Archive for January, 2016

How to Talk to Your Child about His or Her Adoption Story

At the beginning of every adoption journey, Adoptions With Love asks future adoptive parents the question, “How do you plan on telling your child about his or her adoption story?”

Their answers do not always come easily at first, for this is a question that requires much consideration, attention, education and planning. It is an important question that every adoptive family needs to ask themselves before welcoming a baby into their home.

Adoptive parents often feel anxious at the thought of telling their child about his or her adoption story. When is the right time to talk about it? Who should be the one to bring it up? Some adoptive families fear that the conversation may hurt their child. Others are worried the conversation may hurt the bond they have with their child. While the subject can be intimidating, speaking openly about adoption can actually strengthen the relationship between a child and his or her adoptive parents, and further benefit the child’s overall adoption experience and identity formation.

Today, over 97 percent of adopted children over the age of five know that they were adopted, and 90 percent of these children were reported to have positive feelings about their adoption experience.

If you are planning to adopt a child, how will you tell your child’s adoption story? Learn how to prepare when, what, and how you will tell your beloved child about his or her adoption.

When?

From the minute you welcome your child into your lives, you can begin telling his or her adoption story. It is never too early to start using the word “adoption,” whether it is during a diaper change or a bedtime story. Your baby may not understand what you are saying at first, but this practice can help you gain more comfort with these words as time goes on.

You may choose to collect a few adoption books for young children, to help your child understand and relate to other adoption stories. It is important to begin the adoption conversation early on, so that when the time comes, your child will accept, understand, and be confident in his or her story. Talk about adoption as often as you can throughout every stage of development. Use language that is appropriate for your child’s developmental level.

Continuously touch base with your child, and show that you are always available to answer any questions he or she may have along the way. It is important that you send the message that adoption is a positive, loving way to build a family and that you are happy and proud to discuss the topic.

What?

Simply put, the first thing your little one should know is the fact that he or she was adopted. This conversation should be lovingly approached. Your child should be assured that he or she came from a mommy and daddy like all children do, and that he or she was a special gift to you. Tell your child that adoption helps many families grow, and that children can be raised by birth parents or adoptive parents. Throughout this conversation, make sure your child knows how much he or she is loved.

This is an ongoing conversation that will change as your child grows. You do not have to tell your child all of the details about his or her adoption story at once. It is important to be age appropriate. According to the Center for Adoption Support and Education, your child will only begin to understand adoption after the age of six. It is important to have the groundwork of his or her adoption story laid out before then. You can add the more complex details as your child matures.

How?

As the adoptive family, only you can decide how you will tell your child’s adoption story. If you have an open adoption, you may decide to include the birthmother or father in this process.

You may choose to create a photo book or “Lifebook” to share with your child throughout this ongoing conversation. Whether you have an open, semi-open, or closed adoption plan, Lifebooks are a wonderful way to tell your child’s adoption story. This book can track important dates and events throughout the adoption journey, and include pictures of the people and places involved in your child’s life.

No matter how you decide to share your adoption story with your child, be sure to remain positive and honest every step of the way. By doing so, you can help your child to understand how he or she became a part of your loving family. You can help your child to accept and even grow proud of his or her adoption story. You can teach your child to positively share his or her story with others.

For more information about the adoption process, please visit our Adoptive Parents FAQ page or call Adoptions With Love toll-free at 1-800-722-7731.


The Importance of Finding Supportive Unplanned Pregnancy Help

At this moment, you may be feeling unsure or overwhelmed about what is best for you and your baby. Any decision you make regarding your unplanned pregnancy will likely be one of the biggest decisions you have ever made. You want to make sure you get as much information as you can about your options and discuss your thoughts, feelings, or questions with someone you trust.

While it is important to talk to a loved one about your situation, remember that this is ultimately your decision. Your friends and family may want the best for you, but that does not mean they truly know what is best for you and your baby at this time. Your family also may be emotionally involved with your decision.

