Want to get in on a secret that can change the course of your adoption journey for the better? Here it is, mentality matters most.
You heard that right. You’re mindset through the adoption process can be the one thing standing between you and your future family. You might be thinking, THIS is a secret? Stick with me. You have NO IDEA! There are so many things that can cause you to derail, to spin down a hole of negativity, doubt, and what-ifs. And when that happens, it sabotages your adoption process. Trust me, I’ve seen it time and time again. So, let’s talk about some things that could get in your way.
Many people begin their adoption journeys having struggled for years with infertility or for whatever reason cannot have a biological child. Then they turn to adoption as a second choice, or their backup plan. There is no shame in that, yet the two need to be treated as separate paths.
When you start on your adoption journey think of it as its own separate journey, leaving the past behind you. Will it ever really go away? Probably not. To this day, I choke up when I’m telling my story or when I’m daydreaming about what a biological child would have been like, but that doesn’t take away from my son.
Whether you start your adoption journey while still trying to get pregnant by other means, your future adopted child deserves to know that when you started the adoption journey, you were excited because you knew it would lead to him or her.
It’s a NEW path and I would encourage you to approach it as such from day one.
Now let’s tackle your mindset around finances, as many hopeful parents find themselves nervous and overwhelmed by the cost associated with adopting.
Let’s face it. Adoption is expensive! We’re talking $45k-55k ALL IN—from soup to nuts (could be less, could be more). Now, while you won’t need ALL of that at one time, most people just don’t have that laying around. So, let’s brainstorm a couple ways to overcome this so you can go down this path feeling confident…
- Adoption Grants and Employee Benefits: If you are looking into adoption grants, read the criteria, make sure you meet them and then come up with your compelling story. Two of the biggest grants are helpusadopt.org and giftofadoption.org. These are not faith-based grants and they don’t discriminate based on your sexual preference. It also may be worth asking your employer about adoption benefits.
- Loans: You have a few options when it comes to loans, like a line of credit from your bank, personal loans from places like Guaranteed Rate, refinancing or taking on a second mortgage, and even using a credit card.
- Family: If you think a family member can help, I’ve found that THIS is the thing they want to help with AND, you can pay them back with the help of the Adoption Tax Credit, which totals at $14,080.
- Fundraising: Simply Google “adoption fundraisers” and get creative! There are so many ways to fundraise. A few successful fundraisers I’ve seen before included adoption T-shirt sales, bake sales, and garage sales.
- Savings: Come up with a plan and start putting extra money away! I’ve seen people even take a side job.
- Active Duty Military can be reimbursed up to $5k!
If you can figure out your finances before you begin your journey (you don’t have to have it all in hand, but at least know where it’s coming from and a general idea when), this will take a TON of stress off you.
Try to shift your mindset when it comes to experiencing a fall-through, or failed adoption. Adoptions fall-through about 23-25% of the time. Go in expecting that it very well may happen and hope that it doesn’t.
The amount of money you risk losing is typically the amount that has already been paid out. On average, it’s about $10k-15k. I know, you can pick your jaw up off the floor now. I just want you to know the realities so that if it does happen, after some time to regroup, you can pick yourself up and move forward because this process works! So if you go in knowing that this is one of the difficult parts of the adoption journey, that mindset will help you if you are one of the 23%.
Having an Open Heart and Open Mind
When you begin your adoption journey, you likely start with a certain set of thoughts in your head, what you are open to, what you are not, what kind of relationship you want with your child’s birth mom, etc. That’s great because you need a place to start. And I want to encourage you that the best and most successful way to approach your adoption journey is with an open heart and an open mind.
You are going to learn a lot along the way. Likely you are going to realize that there is a lot you don’t know that you don’t know. So if you can walk down this path open to changed minds and changed hearts and open to continuing to educate yourself, it will serve you well.
This leads me into one last and very important thought…
Nothing is perfect! Expectant mothers change their minds. There are people who will support you along the way and others who won’t. When you can go with the flow, stay in your own lane and not compare yourselves to others, control what you can control, let go of the rest, and most importantly, TRUST IN THE PROCESS, the magic will happen for you.