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Archive for adopting a baby

Learn More About Domestic Adoption Through Free Online Webinars

did you know that you can learn about domestic adoption through free, online webinars?Each year, prospective adoptive families across the US make the life-changing and exciting decision to adopt a child. Yet, many people think an international adoption will happen more quickly and easily than a domestic adoption. That’s just due to a popular myth that says it will be difficult to adopt a baby in the United States.

Lifetime Adoption has been providing adoption services to adoptive parents and birth parents since 1986. We also educate about modern adoption and open adoption, so that light can be shed on adoption myths. Our free online webinars can be accessed by anyone who’s interested.

Our free, online adoption webinars provide information on the adoption process, what open adoption looks like, and gives adoption tips. Head over to AdoptionWebinar.com to start watching and listening to this FREE adoption resource! Each of our webinars feature expert answers and insights from people recently touched by adoption.

Lifetime focuses on each part of the “adoption triad”-the adoptee, birth mother, and adoptive parents. We assist women thinking about adoption for their baby with finding medical care, supportive counseling, and financial help. Prospective adoptive parents are guided through the open adoption process, which includes the home study, legal process, and creating their own adoption profile to present to birth mothers. We also help adoptive couples discover how to afford adoption, through adoption financing, adoption loans, adoption grants, and fundraising.

Subscribe to our free online adoption webinars at AdoptionWebinar.com today, so you can learn the important details you’ll need to know as you travel the path to adoption! When you subscribe, you’ll get exclusive access to webinar replays AND to invites to new LIVE webinars directly to your email.

Renewed Hope After a Failed International Adoption

Lifetime adoptive couple Jason and Rebecca have been blessed by domestic adoption!

Lifetime adoptive couple Jason and Rebecca have been blessed by domestic adoption!

Many countries have begun barring adoptions from happening. This has left many with a failed international adoption, as they are unable to move forward with their adoption plans. Not only that, but they are also unable to regain their adoption funds so that they can adopt elsewhere. Some adoptive couples were already working on the adoption of a specific child, and just waiting for the approval to travel home. This left many disappointed and devastated.

International adoption has always been a risk. It takes a strong heart and courage to forge ahead into unknown paths, with nothing but faith and a plan to bring their child home.

But there are other adoption options to think about, which you might never have considered. At Lifetime, we talk to thousands of women living in the US in unplanned pregnancies who are hoping that someone will be willing to adopt their baby.

Some adoptive couples are hesitant about domestic adoption because they’re frightened an open adoption plan means co-parenting. Also, they seem scared that the birth mother will come by to reclaim her baby. The reality is, most birth mothers in the U.S. seek families willing to at least share letters and photos after the adoption. Some are looking to have an in-person visit with the family, once a year for just a few hours at a location like a park. Due to fear, adoptive families miss out on these great adoption situations. It is possible for the birth mother to love her child, and yet wish to make an adoption plan. If an adoptive family is open to contact with a birth mother afterward, their wait time will be much shorter!

You may be wondering “why do we need to stay in contact if she doesn’t even want the child?” Most birth mothers want contact simply because they need that peace of mind, to know they made the right choice. In an open adoption, the adoptee never has to search for answers about their origins. And, with open domestic adoption, you’ll have your baby’s medical history and information.

Many times in an open domestic adoption, the family and the birth mother have been talking long before the baby is born, and they’ve developed a bond. They meet in the hospital for the birth of the child. They’re both excited about this new little life and want to make sure the baby is well-raised.

After the birth mother places her baby directly into the waiting arms of the family, most parents are completely in awe of the blessing the birth mother has given them. They’re amazed at the birth mother’s strength to willingly trust them with their new child. They’re overjoyed that they now have their baby in their arms!

There are lots of benefits to a domestic adoption over an international adoption. First off, there’s far less travel and expense involved. And, most domestic adoptions happen much quicker than international adoptions. The process in domestic adoption is streamlined because you’re working only with American laws and entities. In domestic adoption, most infants are born quite healthy with few medical complications. Finally, in domestic adoption, adoptive families have access to the medical records of the birth mother and the baby.

