An adoptive mother and her look into what to expect..the expectations…when you are adopting a baby
The adoption process is full of “steps”, each one coming with its own expectation. Just a few of our expectations are listed below.
Expectation One: The home study and post-placement process is scary
Prior to starting our home study, I had read many articles and blogs on the process because I fully expected it to be scary and painful. Please hear me when I say that our home study process was painless. The house had never been cleaner or more put together prior to our social worker coming. While I was anxious prior to each visit, we felt as though we were simply sharing about our lives and our desire to grow our family in this way.
Expectation Two: Placement
Prior to our match with our daughter’s birth mom, I had many different expectations of what it would be like. Would we be there for the delivery? Would we run into the hospital, take the elevator, which would seem to take HOURS, rush to the nursery window and be overwhelmed with love? Would we even make it in time to be at the hospital at all? Would it be love at first site? Would we be able to interact with the birth family? And the list could go on. After matching with J’s sweet birth mom, we had a clearer picture, however there were still so many unknowns. For me, this expectation was the most emotionally charged.
Expectation Three: Communicating would be really hard or awkward
In our adoption process, we were open to varying levels of openness in our adoption, however we were hopeful that we would have some type of relationship with the birth parents. In communicating with our daughter’s birth mom, things have come natural and I look forward to the communication that we have. Just as with any growing relationship, it takes intentionality and time, however it is completely the desire of our hearts to have her a part of our life.
Expectation Four: The process ends at finalization
This expectation was (obviously) not well thought through in the beginning. When we first started, I understood all of the steps in the process eventually led to finalization, however, my expectation of that day/time was very different. Finalization is another blog in its entirety, however our adoption journey has not ended at finalization, nor has anything changed in our relationship with J’s birth mom. We understand that this is a lifetime journey in every way.
Managing expectations is challenging whether it is adoption or not. Often my expectation is bigger than reality or is “picture-perfect,” which often leads to disappointment in a situation that, in reality, is great. This disappointment, in turn, can lead to impatience and frustration with those involved in the situation. In our process, I had great expectations of our time at the hospital, even though I knew that the reality was likely far different. Our time at the hospital was frustrating to say the least, however it is our story. Looking back on our journey thus far it is important to set realistic expectations and experience each situation, just as with other situations in life.
Caroline, an adoptive parent