As we look back this month on the progress that has been made in the adoption world, I wanted to sit and interview a fellow adoptive parent: my own mom! She and my dad adopted my sister from China when I was 17 years old. Watching them go through the adoption process is what initially inspired me to work in the adoption field one day and consider adoption with my husband.
My parents completed the adoption process in 2010, and I thought it would be interesting to interview her about their experience to compare it to adoption in 2023.
What Was The Adoption Process Like In 2010?
How much improvement has been made in the adoption field since 2010? Let’s take a look at her answers and see.
- What is something that was missing when going through the adoption process? (home study/agency/other organizations/the church/resources)
The first thing that stood out to my mom was that the second social worker they had been assigned to was not that great. They were nearing the end of their process and were close to traveling to pick up my sister when the social worker missed some crucial information on an important document. This delayed their travel by a month. Although my mom said she believes in the sovereignty of God and knew they were handed my sister the exact moment they were supposed to have her, it was hard knowing my sister sat in her orphanage a whole month longer when that could have been avoided. The social worker not being detailed oriented cost them precious time. Besides that, although my mom felt as though they received some great education on the adoption process and the in-country travel in China, she does feel as though they did not get enough education about the trauma and PTSD that adoptees can have from their adoption. There was not enough continued education once they had adopted and then were raising an adoptee. Having this knowledge beforehand could have greatly helped them with several situations they encountered with my sister.
- What do you feel has made progress since you adopted?
My mom definitely sees more education available now for parents once they bring their child home. There are more resources that focus on adoptees’ past trauma no matter the age they were adopted. There are books, podcasts, blogs, etc., that touch on several post-adoption topics nowadays. There is also more awareness around these subjects, thanks to social media. My mom also sees more support in her community for all stages in the adoption process, both pre and post. There are even support groups for adoptees in her community. The awareness of adoption support being something one continually needs has also made progress. After one adopts is when they need education and support even more. As adoptees continue to share their voices and stories and grow in number, it helps enlighten younger adoptees, too. There is also more of a focus on mental health and its effects on adoptees than there was before. That was not talked about when they were adopting in 2010, and again, could have been very helpful to their family in preparing for some trials ahead.
- What is one piece of advice you would give to other adoptive parents?
My mom said, “Educate yourself!” She also encourages people to talk to other people who have gone ahead of you and adopted. Listen to their stories, how they handled things, what they have learned from their experience. Take whatever education your agency has and then go beyond that. Do your own research and read even more than your agency suggests. Find a support group. The more time you have, the more time you have to learn and grow. My mom wishes she would have read more on the trauma and mental health effects on adoptees to be more prepared in that area. She implores prospective adoptive parents to go beyond the basic education; research ahead in regards to raising an adoptee.
How To Get Help Adoption Process Education And Resources
Was this helpful? If you’re already an adoptive parent, what is a piece of advice you would give to other adoptive parents? Email Lizzy your advice at: Lizzy@abidinglovecharities.org.
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