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Archive for adoption journey

How to Get Closer to Your Resolution of Adopting a Baby in 2018

discover how you can adopt a baby in 2018!Every new year brings new potential and hope for the future. It also comes with the chance to commit to a New Year’s resolution. Do you hope to adopt a baby in 2018?

Starting your family through adoption is a resolution that’s not set to please other people or to gain attention. Becoming a parent through adoption is a life-changing event which will mark the start of a fresh chapter in your family.

Here are 5 ways to come closer to your resolution of adopting a baby in 2018!

1. Hear From Couples Who’ve Had Adoption Success
Your best resource to learn all you can about adoption is from a couple who’s adopted recently. Seek out the stories of experienced adoptive parents, and establish a conversation with them if you can. You might ask them for their advice, and about their adoption journey. After all, the more adoption stories you hear, the more viewpoints you’ll have to learn from. Follow adoption blogs, sign up for email newsletters, and join up with other couples also at the start of the adoption journey.

2. Continue Learning
Learn as much as you can about subjects like domestic adoption, open adoption, and modern adoption. There are a wealth of wonderful articles, books, and blogs out there. Check out the adoption stories featured on our “Recent Adoptions & Matches” page, which gets updated each day. You’ll also want to watch adoption webinars, available online for free at AdoptionWebinar.com.

3. Start to Finance Your Adoption
You don’t want to be scrambling for funds when the opportunity to adopt comes up. So, start getting all of your finances in order now by meeting with a financial planner. They can help you create a budget and get your finances straight. Look into adoption loans, grants, and fundraising, too.

4. Make Time for Adoption Each Week
Since most of us are very busy, we suggest that you set aside time each week to devote to learning more about adoption. By scheduling this time, you’re able to plan around things like appointments and work obligations.

5. Begin Your Adoption Profile
Even if you haven’t signed on with an adoption professional, you’re able to start working on your adoption profile. Consider taking quick photos of your day-to-day activities and favorite hobbies. And start considering what birth mothers will want to know about you: where you live, how long you’ve been married, what your jobs are, and why you’re hoping to adopt.

In Your Adoption Wait? 5 Ideas on What You Can Do

learn what you can do during your adoption wait!If you’re struggling with the adoption wait, know that it’s just a matter of time before a birth mother chooses you. During your adoption wait, you have time to learn what you can to get ready for parenthood. You’ll learn how the adoption process works and positive adoption language. You’ll consult with experts in the adoption field. Know that there will be good days and others filled with doubt and worry.

But what can you do while you wait? Here are 5 ideas:

1. Imagine what it will be like once you bring your baby home. How will you notify your employer you need time off for adoption travel? Will you celebrate the adoption privately, with family and friends, or publicly at a religious observance? Who will you call first?

2. Think about what you’ll name your child. Will you name them after a much-loved relative? Or maybe a name you have always liked? Many adoptive families use the name their child’s birth mother gave them as their middle name. If you’re adopting an older child, consider keeping the name your child is accustomed to.

3. Plan the style of your child’s room. Some waiting adoptive couples enjoy shopping for baby items and assembling the nursery. Others feel it’s a sad reminder that they haven’t yet brought home their baby. So, consider what works best for you. You might choose furniture, paint, wall paper, and the needed baby gear, and have it on reserve at the baby store.

4. Join an adoption support group. These groups are a great way to get practical know-how and guidance from others in the wait. There will be adoptive families in each stage of their adoption journey in the support group. Some will be experienced adoptive parents, and the advice they give will be priceless.

5. Consider counseling as another way to get support and explore adoptive parenting. Find a local psychologist or social worker whose specialty is adoption. Talk about any anxieties you have surrounding the adoption process, and also about your parenting plans.

Soon, your adoption wait will be over, and you’ll be enjoying the sights and sounds of parenthood. The love you’ll feel for your child is unlimited!

If we can help you or someone you care for,
share this link to our free application to adopt!
LifetimeAdoption.com/apply

Watch a Tender Adoption Webinar-Moving from Infant Loss to Adoption

Watch this touching Lifetime Adoption webinar today!In a recent adoption webinar, we heard Lifetime adoptive couple Mike and Vyce’s touching story. The recording of this tender webinar is now available to watch online! You can watch it at AdoptionWebinar.com.

Mike and Vyce share their story of how they became parents, after a heartbreaking infant loss. Their story is a statement of faith and perseverance as they moved from infant loss all the way to the miracle of adoption. In this poignant story of despair mixed with gratitude, anyone who’s hoping to adopt will be inspired to trust the call on their heart to adopt. We encourage you to look forward to the ways even the hardest days can be used or redeemed throughout your path to parenthood.

No matter what stage you’re at in your adoption journey, every adoption story you hear can provide reassurance. Watch this adoption webinar, Lifetime Adoption Story: “Still Miracles,” Mike & Vyce’s Story, today! You can watch it over at AdoptionWebinar.com.

In order to watch this Lifetime Adoption Story, you’ll need to subscribe at AdoptionWebinar.com first. Subscribing is completely free, and it’ll give you access to all of our webinar recordings. You’ll also be sent info, dates, and times about our future webinars! You can subscribe using this link.

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!

