Adopting a child is an incredibly large step in your life, something that is going to change your life forever. You'll learn a lot along the way.
That said, doing some research in advance can help make the transition go smoothly. Here are a few things that parents say they learned during the process:
- Loss is part of that process, no matter how well it goes.
- It is very expensive, and it's important to set aside ample money in advance.
- If your adopted children do not look like you, people are going to ask -- even strangers.
- Support from friends and family members is crucial.
- This support is especially important when you bring the child home for the first time.
- It's important to respect and honor your child's heritage and background, especially if it is not the same as your own.
- It's a long-term commitment. Make sure you take the time to really think about what this means in your life before adopting.
- You need to get as much information as you can about the child's medical history since it is not the same as your own.
- Children will eventually become curious about their birth parents.
- Many people, even those who are close to you, do not fully understand the effort and emotion that goes into adoption.
Above all else, remember that adopting a child can be a beautiful way to build a family, something that benefits you and the child more than words can say. Just make sure you know what challenges to expect and what legal steps you need to take during this process.