Do you feel that you might be interested in adoption? I have two points to my advice for anyone considering it.
1. Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray
2. Research, research, research, research, research
There has been a big push in recent years for Christian families to adopt, which I believe is an amazing and wonderful thing. Adoption, however is a calling. If God is not clearly calling you, as a believer, to add to your family by adoption, then you should not do it. Adoption is not for the faint of heart.
I do feel I need to clarify what I mean by “calling.” I do not view adoption as a rescue mission, but as a means to build a family. A “calling” would be for God to make your desires the same as His desires, and you know without a doubt that adoption is the right thing for you and your family.
God does tell us in James 1:27 that we are to care for the widows and the orphans, and some are to do this through adoption. Others are called to help in other ways, whether by meeting financial needs, donating time to work in orphanages, host a child in your home for a time, or in countless other ways.
And then there is research...
Once you have decided that adoption is the right path for you and your family, you need to research. Here are a few of the things you need to consider, and this is by no means an exhaustive list...
Domestic or International Adoption?
If domestic adoption, private adoption or foster to adopt? Is open adoption an option?
If international, what country?
What are the requirements for the program we have chosen?
What are the fees?
What documents/paperwork will we need?
If considering a special needs child, what are the different needs and what can we handle?
Attachment and bonding
General baby/child care (especially if this is your first child)
Issues related to children who have lived in an institutional setting
One thing we have found to be true, and we have tried to do the same for others, is that if you have friends who have been through the adoption process before you, they are usually very willing to share their knowledge and experiences with you. Don’t be afraid to ask them. So much practical wisdom about the whole process came to us through friends who had “been there, done that.”
And also, the internet is an amazing resource. There are countless online groups made up of adoptive parents who are willing to offer advice and share their experiences.
So, to summarize, if you are considering adoption, PRAY and RESEARCH!