Struggling With Your Adoption Wait? Read This!

Jessica, her husband, and son after their adoption waitToday, we wanted to share the story of an adoptive couple’s adoption journey. They struggled with their adoption wait, and now hope to provide encouragement to others. Here are their heartfelt words to you:

“I wanted to share a bit about our adoption journey. Our son was born the Friday before Thanksgiving last year, and we were able to get our adoption cleared in time to fly home for Thanksgiving.

When we initially contracted with Lifetime, we were not open to visits. One year into our contract we opened up our preferences to allow for visits. Today, I wish our birth mom were my next-door neighbor and her family lived very close as well. We are a two-hour plane ride apart. I wish we lived so much closer. When my husband and I initially contracted with Lifetime we were both 26. I was a pharmacist and he worked in business. We checked all of the stereotypical boxes of young, successful, no other kids, etc. But despite all this, we didn’t have a placement, or even an interested birth mother, within the 6-to-18-month time-frame we were hoping for.

I fixated on that time-frame, and Linda can attest that part was very hard for me. We found out our birth mom was interested in speaking to us when she was roughly 16 weeks along and we had been contracted for 19 months.

We were able to visit her and her family twice prior to our son’s birth. We were there for the 20-week ultrasound revealing his gender. His birth was a scheduled C-section so I was able to fly out earlier in the week to spend lots of time with her prior and my husband flew out the day before to also spend quality time.

Aside from a few hiccups with hospital staff, it all went quite well. We spent a bunch of time in her room in the hospital chatting, joking and hanging out. She didn’t want to meet or see her son in person while in the hospital. She and I exchanged a lot of “I love you’s” in the operating room and right after she signed her rights to us.

We’ve maintained contact since his birth as well. We finalized in May and while it was possible to remotely finalize we actually flew down so we could spend a few days with her and her family. We are flying out Thursday to spend a long weekend with her and her family.

I truly struggled with the adoption wait. Your adoption webinars were very helpful to me. I listened to many multiple times on my commute to and from work. I know there are many others out there who struggle waiting to meet their baby. My hope is that by sharing our story, it’ll give them a small piece of hope.

While our situation is unique, as all are, we waited a long time and now have a very open adoption. I’d hope that sharing our story might let others know that others have been down the very rough path they have been down. Also, we are a living testament to the fact that sometimes you don’t initially know what is best for you. God clearly had a much different plan for us than what we had thought we wanted.”
-Jessica, an adoptive mom from Indiana

Did you enjoy Jessica’s story?
You can hear others’ adoption stories through our webinars! Just click the button below:

webinars

Waiting to Adopt? 5 Ways to Stay Encouraged

Couple waiting to adoptThe process of adopting a baby or child can seem tedious and long. When you’re waiting to adopt, it is can be difficult to stay in high spirits. So, we wanted to share five tips with you to stay encouraged during your adoption experience:

1. Connect with Other Adoptive Parents

Reaching out to other waiting adoptive parents provides wonderful support during your adoption process. You can connect online or in person. There are hundreds of groups around the country focused on supporting parents in their adoption journey. Find a group close to you or online and start talking with people who can empathize what you are going through.

2. Discuss the Process

Find other people around you with whom you can talk over your adoption process. Sometimes your family and friends might seem like they are getting tired of hearing about your adoption, but most likely they are not. Good friends will listen until you are blue in the face. If you are feeling uncomfortable about continually going to the same friends to talk about your adoption, find a group of adoptive mothers or another type of support group.

3. Make a Chart

It may seem silly, but we all like to see our progress on a chart. You don’t need to make it with little stars that say “Good Job” or “Way to Go.” Just make yourself a chart of all the steps necessary for reaching your goal of adopting. Then as you complete each step, you will be able to see tangible evidence that you are progressing toward your goal. Before you know it, you will be holding your own beautiful child in your arms.

4. Reward Yourselves

Now this one is the fun one. You have made the chart and are working hard to complete each step necessary to attain your dream of being a parent. As you complete each of your steps, reward yourself and your spouse. Perhaps you decide that after each step you are going to go out to a romantic dinner, or maybe buy a dress you have wanted for a long time. It doesn’t matter what you choose as your reward, just find something that is going to keep you motivated.

5. Have Fun!

It can be very hard to have fun when you want something so badly. You need to have a sense of humor when you become a parent so now is a good time to start! Have fun and enjoy the process. You will look back on it with fond memories. Cherish this time you have while waiting and anticipating the new addition to your family. Before you know it, you will be up in the middle of the night changing diapers and smelling the poopy rewards of all your hard work!

Staying motivated may not easy and can require take a constant effort on your part. Keep these tips in mind when your motivation starts to slip and remember that your hard work will be rewarded generously!

Adoption Q&A: Doctor’s Visits

Question: “Do you think the adoptive parents would come to some of my doctor appointments during my pregnancy? I’d like them to be involved as we get to know each other before my baby’s adoption happens.”

Answer: Yes! Whenever possible, most adoptive parents would be honored and grateful to be included in your medical appointments during your pregnancy. As you get to know each other, it helps to be open with them about when you’d like to include them. You can also let your doctor know you’d like to involve the adoptive parents so that the doctor and staff can better support your adoption planning.