Handling the significant stress of adoption can feel overwhelming sometimes. Adoption is a long and sometimes painful process for parents. However, the end result is an incredible relationship with your future child. Before you even begin the process of adoption you need to set reasonable expectations. Talk to other adoptive parents about their experiences. Seeing a therapist or counselor is a great way to get a handle on a stressful time in your life. And finally, focus on the big motivation for why you want to adopt in the first place. Keep your goal in mind of bringing a child into your family and let that mental image help get you through the tough times. It will be worth it in the end!
Handling the Stress of Adoption in a Healthy Way: The Big Picture
Set Reasonable Expectations
The stress of adoption is easier to manage if you set reasonable expectations at the beginning of the process. Do your research and talk to adoptive parents. Learn what the adoptive process entails. Expect hiccups. Adoption can take a very long time. It can also include some heartbreak. It’s easier to handle disappointment if you do not have the expectation that the process will be smooth and easy.
Talk to a Seasoned Pro
The stress of adoption can feel overwhelming at times. When you are feeling truly run-down, speak to somebody that has been where you are. Find a network of adoptive parents in your city and connect with them. Reach out to them when you’re feeling low because chances are they know how you feel. You can also ask your agency to recommend other adoptive parents for you to reach out to. Facebook has plenty of options for groups for adoptive parents as well.
See a Professional
Seeking the advice of a professional therapist can be very helpful when dealing with the stress of adoption. A trained counselor can help you find coping mechanisms for your stress. They can also teach you techniques to help you calm down when you are feeling panicked or upset. They can also just be a sympathetic ear and sounding board for you when you are feeling down.
Focus on the Why
Finally, when the stress of adoption gets to be too much, think about your “why.” This is the reason that you decided to adopt in the first place. Maybe it’s always been a dream to adopt a child in need. Maybe you cannot have children of your own. Or maybe you feel a calling to add to your family without wanting to go through pregnancy again. Whatever the reasons are for you, keep that mental image of why you picked up the phone to reach out to an adoption agency in the first place clear in your head. Imagine your future child and the life that you’ll build together.
Adoption can be a truly rewarding process to go through, but it is not a quick or easy one by any means. The stress of adoption can feel overwhelming at times. Set reasonable expectations at the outset so that you aren’t disappointed when the inevitable hiccups happen. Talk to other adoptive parents when you are feeling low because they probably have been in a similar boat too. Speak to a therapist if you are overwhelmed to learn coping mechanisms for stress. And finally, keep your eyes on the prize. Imagine the beautiful life you are about to start building with your future son or daughter.