6 Ways to Prepare for Adoption

6 Ways to Prepare for Adoption- Faith Along the Way

There we were in the aisles of Babies R Us, with our eyes glazed and palms sweaty, not sure at all whether to purchase baby supplies outright or register for them.  We only had three weeks to turn an empty room into a nursery fit for the princess we were adopting and had no idea where to begin.

Panicked and overwhelmed by the choices and decisions that had to be made ASAP, I wished for someone with experience to take me by the hand and tell me how to make sense of registering, the paperwork and prepare for the home study!  Help!

Hubs and I managed to muddle through on own and Joy was none the wiser when she came home from the hospital, but if I had it to do over again, I would have done a few things differently.

Consider this post your guide to the confusing and overwhelming season of adoption, and may it help you prepare for welcoming your bundle of joy into your life. {Other posts in this series includes: FAQ About Adoption, How You Know You’re Ready to Adopt, and 10 Prayers for Your Adoption Journey, so be sure to visit them for more details on the adoption process}.

 Financially

Start saving now!  Many adoptions can be expensive, plus there are always hidden expenses besides your basic adoption fees.  Those include fingerprints, background checks, court fees, and even housing for out of state adoptive parents. {Some states require the adoptive parents to stay in state with the child for a designated time period.} Those hidden fees can add up and can vary per state.

Look to grants, loans, or fundraising to help ease the financial burden. Some wonderful resources for financing include:

God’s Grace Adoption Ministry, Inc., 

Lifesong for Orphans

Adoption Financing Information

The Gift of Adoption Fund

Your home

If you’re like me, I had a nursery planned in my head long before I knew I would become a mother.  In my early daydreams, I wanted everything to be grand and perfect, of course looking like a Pinterest showcase! But once reality grounded me, I was nervous to begin putting a room together for a baby because I didn’t want to be left with empty rooms filled with furniture in case the adoption fell through. However, the home study will look to see that you have a proper room for a child with the essentials, a crib, monitor, clothes, etc… {See the printable list below: Essentials for Bring Home Baby as a guideline for what you will need.}

Start baby proofing your home early by putting plug covers in the outlets, rearranging dangerous items in your house, and installing the cabinet safety latches or magnets.  It’s a blessing to have this done and checked off your list before baby comes!

Don’t forget to check the batteries in your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector.  You will need to prove these items are in good working order for the home study.  Do you have a fire extinguisher?  If not, head to the local hardware store since that is another must have item for your home study.

Clear away piles of clutter and start scrubbing away. When preparing for my home study, you could eat off my floors and baseboards! Starting your deep cleaning early will ensure that you are not more stressed by an already nerve-wracking situation. As you organize, be sure that poisons, firearms, and items that are dangerous to a child are locked and stored away in a safe place.

Gather important documents

If you are like me, my important documents are not all in one place, some are in the safe, others are in the filing cabinet {I need to organize and streamline!} Go ahead and create an adoption binder and keep your important documents together in one place. You will at least need these documents, although more may be required:

* Driver’s licenses * Marriage license * Social Security Cards *Proof of insurance {all types: health, home, car, life} * Tax return * Bank statements {checking, savings, and investments} * Birth certificates *Letters of character reference {we needed three apiece but requirements may vary}

It’s so helpful to start early in case a replacement needs to be ordered and companies need to be contacted. I know you would hate to delay an already long process!

Gather supplies & register

You need a TON of essentials to welcome a child into your home,  While the age of the child will determine your exact needs, don’t hesitate to borrow from friends in the interim. Loved ones are happy to supply baby equipment, clothes, and essentials until you establish a base of supplies. Plus this gives you a chance to see what your baby needs, not what the “experts” claim you can’t live without. At the top of your list should be a car seat, since you can’t take baby home without one!

Registering for your little one is an overwhelming but exciting task.  You may be wondering if you should register as an adoptive parent and the answer the YES! Friends and family will be thrilled for you and want to spoil your little one with what you need, so be sure to take the guess work out of gift giving by registering.  I was honored with many showers for our baby girl, so registering was a must!