There are far fewer unknowns and uncertainty in domestic adoption. If you’ve been barred from an international adoption, or who have been told the wait will be many years, your hope can be renewed by exploring a domestic adoption.

If you have your specific questions about domestic adoption and would like to see if it’s right for you, please call Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida at 1-800-923-6784 or send us a message.

4 Terrific Tips on Listening to Birth Mothers

learn tips on listening to birth mothersListening is so important in any relationship, and especially when first meeting a birth mother. Many adoptive parents are so nervous during that first phone call that they chatter on and on. As a result, they never get to know the person on the other end of the phone. Today, we’re sharing simple tips on listening to birth mothers!

Humans can think about lots of things at once, and many of us do just that. This is a real issue if it’s done while speaking with a birth mother. It may feel natural to plan what you’ll say next when someone is speaking to you. But if you’re focused on what you’ll say next, then you’re not concentrating on a birth mother and her needs.

If you don’t truly listen to a birth mother, it may cost you the opportunity to adopt her child. Our Founder Mardie Caldwell shares, “I’ve seen several adoptive couples lose the opportunity in their first conversation by talking too much about themselves or drilling the birth mother with questions.”

Here are our 4 simple tips on how to effectively listen to birth mothers:

1. Really listen, and don’t interrupt her. Let the birth mother finish her sentence before you jump in. You can instead jot down a note that says what you wanted to say, and ask once she’s done talking.

2. Ask questions about the birth mother and her life, and be interested. Never judge her or preach to her. Ask if she’d like to know more about you, and then go ahead.

3. Give her a sign that you acknowledge, understand, and hear what she is saying.

5. Repeat or “mirror” what you heard her saying, in her words. Doing so makes sure she knows you got it.

Developing a healthy relationship with a birth mother isn’t a chess game. Plotting your next move while she’s talking is counterproductive.

Practice these tips the next time you have a conversation at work or with a friend. It might feel weird and uncomfortable at first. However, you’ll see that people respond well to you. When you talk to a birth mother, you’ll have listening experience and will increase your chances of a match!

Surviving the Adoption Home Study

adoption home study visitWe recommend that you use your adoption home study as a way to learn even more about adoption. You’ll need to get a home study no matter where you live, or where you plan to adopt. An adoption home study is a document that shares the story of your life: your health, your family and marital history, and your finances. It also contains a description of your house and neighborhood, references, and info about any criminal record or health concerns.

For many hopeful adoptive couples, the idea of opening up their homes and lives to a stranger puts them on edge. A common worry about the home study is that it’ll find you ineligible to adopt. The truth is, it’s uncommon for a home study to end with a negative judgment. Even though you might feel that the process is invasive, remember its goal is to ensure children are placed into loving homes.

So what exactly is an adoption home study? It’s social worker’s written evaluation, based upon interviews they’ve had with you during at least one in-person visit to your home. Your home doesn’t have to be child-proofed, contain a finished nursery, or a separate bedroom for the baby before the social worker’s visit. They will want to know, however, how you plan to accommodate your precious arrival.

Lifetime Adoption Agency Florida provides home studies. Learn how we can help you with this aspect of your domestic adoption!

Just give us a call at 1-800-9-ADOPT-4 or learn more about our home study service here.

In the video below, our Founder and President Mardie Caldwell shares about the adoption home study service we provide to adopting families:

A Lesson In Patience as You Wait to Adopt

tips on how to handle your wait to adopt

A Lifetime adoptive couple admire their baby

It’s been a long, stressful road. When you chose to adopt you were, in fact, making a life-altering decision. Up to this point, you may have spent countless days, years even, hoping, and longing for a child of your own. You may have cried out of desperation in your quest to conceive. All of these efforts may have felt like they were to no avail, but the reality is that the time you spent preparing yourself for the birth process, you were actually preparing yourself for the journey of motherhood. Everyone has a path that they will take to parenthood. Adoption is yours, and as you know, it is a process. Whether or not it seems unbearable, you will have to exercise patience as your family progresses through the wait to adopt.

