When we first started talking about adoption there were SO many questions and fears that came up. It was a mysterious and unknown territory and at the time, we didn’t have anyone in our inner circle who had adopted. I so wished for someone whom I could ask questions, listen to their journey and hear what they learned.
That being said- I want to be that for someone else. I want to share with the hopes of bringing courage and understanding to possible adoptive families. I want to share to keep an open conversation about adoption. The more you know, the more you can understand, and the more you can connect, yeah?
So here’s the first (of hopefully many) little blurbs about our adoption journey.
5 things I wish I knew before adopting:
I wish I knew that I would feel such a deep connection and bond with our daughter right away.
This is something that I honestly (and embarrassingly) was worried about and I can tell you without a doubt, I felt an immediate and deep bond with MaryHampton from the first second I held her. I literally cry all the time because I never knew I could love a tiny human this much.
I wish I knew how many details God had been working out for YEARS before we even began this process.
Without sharing too much, here’s just one example of how the Lord is so kind and so intricate in working things out: Josh and I got married two weeks after we graduated college, and we moved to Redding, California two weeks after that. We drove across the country with no jobs lined up, knowing only one friend who lived in our future city, with no timeline for how long we’d be there, and a big YES to an invitation to adventure with the Lord. Our one friend who lived in Redding picked out our apartment for us and we paid for it before even seeing it. The first people we met in our new city, just a few days after we arrived, were a sweet family from Michigan who had also picked up their lives and moved into our same apartment complex that very same week. Jump forward 6 years and this same family who we met during week one of our California adventure ended up connecting us with MaryHampton’s birth mother. We left Redding a year later, grown and changed from a year of adventure, but little did we know how much those 365 days would impact our lives forever.
I wish I knew that adoption agencies are VERY different from each other.
We researched for hours, phone interviewed several, and ended up choosing between just a couple. We were so anxious to get started with the process that I think we rushed into this. I had absolutely no idea what questions to ask and had such little adoption knowledge that we felt like we were kind of picking blindly. We ended up choosing the agency that we felt the most peace about. I don't regret it for one second because it brought us our sweet girl, but I wish I had asked more questions initially. One of the biggest questions I’ve been asked throughout this journey is how to pick an agency and my goodness, it is a tough one. Here’s a list of questions that I would encourage you to ask as you make your choice. Also, I would encourage you to remember that they are serving YOU because you hired/ will potentially hire them so do not feel bad about asking a full list of questions both before and during the process.
I wish I knew how little control adoptive parents have in the whole process.
I love to have a plan and have clear expectations for what’s to come. This was essentially a laughable quality to have during our adoption journey. In some ways, it was helpful though because I just threw in the towel and said “Okay, Lord. You’ve got this.” The birth parents make ALL of the decisions, and those they can’t make are essentially made by the adoption laws in the state you’re adopting from. We were along for the ride and invited us into a season of trust like we’ve never had before.
I wish I knew that an open adoption would be so beautiful.
When we first began the adoption process, “open adoption” was a slightly nerve-wracking term for us. It is such unfamiliar territory and honestly opened the door to a lot of fear for me. As I communicated with and spent several days with MaryHampton’s birth mom, my fears melted. She’s the bravest, strongest, most selfless woman and I cannot imagine not having her in our lives.
If you’re considering adoption, I hope these things are helpful and ease a few fears. If you’re in the middle of your adoption process and this doesn’t ease your worries, that’s okay too. It’s HARD HARD HARD. You are strong and the Lord is with you every single step of the way. Message me and I’d be happy to chat!