What is the value in the adoption support resources that are sent to families upon starting the adoption process? Is it just useless information and needless reading that is sent to adoptive families? The resources provided by adoption agencies at the beginning of a family’s adoption process are easy to ignore; there is so much to do already in your adoption that additional “homework” is understandably not always welcome.
Unfortunately, it is often down the road, when families are struggling and may even be in crisis, that these resources and supports are revisited. If a family reaches their limit emotionally, mentally or financially, it is at this time of crisis that the value of resources is priceless. We are always grateful any time a family takes advantage of resources available, though for the families who do their “homework” from the start and continuing learning, they may be less likely to find themselves in crisis, or if they do, they’ll know where to turn for help. That is the hope for all of our families: that they are prepared, and when times get tough, they have a plan.
While you may not anticipate any problems during or after your adoption, it should be a family’s priority, during the process and after, to look into as many resources as possible. Knowing the individuals and organizations to contact when or if something happens is important and can prevent families from landing in “crisis mode.” Check into your state’s Post Adoption Services before placement; our Social Services team sends this information to every family for them to connect with supports. Do you know of an adoption-competent counselor or therapist in your area? What will you do when you need short-term respite care? These are all things that can be done early and can be a big help to families! This is especially important for families adopting children three years and up, but it can be a great asset to all families.
It is also important to take advantage of reading many of the books that are available to better educate yourself on what to expect or how to handle your child’s behavior. It’s best to read a few of these books before placement, as the reality of welcoming a new child may not allow for concentrated reading time. When these books are read in advance, they can be used as a quick reference later.
It is easy to dismiss little things over a period of time, but occasionally the little things can become overwhelming. Who do you contact for post adoption depression? Or what support group can you join for ADHD? What can you do if you suspect your child may have Sensory Processing Disorder? What is an IEP, and how do you know when you need one for your child?
Having pre-identified resources, putting plans in place, and knowing who to call can save a family’s peace of mind and sometimes even save a family from reaching a crisis situation.
MLJ Adoptions is a Hague Accredited International Adoption Agency based in Indianapolis, Indiana. We provide ethical, compassionate and attentive adoption services to loving and committed families from across the United States and around the world.
We’ve successfully placed over two hundred and fifty children through our international adoption programs in Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Samoa and Ukraine. MLJ Adoptions believes that every child deserves a loving and permanent family including older children and children with special needs. We also facilitate an Orphan Hosting Program from Ukraine each winter and summer for several weeks.
Our Special Needs Program connects these children with loving adoptive families willing to meet the needs of these special children. We focus on preparing parents by providing education and direct support to ensure that children are placed with families who are equipped and empowered to parent their child successfully. We continue to provide services after placement to ensure that our families are encouraged and supported before, during and after placement.