After telling your loved ones of your pregnancy, you may consider seeking out an unbiased third party to help inform and guide you towards the best decision. Many expectant mothers today find that an outside support network such as a counselor, health educator, or an adoption agency allows them to approach this significant decision with a clear and open mind. After telling your loved ones, you too may consider turning to a counselor or social worker for advice about your pregnancy.

If you are going back and forth between your unplanned pregnancy options, seek out a professional counselor who is willing to fully listen, respect, and understand your decision process. Talk with someone who can walk you through your options, who can help you make a decision, and who will respect any decision you make. Talk with someone who is available and willing to sit down and guide you through this journey.

Usually the best unplanned pregnancy advice comes from those who can look at your situation from an honest, unbiased perspective. No matter where you choose to go for outside support, make sure you do not feel pressured into any decision and you are fully involved in the decision-making process. Ensure that all of the information you receive is accurate and reliable. Choose an agency, clinic, or counselor that welcomes your partner, friend, or family member to be involved and accompany you if you wish.

As a not for profit, private adoption agency, Adoptions With Love welcomes you to call us at any time of day for professional unplanned pregnancy help. Our team of compassionate counselors is here at all hours of the day helping women like you through this incredible decision. We will help you look at all of your choices without judgment or pressure and always with respect.

Adoptions With Love is a team of trained professionals who can honestly and attentively walk you through each and every one your options. No matter what direction you take, we want to make sure you are fully ready, committed, and confident in your choice. Any choice you make becomes a life-long journey, so we encourage you to carefully consider every single aspect of your choice.

Our Reality Check-List can help you decide between parenting and adoption. If you would like to discuss your answers in detail with Amy, Nancy, Claudia, or Amelia, do not hesitate to contact or visit us.

Call Adoptions With Love toll-free at 1-800-722-7731, or text us confidentially at 1-617-777-0072.

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How to Know if You Are Ready to Parent Your Baby: 15 Questions to Ask

You have just discovered you are pregnant and are unsure if you are ready to parent your child.  It is okay if you are not.  While parenting requires a lot of planning ahead, over 50 percent of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned.  Fortunately, you have many choices as an expectant mother.  You have time to make a conscious decision regarding your pregnancy.  You have the ability to decide whether you are emotionally, financially, and physically ready to raise a child.

If you are considering parenting, understand that it is a lifelong commitment.  It is true that parenthood comes with many joys, but it also demands a lot of hard work.  Only you can decide if you are ready to begin this journey.

Being pregnant does not mean that parenthood has to be a part of your plan at this time. If you have other ambitions to pursue right now, adoption may be the most positive choice for you.

As you consider your unplanned pregnancy options, it is important to take time to reflect on yourself, your relationships, and your situation.  Do some soul-searching.  Talk with others about your feelings on parenthood.  Consider the costs and the reality of becoming a parent.  Ask yourself the following questions to find out if you are truly ready to parent at this time.

  1. Do you enjoy spending time with children? Do you enjoy teaching and guiding others?
  2. What are your views on parenting? What do you believe makes a great parent?
  3. Is having children a part of your plan? If so, why do you want to become a parent?
  4. Do you feel pressure to parent this baby? Do you feel your decision is being influenced by anyone else?
  5. Are you ready to put your child’s needs before your own?
  6. Do you currently have a stable job? If so, are you able to take time off of work to be with your baby?
  7. Are you financially prepared to raise a child (current estimates show it costs nearly $250,000 to raise a child to adulthood)?
  8. Do you have the finances to pay for prenatal costs, doctor appointments, and hospital bills?
  9. Do you live in a safe environment to raise a child? Can you raise your child in your current home, or will you have to move? Will you have to move in with family or friends?
  10. Will you have to rely on friends and family for help? Are you comfortable with this?
  11. How is your relationship with the baby’s father?
  12. How does the baby’s father feel about your pregnancy? Will you involve him in your decision?
  13. What type of support is the baby’s father willing to provide: financial, childcare, emotional?
  14. Can you attain your long term goals, and still make a good life for you and your child? If so, how?
  15. How will having a child impact your life? What will change? Are you ready to make those changes?

