by Lydia Huth
Now that you’ve chosen to pursue adoption, how do you share the news with your loved ones? While there’s no “right” approach to the conversation, there are several ways to prepare yourself for the best possible results.
1. Be informed.
Most likely, your friends and family will have questions. Be prepared to explain the adoption process, and decide in advance how much of your story that you will feel comfortable sharing. If you experienced a personal challenge that led to your adoption plans, it is all right to let your loved ones know that you would prefer not to discuss it at this time.
To help the conversation along, you can create a FAQ with answers to questions like “When will you get your baby?” and “What if the birth mother changes her mind?” Another option is to prepare a list of adoption-safe terms and their definitions, such as “birth mother,” so that your loved ones will feel equipped to talk to your child.
2. Consider past experiences and be aware of all possibilities.
Of course, there is no way to predict what their response will be, but be prepared to lovingly address concerns and shared excitement. Awareness of all possible responses will help limit disappointment and confusion during the actual conversation.
Also, remember that your close family members might be experiencing the loss of their expectations for grandchildren or nieces and nephews. It’s important to express empathy for these potential feelings and listen to their struggles—this is yet another way that you can be Christlike in your adoption journey!
3. Be confident and excited about your decision.
If you’re excited and confident, you are striving to foster that environment for your circle. However, if responses turn out to be less positive, you will also have confidence in your decision and support within your own immediate family.
You can develop these emotions in a variety of ways, including a preparatory pep talk with your spouse or a cute adoption announcement photo shoot!
4. Remember that your immediate family needs to make this decision for yourselves.
We love our friends and family, and we hope that they’ll support us. However, the decision to adopt is ultimately one that your immediate family must make. While being open to outside opinions is wise, you have to know what is right for your family, as well as what you are being called to do. Looking after your immediate family, and your adopted child, is a priority!
5. Seek a support group with similar experiences.
No matter what you experience in the adoption process, you are not alone! The internet and your local community provide countless ways to connect with other future adoptive families and current adoptive families of all kinds. Having this strong support group will help you navigate your challenges—and they can give you hands-on advice as you talk to your loved ones.
Ready to begin pursuing adoption, or have questions that you need answered? We’re excited to welcome you into the AGAPE family! Find out more about our adoption services HERE.