While waiting to adopt, many families find that there are other external factors that may happen that affect adoption readiness. Some big, some little, all important to consult with your coordinator and/or home study provider to see if action is required to ensure you remain ready to say YES to the right birth mother. Here are a few common changes I have seen happen during adoption:
Moving to a new home or state: Whether you are upsizing, downsizing, or moving for your job, living in a new location will always result in required updates to your home study. A big part of the process is ensuring that your home is a safe environment for your child, and a new home will require the same assurance. If you move to another state, your home study may need to be updated or completely redone, depending on state requirements.
Change in job or income: Typically, this will not require a major change to your home study, but you should be sure to update your adoption profiles and website if your job change is substantial. For instance, a teacher moving to a new school to teach doesn’t require a change in profile, but a teacher moving to a job in administration may need some new language. Changes to income may need to be run by your home study provider, in case they change your overall ability to provide the basics of life.
Family or others moving in: Anyone who lives in your home (or basically on your property) needs to be included in your home study and have clear background checks. This includes your parents, aunts, uncles, or even renting your basement to a local student. Different home study providers may handle this differently, but they need to be informed so the person can be included as necessary.
Marital challenges: Marriages have ups and downs, and the added pressure of adoption can put a strain on any relationship. If you are finding that you need to work on your marriage, pause your networking and advertising for a few weeks and speak with a counselor who can provide you some tools and help to find a resolution. You don’t want to be in a bad place with your significant other during what will be one of the most stressful times in your life. You need to be strong together and there for each other.
Financial crisis: If you find yourself in dire straits financially, pause networking and advertising to rebuild your reserves. It’s not fair to a birth mother to choose you if you are not able financially to cover the travel and legal aspect of adoption. Many families find they need to cut costs both before and after adoption, making it a financial priority too. This is nothing to be ashamed about – many families are one major illness or catastrophic event from financial hardship. Just ensure you take the time to create an action plan and put it into place. If finances are a challenge for you, consider Dave Ramsey’s courses about managing money.
Even while adopting, life happens. Be smart about addressing challenges you may experience during the wait and talk to your coordinator if you need resources or have questions.