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How to Know When an Adoption Match Is Right for Your Family

Sometimes You Just Know When You've Met the Right Child

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Once you've met a child that is, hopefully, going to be joining your family through adoption, and you've read the child's files, it seems like it would be easy to know whether or not that child is a good match or a bad adoption match. Just in case, and you are still trying to pull a part all of these conflicting feelings, lets take a moment and review some positive feelings you and your family may have about a potential adoption match.

  • The child's activities and interests seem to naturally mesh with your family's activities and interests.

  • You and your family enjoy spending time with the child.

  • You look forward to seeing the child.

  • You dread letting the child go after having pre-placement visits.

  • You find the child's personality and character traits to be in harmony with your family.

  • When engaged in activities outside of the home, such as at church or within the community, friends and extended family members also seem to enjoy spending time with the child.

  • Even if the child has some needs that she needs to overcome, you feel confident that you and your family can help the child meet those needs successfully.

  • If you have other children in the home, they seem to also be very positive, excited, and accepting of adding the child to the family.

  • You feel at peace and happy about the child's future with you and your family.

To Not Have Any Concerns About an Adoption Match May Be Concerning

I think to not have an healthy amount of concern regarding the decision to add to your family is a concern. It may mean that an adoptive family is not fully taking into consideration what it means to add to their family.

Because even when there are all these positive signs that an adoption match is working out well, there are usually still other doubts or fears. Some concern or anxiety is normal.

Reasons why a healthy amount of concern or anxiety is healthy too:
  • This is a life-long decision. Parenting does not end at the age of eighteen, and adoptive parenting is no different. This is a commitment made to another person and may be compared to marriage in a way. This child will become yours as if the child was born to you.

  • The child may have physical, emotional, or social needs that arise later on in childhood. The child may be "perfect" now, but that may change over the years.

  • Babies, toddlers, and cute little ones will grow up to be teens. Teen years are tough with biological children, it is no different with adopted teenagers.

  • The child has a birth family, even if they are not physically present, they are a part of this child. There is no escaping it, you can choose international adoption, and the children still have a history beyond the adoptive family. If your child exists, so do a set of birth parents, without them you would not have a child. Adoption issues may need to be addressed by most adoptees. Be ready to accept this and help your child prepare for an adoption reunion, even if you are uncomfortable with the topic, because ultimately it's not about you.

Even when you can see all of the possible issues and concerns, cold feet are just cold feet. If you are ready to continue to parent the child post eighteen, assist the child through different difficult stages of development, advocate for services as needs arise, and accept the need to accept the existence of birth family; you have probably found the right child to join your family.

When making the final decision, a pre-adoptive parent shouldn't be paralyzed with fear and worry. There should be some measure of peace about the whole process when matched with the right child. If you are able to feel at peace with the decision to adopt, even with a few doubts and fears, then this child is probably the right adoption match for your family.

Congratulations!

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