Congratulations on your decision for adopting a child!
This choice is not typically an easy one—nor should it be. After all, welcoming a new child into your home and life is an important one.
Plenty of highs and lows are involved in the adoption journey. Thankfully, support is more abundant now than ever before, including adoption counseling.
Even if you haven’t started the formal adoption process, it’s crucial to have therapeutic support in place. Having a professional on your side can help you navigate the adoption journey.
Seek Counseling at the Start
Before you being your journey toward adopting a child, it’s helpful to begin adoption counseling.
For many couples, reproduction issues led you to the option to adopt. Perhaps you tried for many years to conceive, and it wasn’t successful for you. Or, maybe, you feel an inner conviction not to reproduce but to adopt instead.
No matter your situation, rivers of emotion will encompass your decision to adopt. Sometimes, these thoughts and feelings are tricky to navigate. Counseling can benefit your peace of mind and future parenting endeavors.
Also, working with a therapist helps you to acknowledge and accept the reasons why you are adopting. This is not because you have to prove anything to the therapist—far from it. Instead, this approach helps both of you understand each other’s perspective.
Experience the Highs of Adopting a Child
During the adoption experience, joyful highs, happiness, and excitement undoubtedly bubble up.
Perhaps it’s reviewing profiles or even meeting a child for the first time that motivates the exhilarating emotions. Of course, when you finally bring them home, it can feel so rewarding and satisfying, too.
Moments of celebration are plentiful when you’re adopting a child. Plus, you can share them with your adoption counselor, as well. After all, counseling doesn’t have to surround negative elements.
However, a therapist can also help put things into perspective. They can honor your feelings of happiness, and yet, they can place small wins into context with the bigger adoption picture. This approach will help you to stay grounded.
Navigate the Low Moments
On the other end of the spectrum, of course, come the lows of adoption. Perhaps a potential placement fell through. Or, once you adopted your child, you began to identify negative behaviors at home. Maybe you and your partner endure a conflict over parenting styles.
These issues make it even more critical for you to continue participating in adoption counseling. Even after adopting a child, there is still a long road ahead. Counseling can help you both stick together as a team, as well as to process and resolve issues when they arise.
Embrace the Safe Space to Vent
Sometimes, you need the space to vent and get things off your chest.
Raising a child is hard, no matter if the child is biological or adopted. The same is true whether you are adopting a child as a couple, or as a single parent. No matter the situation, you will have moments when you want to scream at the rafters in frustration. Children can do that!
The solution, though, is having support systems in place to offer relief, including adoption counseling. Otherwise, those emotions have to go somewhere. You don’t want to use maladaptive parenting methods, nor do you want to hold in those feelings either.
Adopting a child is a beautiful decision that can mean all the difference to both you and your new child. However, adopting and raising a child isn’t easy, either.
There are the bureaucracy and paperwork to deal with and the waiting for the proceedings to be finalized. When you bring your child home, then there are more highs and lows to come.
If you are thinking about adopting a child, please contact me for support today. Or, visit my adoption counseling page to learn more about how I can help.