With the holiday shopping season upon us, many adoptive parents-in-waiting feel a need to bite their tongue when asked what they want for Christmas. The undeniable urge is simply to say “All I want for Christmas is a baby.” Of course, while working daily toward growing your family is important, sometimes we all just wish for a baby to arrive on our doorstep.
Many times, family and friends wish desperately there was something they could do to help you reach your goal. The good news is that they can, and this is a great time of year to ask for help or suggest ideas. Here is a short list to get you started:
- Include your adoption cards in all of your Christmas Cards. You may wish to include a few extra in certain cards, with a post-it note asking friends or family members to share the cards with people in their circle of friends who may know someone considering adoption.
- Make a wish list. It works best to set specific goals, for instance $1,750 for the home study or $125 for website set up. You can even set up smaller goals like $50 for Facebook ads or $25 for one month listing on a website like Adoptimist. These let people give you a gift that makes them feel as though they are involved in helping you provide something concrete for your adoption, rather than just giving funds.
- Send a short newsletter (email is fine!) giving people one or two specific way they can help you. Maybe it is providing some names over coffee for you to network with or sharing your Facebook page. It could be helping you put flyers up monthly at the local laundromats or preparing a mailing. This can work well for people who live out of the area – remember your birth mother can find you in a laundromat across the country!
- Talk about your plans. Some families find it difficult to talk about what they are doing, but your family members are likely interested. Many times, adoptive parents discover that their friends and family are not aware of what adoption looks like today, so it may be an opportunity to educate them on open adoption too. Share some of your journey with them. Remember, you never know who may know someone…
- If you are too shy to ask for help, then ask for prayer. When we open our hearts to others for prayer requests, we are often blessed by offers of help and people saying quite simply, “How can I help?”
Now is a great time to review the lesson on Networking and Advertising so you are refreshed with ideas and can make the most of the connections you have during the holiday season. Many times, this is a heavy season for women considering adoption, and you want to be sure that your information is in the right place at the time a woman is seeking it.