At times, you will, no doubt, question yourself. You will question those that are working to help you realize your dreams of being a parent. You will wonder if this is the right thing for you to do and if you will be good at it. But, even as you wonder, your patience may be stretched a bit thin. You have to remember that this is a process and that it will not happen overnight. It will take time. It may take, what feels like, an eternity. Consider this…the time spent going through the adoption process will seem like a drop in a bucket once you have your child in your arms. The hugs that you will share, the moment that you tuck them in bed, the many, many nights that you will care for them, and each time they accomplish something great in their lives, this time will seem minuscule. As you watch them grow, when they hit their first home run, or when you watch them perform in a school play, that time that you waited will seem like a blink of an eye.

So, hold on. Take solace in knowing that the wait will soon be over. You will have your child, and then, you will absolutely need patience. But, you will be more confident and, much more able to enjoy your child. You may even be extremely thankful for this time, and proud of how you handled things…a lesson that you will be able to share with your child in years to come!

Tips for Arriving Home With Your Adopted Baby

infant-adoption-in-2017When the time arrives that you can take home your precious baby, you’ll feel so elated! After an adoption wait and many prayers, you’re now finally home with your newborn.
 
The first month can be a challenging time for new parents, so today we’re sharing some basic tips with you!
 
The First Day Home
Begin by spending quiet time admiring and enjoying your new baby. Resist the urge to invite friends and family over to show them off. You need to take the time just to stare at your adorable baby. Admire his toes, fingers, and eyelashes. Gaze upon his tiny, delicate fingernails and round little tummy. Hold him, cuddle him, and let this precious moment sink in. Take plenty of photos and videos. The months of waiting are over, and you’re a parent!
 
The First Week Home
Your friends and family will be eager to visit and see your new baby. Request that all visitors wash their hands before holding your baby. If you feel awkward asking them, you might hang a sign by the front door that says something like “Please keep little Johnny healthy by washing your hands before holding him. Thanks!”
 
Your friends and family may want to chat about your whole adoption experience. A close friend or family member can help you out by reminding guests when it’s time to leave. As new parents, you’ll be exhausted and need all the rest you can get. Once the conversation is coming to a close, having guests depart will give you time to rest. It’s so important to remember the old saying “sleep when the baby sleeps”!
 
The First Month Home
People will be asking you “what can we do to help?” all the time. Accept their offers of help! It’s difficult for some to let others help out. But it really helps to take advantage of friends and family’s offers of help when you have a new baby home. Here are some ideas of things people could help you with:

  • Dishes – ask someone to load the dishwasher, put away dishes, and hand wash certain items. Asking someone to help you with dishes will make them feel useful and save you time.
  • Meals – lots of people will probably ask if they can help you with anything. Set up a meal train website! That way you can share food allergies and preferences. A meal train site also allows people to see which days are already covered. A couple of great meal train sites include MealBaby.com and MealTrain.com.
  • Caring for Children – you might ask those you trust for help with your older children. For example, a fellow parent at your child’s school could take them to school and/or drop them off afterward. This is a wonderful opportunity to save you energy.
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    Enjoy this special time, and share it with others. The memories you create will be worth everything to you and your baby for a lifetime!

Adoption Encouragement: When your focus seems fuzzy

Here's some adoption encouragement for you during the waitFor many of the adoptive parents we’ve assisted through the years, the WAIT is the hardest step along a path to adoption. Sometimes the timing is the only thing standing between their desire to adopt and the moment they meet their future child.

If you’re waiting to adopt, or anticipating the wait as you plow through the first stages of preparing to adopt, stay focused on your goal ahead–your future family. You will be a blessing to a child, a birth parent, and maybe countless others along your journey. Share your story-in-progress, as you feel comfortable. BE ENCOURAGED knowing that every day you’re waiting to adopt, is a day you move closer to realizing adoption success.

