All of us have goals, whether we know it or not. Common goals might be to save for the future or to travel, buy a home, a new car, or to purchase items we need and want to make our lives more enjoyable. As an adoptive mother I know working with waiting adoptive parents that the majority of us want to start a family and as Christians, having a family to share our faith with is the most important aspect of all.
Wherever two or more of you are gathered in his name…there is love.
An important distinction of people who succeed at adoption is that they have faith in their desires, are very intentional in their steps, and are focused on their goal. Many prospective adoptive parents look and dream about adopting but do little to move past that point. While it is wise to do research before moving on to adopt, there are many who don’t move any further to complete what they have started. Fear is often the culprit.
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid...for the Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Successful adoptive parents know that the timing, planning, and dedication to completing their adoption goal can make its success much easier and smoother. As with any goal, there are basic steps that must be taken to attain the desired end result… becoming a parent! Those who have gone before you know it takes time and patience and following a concise plan to realize adoption success.
There is a time for all seasons under heaven…
Here are 11 important steps toward a successful adoption:
- Prepare to PRAY- Prayer is one of the most important steps you can take. Have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to find you the perfect child for your forever family. Your child is out there. Waiting. In God’s time, you will find her/him. Be patient, have faith, and remember, love conquers all.
- Adoption goals are SPECIFIC- To reach your goal of adoption, your brain must know exactly, and precisely, what you are trying to accomplish. Never state your goal with vague terms like “someday I would like to adopt” or “in the future” or “maybe we will adopt.” Be specific! If you want to adopt a newborn within two years, then specify those exact details. If you want to find an adoption professional this month and start the process, be exact. Your brain and God can help you accomplish almost anything if you know precisely what you are aiming for.
- Adoption goals that are SIMPLE and Focused- Many people describe their adoption goals in ideals that are complex and may conflict with each other, i.e., we want a child from our surrounding area that looks like us and is born in the summer when school is out and of a birth mother with no expenses and . . . The list goes on and on. Any ONE of those things is a great goal, but the combination becomes overwhelming, difficult, and our minds can get confused. If you want to adopt a healthy infant, just say so! If you want to keep birth mother expenses down to under $1,000, say so! Keep your goals simple, clear, and focused.
- Adoption goals are REALISTIC- To reach your goal, you will need an adoption plan, a path, and help for getting there. Your goals must make sense. When you explain them to friends and family, your goals should create excitement and draw support and encouragement. Your adoption goals should be just out of reach, but not out of sight. You want to stretch, not strain after impossible dreams. Set realistic goals daily or weekly you can and will achieve if you stick with it and have a good plan! More families fall short of this one secret, that is, don’t give up and don’t slack off in what you need to do to reach your goal.
- Adoption goal has to be worth achieving - No one can gather the enthusiasm, hard work and courage to go forth and adopt if they don’t want to adopt 100%. A successful adoption goal is one you really, REALLY want! It’s something that will change your life, enhance your family, and fulfill you. It gets your energy flowing, gets you up in the morning, and keeps you going all day long, because it is important! Set adoption goals that you feel are worth achieving! If your spouse is not ready to adopt, the chances of success are reduced and it is not fair to bring a child into a family that is not completely devoted to adoption and raising this child.
- Adoption goals that have benefits and are purposeful- Successful adoptive parents know that the best goals accomplish many great benefits, all at one time. Adopting will almost certainly: (1) Feel great! (2) Be the start of completing your family; (3) Enhance your life forever; (4) Provide opportunity to share the love and your faith you have with a child; (5) Add a new member to your family; (6) Build patience; (7) Cause you to view parenting in a new light.
Take the time to describe how adoption will impact the many areas of your life. You’ll have more reasons to move forward toward your goal and more excitement when you do!
- Your adoption goals must be reachable and MEASURABLE- A goal without a measurable outcome is just a daydream. If you read all the adoption books, call adoption professionals every day for a year for information or attend weekly support meetings religiously but you don’t apply some of what you have learned, you will not get anywhere in your adoption goal. Remembering the old truth that, “What gets measured, gets done.” Define your goals in terms of steps, expense, and time willing to dedicate to the process. Then measure your progress along the way. What have you done and what do you still need to do?
- Adoption goals equal a TANGIBLE adoption.-You need to be able to imagine seeing, hearing, smelling and holding your child. Work on the steps you know are realistic and that you can clearly visualize doing. Our minds have a hard time grasping “someday we will adopt a child”, but it can visualize a healthy child under 12 months old! Define your goals in terms that excite the senses, and then go for it with all your heart, sharing you heart’s desire with the Lord in prayer.
- Adoption goals are WRITTEN down.-Successful adoptive parents know precisely what they want, because they’ve written it down. Often, they write a short description of their goals every single morning, as a personal reminder of their priorities and their objectives. They do what they must each day to achieve this goal, such as working on their adoption profile, filling out their home study paperwork or making the doctor’s appointments for physicals. Reviewing what is on their list that still needs to be done on their part of the adoption. The act of writing your goals down will greatly increase your chance of doing what is necessary to move closer to your successful adoption. Write it down! Then, keep your notes where you can see and read them every day, and take a step closer to that goal of adopting. Consider wearing a reminder like an adoption prayer bracelet www.AdoptionPrayerBracelet.com to keep your goals and praying for them near you.
- Adoption goals are SHARED- You are far more likely to stick to our adoption plan and reach your goal if you know our friends, family and other adoptive parents support us and our plan to adopt. Being part of a group of people with the same goal increases our determination, our stamina, and our courage to keep going. Caution: Never share your goals with anyone who may ridicule, belittle or discourage you from adopting! The world is full of doubters and you have no time for them. Find a support group, a group of successful adoptive parents, and others who have succeeded who will encourage you every step of the way. Successful adoptive parents count on and confide with others who have the same goal! Too often family members are unfamiliar with the way adoptions are conducted today and have only been educated by the media to fear adoption. The truth is that the majority of adoptions go through without incident or problems every single day.
- Adoption goals should be CONSISTENT WITH YOUR VALUES- One of the biggest reasons people fail to achieve their adoption goals is that they have conflict between what is valuable to them and what is realistic. Do they perceive adoption as rescuing a poor child or as a gift from one person to another? Is a child not of your body as valuable in your mind as a biological child? Whenever your values and your goals are in agreement, there is no stopping you! Clarify your values first, and then set simple, specific, measurable, tangible, written goals that are consistent with your personal values. You will achieve adoption success, when you take these steps! Don’t give up, and remember-There is a child for you!