The good news is that you are not alone in this process!  Kristy over at Seven Graces has a FABULOUS series, New Mama 101, and offers registry advice and suggestions for the daunting process.  Be sure to visit her Baby Registry 101 and Baby Registry 102 posts for a great list of registry must haves!

Essentials for Bringing Home Baby- Faith Along the Way

Write letters to you baby

Regretfully, this is something I wish I had done while waiting to adopt my children.  It would have been a blessing to share daily details with them about the process and take pictures during our waiting so they could see how loved, wanted, chosen and prayed for they were. If you are on your adoption journey, take out a pen and paper, or even your computer, and start sharing your heart with your child about all that getting ready for baby entails.  I think it would be a cherished keepsake that he/she would always treasure.

Research pediatricians

Being a first time mom and very rushed in the adoption process, I did not know that leaving the hospital, a pediatrician needs to be lined up for the child. It is a requirement for releasing the baby into custody. {Remember that adoption laws can vary from state to state.} I would have loved the chance to find a pediatrician I connected with, but instead was assigned a pediatrician close to the hospital. While he was fine for the interim, I would have loved to have Joy with a doctor I trusted a little more.

Many adopted babies are covered by Medicaid until either the adoption and name change is finalized, or until a parent can get the baby on their insurance.  {There were a few snags with getting our kids on our insurance because of the adoption process.} Be sure that while shopping around for a pediatrician, the doctor you love will take Medicaid until you can switch insurances.

Your heart

Friend, I know exactly how you are feeling as you prepare for adoption.  You’re thrilled with the possibility of becoming a parent, yet terrified to get to the end of the journey empty handed.  With my two miracle adoptions, I realized that each step towards a child was a leap of faith as I wholeheartedly learned to trust God with every aspect of this process. I encourage you to do the same.

Trust that he is forming your child in his image.

Trust that this situation does not take him by surprise and that he will finish guiding you down the path he chose for you.

Trust that he will provide you with strength in those moments of fear and peace when you feel anxious.

Trust that he has a beautiful plan for your life, and that he has all the answers in times when you are uncertain.

Trust that he is great, and worthy of praise, no matter what the circumstance may look like to the naked eye.

My recipe for preparing for an adoption: Pray, Prepare, Wait. {Repeat as many times as needed}!

Has adoption impacted your life?  How did you or a loved one prepare to welcome your child into your arms and into your life? I’d love for you to share your experiences in the comments below.

This post was shared with my friends at Essential Devotions, SITS Girls Mommy Moments Motivation Mondays Mommy Monday

Titus 2 Tuesday

About Sarah Ann

Sarah Ann is a perfectly imperfect wife and mother, and is thankful for the saving grace of the Lord. When she’s not busy folding yet another load of laundry or comforting a crying child, she enjoys studying God’s Word, writing, and spending time with authentic friends. She's passionate about equipping women to live with intentional faith, family, home, and habits at Proverbs31Mentor.com. Join her for biblical encouragement and practical lifestyle tips to help you live on mission for the glory of God.

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11 Comments

    1. The feeling is mutual! I love hearing stories of adults who were adopted! It blesses me to hear your stories, too. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I appreciate your support and always love your posts, too!

  1. Thank you for sharing your post via Mommy Monday. This post is very insightful, and you shared your heart here, thank you. I’m pinning this to our board.
    XOXO
    Mrs. AOK recently posted…No Sew #DIY Mermaid CostumeMy Profile

    1. I so appreciate you stopping by and pinning! It was a blessing to connect with you via the link-up. Thanks!

  2. From the sounds of it, adoption can be as stressful as planning a wedding. My wife and I are investigating adoption and want to make sure we do everything right. I really appreciate how you’ve outlined the six or seven categories of how to approach adoption successfully. Extra care with each of these steps is important. After all, you aren’t buying a puppy, you are adopting a baby.

    1. Yes! Each adoption is different, but can have stressful moments of questioning and waiting. Pray hard and be strong!

  3. God bless you for such an act of kindness Sarah! Not everyone is brave enough to pursue on this, and I highly praise you for doing so. This article will surely be very useful to anyone planning to adopt too! Thank you so much for posting!

    1. You are so welcome! My kids are a blessing and I highly encourage everyone who’s interested to pursue adoption. Blessings to you!

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