To “wait,” according to Merriam’s Dictionary, is:

  • to be ready and available
  • to look forward expectantly
  • to remain stationary in readiness or expectation
  • to stay in place in expectation of

Notice the descriptions “be ready,” “look forward,” “expectation.” These are ACTIVE words. When the wait discourages you, focus on how you are actively waiting. You’re not idle in this time. Do everything you can to be “ready” to adopt, then wait in eager “expectation” for the result of your plans.

Download a PDF document called “Encouragement for Your Adoption” today for even more adoption encouragement. As Mardie Caldwell, the founder of Lifetime (and an adoptive mom) says, “Your mindset about this time will play a great role in how you walk through this journey and what you accomplish during these days.”

Lifetime’s Adoption Situations

Learn about a few of our adoption situationsWhen you’re looking into adopting a baby to start or expand your family, it’s normal to wonder about the babies for adoption (also known as adoption situations) that are available.
 
It helps to read about the different adoption situations and birth mothers seeking adoptive families that an adoption company has. That way, you can determine if the babies for adoption meet what you’re hoping for. Here’s info on just three of the many adoption situations Lifetime Adoption is currently working with:

We’re searching for an adoptive family to adopt Hispanic boy/girl twins due in July. Their birth mother is already a single mother of five children, so she’s unable to care for her twin babies. She’s hoping to place them with a loving married couple.

Lifetime is also looking for adoptive parents for a nine month old Caucasian baby girl. Her birth mother is seeking a Christian adoptive family to make an open adoption plan with for her daughter.

Lastly, we’re currently assisting a birth mother who is expecting a baby girl in July. The baby will be Caucasian/Brazilian. The birth mother and father are interested in making an adoption plan for their baby girl. They would prefer a married Christian couple with no biological children.

The first step to introduce you to birth parents like these ones is to fill out Lifetime’s FREE online application to adopt. If you would like to find out what steps you can take towards adopting, complete the online application or call (727) 493-0933 for more info.

Thinking About a Closed Adoption?

An adoptee of a closed adoption wonders about his birth motherA closed (a.k.a. confidential or traditional) adoption is one in which there is no identifying information shared with anyone who is a party to adoption. There is typically little information available, and later on, sealed or destroyed records may make it impossible to learn much more than basic medical information or other minor details for the child.

In a closed adoption, there is no contact between the birth parents and adoptive parents either before or after the adoption, and the child may never have the opportunity to find his biological family, if he desires.

Hopeful adoptive parents seeking an adoption like this are encouraged to explore why they may have fears of birth parents or want no contact, as closed adoption is not considered to be in the best interest of children. Most adoption professionals know from personal experience and from research that it’s a disservice to an adopted child if his parents do not have adequate information to share about his birth parents and why he was placed for adoption. When he asks a simple question about his heritage, for the sake of his emotional health, parents should not ever have to respond with secrecy, lies, or blank stares.

Consider Jacob, who was adopted through a closed adoption. As he approached the age of 18, his mother discussed with him the opportunities of filing with the adoption agency to get information about or to contact his birth parents, if that was his desire. “Why would I want to do that?” he asked. “She never cared about what happened to me.” Despite explanations to the contrary, Jacob truly believed that the lack of information about his birth family was because they didn’t love or want him. In his mind, if they could give him away so easily, he didn’t want them to be a part of his life and found it difficult to discuss his feelings surrounding adoption.

Closed adoption does not provide the framework for an understanding of the circumstances surrounding adoption choices or the opportunity for reassurance. If, after learning the facts and praying about it, you still feel the desire for a closed adoption, explore the international adoption of orphans. Continue to prayerfully consider this choice, and do not choose closed adoption simply out of fear.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;
I will remove from you your heart of stone
and give you a heart of flesh.”
Ezekiel 36:26

This information was excerpted from the book Called to Adoption. The book is for Christians who are feeling God leading them to consider building their family through adoption.  Author and Adoption Professional Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. used her own adoption journey and the experience she has gained in helping thousands of couples adopt to create this Christian book for adoption.