Seven Things You Need to Adopt a Childby: Deborah Mumm
(1) The desire to have a child – whether it is your first child or your sixth. Having a child is the most difficult job you will ever have but is also the most rewarding. This child will probably not appreciate all that you went through to adopt him/her until adulthood, but realize that biological children won’t either!
(2) Which country do you wish to adopt from? Countries (even the USA) vary in their wait times, costs, availability of certain sex & age of child, etc. Do your research and then go where your heart leads you.
(3) Talk to adoptive parents. Find local support groups or message boards on the internet. (Example: Russianadoption@yahoo.com) Ask questions. Adoptive parents love to talk about their adoption journey.
(4) Read current books and articles. But, beware! Newspapers love articles that grab the reader’s attention! This usually means a negative story on adoption gone wrong! Please realize that for every bad story there are hundreds of happy stories….but happy stories don’t sell papers.
(5) The money…sigh! Know that you will need at least $15,000 for one adoption. You will be eligible for a $10,000 tax credit, but not until after the adoption is complete. If you don’t have much money saved up, don’t give up hope. Studies show that most adoptive parents are not in the wealthy bracket. Most are average income earners and many are just big-hearted families with lots of love but not much money. Again…the internet is loaded with grant programs and loan ideas of adoption. If you are motivated, you will find a way. If you needed a new car or appliance you’d find a way to finance one. The life of a child is much more fulfilling in the grand scheme of things.
(6) The paperwork…ugh! There will be stacks of papers needing to be signed and notarized. (Find a notary early on that you like to work with!) Some papers will seem ridiculous to you and many people will question your sanity as you blindly fill them out over and over! You will learn quickly that you will do what is asked for to help your child. It is all worth it in the end. Think of the paperwork as labor pains…it will end and there will be a child at the end of it all!
(7) Faith! The most important thing you’ll need is faith…and lots of it. Faith you’ll find the money. Faith that the right child is matched to you. Faith in a foreign country where you are the foreigner and that you must do whatever is asked of you. Many times it will be blind faith leading you to your child. But when they give that child to you and you kiss his little face, you will see the power of adoption and the choices you made creating a future for this little person, who until you came, had none. And months later when he is calling Mama and Papa and rolling in laughter on your living room floor you will know you were given the best gift in the world. A child that loves you!
About The Author Deborah Mumm is the parent of 3 biological sons and 2 children adopted from Russia. She runs an adoption support group in her area and gives talks to teachers and students on Adoption. You can find information on Adoption at http://www.everythingforadoption.com
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