Recently the people at Show Hope asked me to answer some questions about what I would share w/adoptive parents currently in the middle of the wait.
I felt like it would be neat to share this with you, because there might be someone out there who needs this:
Dear Future Adoptive parent,
Well, congratulations on this journey! I hope this information helps you!
For fundraising well… this is our biggest challenge and I would say an area of expertise! For our first adoption, we applied to a few organizations and we were able to receive two different grants. One was a matching grant, and one was from Show hope! If you can get a matching grant, they are awesome! It is a great way to let people know about what you are doing, and it lets people feel like they are really getting to contribute. We were able to secure all the money we needed by word of mouth (anonymous donors) and grants. For our second adoption which we are currently fundraising for, we are doing several different things. Our expenses this time are greater, and so we are trying to really hit the fundraising hard, in order to not acquire more debt. We are doing a large garage sale this summer, which we are taking donations for… this is actually going really well because people are so happy to see their things get put to good use. We are also doing a drive thru fundraiser dinner. We are selling tickets right now, and the Dinner will be April 12. We are excited about this because we are doing it in conjunction with another family in process at our church. In addition, we have also applied to literally a dozen grants in order to hopefully get some funding that way. We have been so fortunate because we have actually received a matching grant!
The major points to remember when fundraising are:
1. Lots of people want to help, but they have to know about it to be able to help! Be loud and tell your story to everyone… you never know who God has placed close by who has a heart for orphans.
2. Take it one chunk at a time. Do one fundraiser, if it’s not enough, do another… and keep going until you have it covered… you will get there!!
3. Have faith! God provides for those doing His will. He wants that child in your home worse than you do! He will provide!
What I know now that I wish I knew then:
1. Some people will get it, and some people won’t. It’s okay. Explain your heart, your story, whatever you feel comfortable with sharing in your adoption journey. There will be people touched by your story and end up adopting, sponsoring children, going on mission trips, etc… But, no matter how hard you try, some people cannot get over the fact that your child doesn’t look like you, speak your language, etc… its okay. Adoption is not for everyone. But it is for you, and your family, and you can rejoice in that!
2. It is the best and worst thing for your marriage. The waiting, the rushing, the crying, the confusion, the lost paperwork, the fundraising… it is one of the hardest things you will ever do as a couple! But, oh, is it worth it!! We have been through things that other people will never understand and we are proud of that! Take time to talk every day, about things other than the kids, and remember you are on the same team!
3. it’s so easy to love them. I thought it would be so hard. I prayed that God would make me love this little Korean baby as much as my biological children. I worried it wouldn’t be the same. And it was. Just like magic. God has a way of making magic when you ask him to. Let Him.
In the waiting time…
While you are waiting…
1. Read a lot!! Read about the child’s country, food, culture. Read about their facility or possible foster care situation. Read about adoption and attachment. Read about stigma and educate yourself and prepare yourself on how you will handle the other people, especially the ones who don’t get it (see above).
Oh, and save your money, because when they get here you are going to want to spoil them rotten!
2. Prepare the room and clothing. This is so much fun! Pick out things you think they will like. Let people give you showers! Have your current children and other family help do the room, the shopping etc… they will feel so much more involved this way.
3. Spend time with the kids you already have. This sounds like a no brainer. But, we had an awesome summer with our two bio kids the summer before our little Korean came home. We spent time together and planned how we would take care of this new person. Love them and reassure them that your love for them won’t change even though there will be more kids… and teach them how to love that baby like you already do. This worked for us, and our boys love each other fiercely.
4. Don’t be impatient or in a hurry. I know, yeah right. It’s so hard… but God will put it all together in His time and it will be just what you and that child needed. Trust me.
Pre & post adoption resources:
Get yourself into a support group ASAP! If you are not already in a group of other adoptive parents… find the closest one you can and join now! This is invaluable. You need to hear the good and the bad. We did this before we even applied. It was great for our bio boys, and it was great for us as parents, and it has been wonderful for our adopted son. They can see that there are other families that look different like them and it has been great! Also, you get to visit with parents and hear what they are doing as well… it’s great therapy. Also, don’t be afraid to use your social workers, adoption agency, and whoever else is involved in your adoption… they are experts and do it all the time… and it’s their job to help you! Utilize their services and call and email as many times as you need to, until you find the answers you are looking for.
God bless and may your family be richly blessed by adoption!