So, you’re a friend/family member/nursery worker/etc that is supporting an adoptive or hopeful adoptive family! First of all, thank you for even taking the time to read this blog post! That alone shows your commitment to coming alongside of and supporting that family and it is SO needed. But, what now? I’m sure you’ve spent a fair amount of time praying for this family, you may have sewn financially into their journey, you might have told them “we’re here for whatever you need” but what does that practically look like?? Here are just a few ideas for you of things that you can do to lighten the load of an adoptive family:
1) Continue to pray for them, even after placement happens. Most people think “oh the adoption is finalized, our prayers have been answered and all is well!” While bringing baby home is a HUGE hurdle, that is actually where the real work begins. In the months right after placement happens, those parents need you to pray even harder than you have previously! For strength, for grace, for patience, for understanding. They, their children, and this new precious addition are all in a crazy phase of learning how to do life together and sometimes that can be really challenging! Lift them up in prayer and ask them specifically what they need prayer for! Speaking of specifics…
2) It’s AMAZING to offer “anything you need” to a new adoptive family. Your heart in saying that is so beautiful. But let’s be real, that saying gets tossed around a lot and it’s seldom followed up on. Why? For 2 reasons: 1- the person saying it doesn’t follow up, and 2- the family doesn’t feel comfortable asking for what they REALLY need! When offering help to a family, get specific with it. Tell them to tell you what they actually need! Is it meals? Help around the house? Is it a babysitter for the night so that the parents can have some respite time? Is it taking their other kiddos so that they can get one on one with their newest little one? Suggest these things, ask if they need any of it. And then make a plan and stick to it! A community to help support you practically during this time is critical to the success of an adoptive family.
3) Educate yourself! This may sound silly, I mean after all you’re not the one adopting the child. However, if you plan to be in this child’s life in any significant way, educating yourself on what adoptive kiddos go through when they come home is a GREAT way to support them. Many kids who are in the foster system or put up for adoptive placement have emotional trauma, physical trauma, developmental delays, etc. Many, with proper counseling and care, are able to live very fulfilled and “normal” lives but it does take work. Having people surround these kids who not only love them, but have made an effort to get to know about the issues they’re currently facing is an enormous aid in getting them to a healthy place emotionally, physically, and mentally. If you need some ideas on where to start, https://www.amazon.com/Connected-Child-healing-adoptive-family/dp/0071475001/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=2JLCYWJHNXKBS&keywords=the+connected+child+by+karen+purvis&qid=1556153332&s=gateway&sprefix=the+conn&sr=8-1is a great read!!! It’s fairly short and provides a ton of helpful information on bringing home an adopted child.
is another great read written by a mom who adopted 2 teenagers after having 2 biological kids of their own! She shares stories from many different foster and adoptive families in her book and is incredibly transparent about the good, the bad, and the ugly of adoption.
If reading isn’t your thing or you’re much like me and just can’t ever seem to find the time, maybe look at some podcast options to listen to. http://podcast.app/the-honestly-adoption-podcast-p140580/?share=ios is one that I personally have found a lot of great information from! There are tons out there though so explore and see what speaks to you.
Again a HUGE THANK YOU for taking the time to read this post. You can make all the difference in the lives of an adoptive family and specifically an adopted child. Just be there, both in prayer and physically. Even when they forget to tell you, they really do appreciate everything you do!