We’ve all made some monumental shifts over the past several weeks.
Shifts from school to home-school. Shifts from office to work-from-home. Shifts from fellowshipping with loved-ones, to being separated by a screen. The list goes on and on. And those dramatic shifts will continue, indefinitely, until we get to the other side of this thing.
Adoption professionals are experiencing these drastic shifts just like all of you. We are working from home. We are trying to juggle our work responsibilities with our personal responsibilities. We are relying on electronic connectivity now more than ever. But perhaps more challenging than the physical shifts, are the emotional ones. The shifting of our thoughts, and the questions swirling in our minds:
Will my loved one working on the ‘front line’ remain physically healthy?
What about emotionally healthy?
Will my child’s newfound anxiety subside when this is all over?
Are my loved ones, far away, going to be okay?
These questions, and many others like them, plague us all. But a couple more that adoption professionals are faced with: What does all of this mean for the children who wait? What does this mean for the future of adoptions?
Part of me wants to put those two questions out of my mind. Part of me wants to just focus on the now, and worry about getting through this crisis, and get back to the children when it’s over. Because right now, it’s all just too much to comprehend. But the other part of me….the part that dedicated itself long ago to children who wait, won’t ever let that happen.
The children are always in my heart and on my mind, no matter what else is going on. And in times like this, especially in times like this, times when it would be so much easier on my mental health to be able to let just one worry go, is when the children who wait are even more so embedded in every single thought.
So maybe you are thinking, “Yes, I agree. The children CANNOT be forgotten, especially at a time like this. But what on earth can I do to help the children now? With everything that is going on?!” I’ll tell you!
- Research different adoption programs and agencies.
- Schedule a video conference call with an adoption professional to discuss potential programs and to see if they might be a good fit for your family. Many of us are working from home and relying on virtual connection, so what better time to snag us for an hour or two and ask us all of your adoption-related questions?!
- Discuss with your adoption agency what home study and/or Dossier documents can be gathered at this time (autobiographies, pre-adoptive training, financial statements, some clearances, etc.)
- Research different special needs - both the needs you think you would be open to, as well as those that you are not. Through research and connection with families and individuals with different special needs, you may find that you are more open than you thought!
- Investigate hosting opportunities in your state, and commit to host a child. Waiting children will need more advocacy than ever after this global crisis, and hosting a child is a wonderful way to participate in that advocacy!
- Already matched?
- Network with other adoptive families who have adopted from the same country and/or who have experience parenting a child with the special need(s) as the child you are adopting.
- Put together a family photo book to either send to your waiting child (if possible), or to take with you at time of travel to introduce your child to other family members and to familiarize him with what his new surroundings look like.
- Research and connect with medical professionals, bilingual therapists, local support groups, and anyone else who will be able to assist you and your child once home.
- Make sure you not only have a thorough understanding of the post-adoption reporting requirements for the country you are adopting from, but also make sure in your heart that you are 100% committed to completing them.
- Dig deep into the culture of the country you are adopting from - practice recipes, watch movies and documentaries, study the history.
- Learn, learn, and then learn some more! There is no such thing as too much training. Whether you are considering adoption, have just started your journey, or are close to travel, you can ALWAYS learn more to be as prepared as possible. There are many wonderful resources available right at your fingertips! Not sure where to start? Explore the many articles on Rainbow Kids and ask your agency!
- Keep the children in your thoughts, and in your prayers. Keep conversations about the children going. Talk to family and friends. Share advocacy posts.
There are so many things we can’t do right now. But rather than focus on those things, let’s focus on the things we can do to continue to advocate for the children.
So wherever we find ourselves right at this moment….be it ‘paused,’ worried, locked down, front lines, etc., please don’t forget about the children who wait. The children who would give anything to be part of someone’s everything. The children that deserve the love of a family.
Interested in adoption? Complete our Prospective Adoptive Parent form today, and an adoption specialist will be in touch with you to discuss potential adoption options. Not in a position to adopt right now? Please consider donating to Madison Adoption Associates’ Grant Fund. 100% of donations will go into this grant fund aimed at finding more families for children!
Madison Adoption Associates is a Hague accredited, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to bring hope, love, and a permanent family to children in need. By serving children and families through domestic and international adoption, our work is guided by the following core principles:
Our placement goals are to meet the child's needs and best interests, along with a strong commitment to work with the wishes and rights of the prospective adoptive families.