across. The agency we're working with has a big folder of hopeful parents, each with a 'dear birthmom' letter attached. Be careful what you put in these! I cannot stress this enough. the father and I skipped past nearly a dozen letters without a second glance because the person writing either didnt take into account the fact that the person reading them wants to find a home for their child, or clearly didn't care about the birthmom's feelings.
If you write one of these letters, please remember that the woman or couple looking at them is not looking for a new friend, or someone they would want to hang out with on the weekend. They are looking for good, caring, strong parents. (This is from an actual letter we read) So don't talk about how much you love beer and partying late on weekends.
Also, be respectful to birth-parents, and don't make assumptions. While its true that some people give up their children because they don't 'want' them, most of us are going through this process because of the deep love we carry for our children.
Or because they're under a great deal of pressure to relinquish and have no support in attempting to keep their children.In my view potential adopters should be truthful, if they like to party all w/e and get drunk it would be useful to know that straight off wouldn't it?

chelsea walton said:
As a Bmom just starting the rather exhausting journey to find a pair of adoptive parents, my biggest tip is to be careful of the impression you put across. The agency we're working with has a big folder of hopeful parents, each with a 'dear birthmom' letter attached. Be careful what you put in these! I cannot stress this enough. the father and I skipped past nearly a dozen letters without a second glance because the person writing either didnt take into account the fact that the person reading them wants to find a home for their child, or clearly didn't care about the birthmom's feelings.
If you write one of these letters, please remember that the woman or couple looking at them is not looking for a new friend, or someone they would want to hang out with on the weekend. They are looking for good, caring, strong parents. (This is from an actual letter we read) So don't talk about how much you love beer and partying late on weekends.
Also, be respectful to birth-parents, and don't make assumptions. While its true that some people give up their children because they don't 'want' them, most of us are going through this process because of the deep love we carry for our children.
For prospective adoptive parents;

DON'T BE A BULLY! DON'T BE DEMANDING!

Realize that a baby is a gift. If the mother wants to name her baby, let her. If she wants to nurse her baby, let her. If she insist you do something for her child throughout its life, do it. Don't lie to her. Don't feed her false promises. And don't betray the trust she is instilling in you by letting you raise her child.
Too right! Agree with all this and more.Thanks for telling it how it is.

Samantha VV said:
For prospective adoptive parents;

DON'T BE A BULLY! DON'T BE DEMANDING!

Realize that a baby is a gift. If the mother wants to name her baby, let her. If she wants to nurse her baby, let her. If she insist you do something for her child throughout its life, do it. Don't lie to her. Don't feed her false promises. And don't betray the trust she is instilling in you by letting you raise her child.
Good to see the truth being told here and agree with every point.Adoptees are the only group in society who have trauma inflicted on them and are then expected to be grateful for it.

Joye said:
This is my short list of things I wish could have or should have been different in my adoption.
#1 Celebrating Gotcha day.
Celebrating the day child lost who child was meant to be ,Never made sense to me. Just another way to make child different.
#2 Adoption is a gift..... You were chosen...... You were my gift.....
Adoption is no gift. Adoption is loss. We are not chosen we just happen to be next in line.
#3 That mother loved me enough to give me up. What a mixed message. People who love you leave you with people you don't have any bond or history with? Mother loved me but relinquished out of desperation not love.
She was not selfless or brave just desperate.
#4 Blank slates theory . We have a history.
#5 I was and still am a great people pleaser and actress . Confused and hurting but afraid to say for fear of disappointing the ones I was expected to be grateful to. Still today every one in my Afam would tell you I'm fine with my adoption. No pain no problems.
#6 My whole entire afamily still introduces me as the adopted child of, My adopted niece, My adopted cousin..... As if to explain why I might be different from them. Makes me crazy.
#7 Always remember what was lost.
Do your homework and separate desire from deliberation. What can you handle? What risks are you genuinely willing to take - and accept responsibility for - for the rest of your life? Adoption is wonderful, and I am grateful for the opportunities and blessings the process has afforded me, but I at times have also been overwhelmed with the demands and challenges of what turned out to be a special needs son (they are not physical special needs). People tell themselves that there are risks with everything - natural birth included. And that is true - but with adoption, the risks are more quantifiable and therefore, I think, should be considered in a rationale way. All children are beautiful, and all children deserve loving homes, but not all people are equipped to handle all children.

Having said that, perhaps some would benefit from reading our family's story in my blog/book project (please start from bottom and scroll up). Hope this helps - Mary

http://whenrainhurts.wordpress.com
As an adoptee who was adopted in a closed adoption as a baby I can say that for many years, it was just an interesting fact about me, not something I gave much thought to. I think it was because my parents never lied to me and never treated me as if I wasn't their "real " daughter. When I searched for my biological relatives they were totally supportive. My wedding day was the best when all my parents were able to meet each other and be there for me. I have been very lucky in my life in general. I had a great childhood and I've had a great chance to develop a relationship with my biological relatives as an adult(although they live far away). There are many things I get from "nurture", horseback riding, my religion, love of brisket and chicken paprikash, and "nature" my body, sense of humor, candor, optimism? I have also chosen to make Japanese culture a big part of my life. I respect my parents because I always felt they were secure in that role, and didn't doubt that they could raise me to be a moral, educated, and loving person. So that's my two cents as an adoptee.
My tip is don't give up. If you give up then you will have wasted all that time for nothing. It can sometimes be a very painful journey. . . keep in mind that the end result is what you are aiming for. If I had given up then I wouldn't have my 2 beautiful kids. The second time around I had thought about quitting. Too many heart aches. . . I was becoming broken!

Your baby is not a tabula rosa, a blank slate.   She will grieve her mother's smell, her mother's voice, her mother -- even if her mother was a crack addict prostitute.  

 

Do not take your agency's word that they are ethical, do your homework particularly if it means digging a lot.    Do not depend on religion, happy adoptive parents,  or number of adoptions.   Agencies, even ethical ones, earn revenue off of infant adoptions.    Dig for people who have worked there, blog comments.    Get their stories.    You do not want to buy a child whose mother was coerced into relinquishing.  

 

If you are in an open adoption, for chrissakes, honor your child's first mother, her feelings, and the agreements you made with her. 

 

Read EJ  Graff's investigative journalism on international adoption http://www.brandeis.edu/investigate/selectedwork/index.html if you are considering adopting internationally.  Take it seriously.   Please.

 

The WORST feeling for me as an adult adoptee is the feeling of being treated as a commodity -- a healthy white girl,  bought and sold-- and only a tiny fraction of the money you used to bring me into your home could have supported my mother and me quite well.     I believe you adopted me to feel good about yourself, as a replacement for your ghost child, or as a cure for your infertility.    You think you treated me like "your child" and at the very least I should be grateful... at least I didn't have to live in poverty.    I think, if you really loved me, you would have helped my mother and me stay together.    I miss her and you don't, you can't,  you won't understand.

 

My hurt and grief are more important than yours.   I am the one for whom this transaction is purportedly in my best interest.   Don't forget it.

 

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