Every Adoption Experience is Unique

ID-10013027 Every adoption experience is unique; it is never possible to anticipate exactly what it will be like. The processes and requirements for adoption can be complicated, and adoption, though ultimately rewarding, can at times be an emotional roller coaster for parents and children alike. With its Matching Assistance Program and other resources, A Family For Every Child tries to help families persist through these frustrations, to stay hopeful, and to keep believing that the rewards in the end will be well worth it. Here is one family’s story about the ups and downs of the adoption process, and how it all turned out: Written by an adoptive mom. “After being in the final selection process more than twice, getting very excited to meet our newest family members, and then being told we were not selected, it was hard to be positive some days.  But, we kept at the process, submitting our inquiries and home study, praying (lots and lots of praying), and continuing to keep a positive attitude.  We were selected exactly six months after our home study was approved and after inquiring about over 250 groups of siblings. We were beyond thrilled with our match of three siblings, two boys and one girl, who were living in different foster homes until we were all matched together.  We all fell right into place as a family during our first visit.  We could never have dreamed of this day finally coming.  It seemed like a very long road (and sometimes a disappointing road) to get here, but when the fit was right for everyone, it was absolutely worth every moment we waited. Our children have now been with us for about a month.  They are lively and energetic; typical children.  All three of our children have their challenges and need us to be their voice when they’re struggling with something.  We have learned to be very strong advocates for them in school and with healthcare professionals; we know them better than the professionals and we do not stop until all of our questions and concerns have been addressed. We have all also learned this is not the fairytale we had hoped.  Our children came to us thinking we would be perfect and would not have any rules for them.  They thought they would be able to do whatever they wanted to do, when they wanted to do it.  But when Mom and Dad started explaining why rules were important and necessary, they gradually started to understand we were not mean, we were just like their foster parents, trying to keep them safe and happy. We also learned our children were not perfect.  They still had temper tantrums, still used the word ‘no’ a lot, and still needed help in most areas.  They make messes, and get messy themselves; they do not always do what they’re supposed to and they do not always follow the rules.  But they are our children, and we are their parents, and we all make it work, with a lot of talking and a lot of effort. We have been asked the really hard questions like, ‘Why didn’t my real mom and dad want me?’  It is heartbreaking and hurts you to the core.  You want to let them know that everything will be okay, and we do tell them everything is okay.  We tell them the truth, but not the details of their removal from their birth parents.  Instead, we tell the children that the biggest gift you can give your children is sometimes the hardest thing to do, giving them to someone who can take care of them.  We tell them their parents are not bad people.  They were people who decided the best thing for their children was to allow them the best possible life.  And when that conversation ends, we always hear ‘I love you, Mom and Dad’ — and they mean us! — followed by hugs and kisses.  It is the most rewarding experience we have had so far. We’ve watched our children grow, just in the short month they’ve been with us.  They’ve grown emotionally and physically, and they’ve opened up socially in ways we weren’t sure they were going to be able to.  Watching them become more and more comfortable, knowing they’re loved and cherished, even through some difficult behaviors, is an absolutely wonderful feeling. Not every moment has been wonderful — some have been very challenging — but all children have challenges.  All parents have challenges.  We couldn’t be more happy with our process and we love our new family members.” “Image courtesy of {graur codrin}/FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

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