Reflect on your answers as you move through each question.  Consider your reflections.  Are there questions that challenge you?  Do you feel your answers are positive and confident?  Adoptions With Love created this article to help guide you towards the right decision for you and your baby.  You may also download our Reality Check-List to see just how prepared for parenthood you are at this time.

Try to picture yourself with a baby at this time.  Write down your thoughts and feelings, then discuss them with a trusted friend, counselor, or adoption professional.  Adoptions With Love is only one phone call away.  If you would like a non-biased, confidential conversation regarding your options, contact us at 1-800-722-7731.  Our compassionate team at Adoptions With Love can help you develop the best plan for you and your baby.

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Sources:
Parenttrust.org


Pregnant? Here Are Your Unplanned Pregnancy Options

Discovering an unplanned pregnancy can be a very emotional, and often confusing, experience.  It is a moment that marks an incredible turn in your life.  If you have just learned you are pregnant, know that you have several options—you can continue your pregnancy and parent your child, continue your pregnancy and place your baby for adoption, or terminate the pregnancy.

In this blog, we discuss your various unplanned pregnancy options, in hopes that your decision will be both informed and well-thought-out.  This is an unexpected journey, but you can make it a positive one.  Our goal is to guide you through it.  As we walk you through each consideration, know that our team of adoption professionals and counselors is only one phone call away.  You do not have to do this alone.  We understand this is not an easy decision to make, but by giving you the right information and support, we can help you design a loving, thoughtful plan for your child.

Parenthood:

For most women facing an unplanned pregnancy, parenting is the first consideration to cross their mind.  This may be the case for you.  At this time, you may truly feel that you are the best-fit parent for your child.  It is important to know, however, that parenting will require you to make big changes to your life plans and lifestyle.

Parenthood is both challenging and rewarding.  As a parent, you will experience incredible amounts of love and pride.  Parenting also calls for a lot of hard work, patience, and flexibility.  As you consider your options, try not to underestimate the amount of time, energy, and finances that parenthood involves.  It is a 24-hour/7-days-a-week commitment for the next 21 years of your life.  Are you ready?  Are you prepared to handle everything that parenthood brings?

Your situation may not be perfect right now, but parenthood may be possible.  Find out if you are ready to become a parent by completing our free Reality Check-List.

Adoption:

Like parenthood, choosing to make an adoption plan for your child also requires a lot of your love.  Adoption is a strong, courageous, and selfless act that will give your child a life beyond what you can provide at this time.  As you carefully consider your options, picture your child five or ten years from now.  If you see your child in a place that you cannot get him or her, then adoption may be your answer.

By choosing adoption, you will be able to give your baby the most significant gifts of all: opportunity, unconditional love, and stability.  You can choose a family for your baby.  You can also receive letters, pictures, or even have in-person visits as your child grows.  Adoption does not put an end to your relationship with your child.  Rather, it begins a new type of relationship for each of you.  You can remain a part of your child’s life while still pursuing your own goals.

Many birth mothers gain peace of mind after adoption, even while experiencing loss, knowing their child is loved and safe.  Most birth mothers report that they know they made the right choice, even though it was a difficult one. At Adoptions With Love, we offer various adoption counselling services to help expectant mothers through the adoption process and with challenges they face before and after the baby is born.

If you choose to place your child with a loving adoptive family, know that you still have various adoption options.  Call us if you would like to discuss the many different closed and open adoption plans.

Consider all of your options:

There is no rush as you consider your options.  Take time to re-examine yourself, your life, and your future.  The best t choice will be the one that feels right in your heart; that gives you peace of mind and makes the most sense for you at this time.

If you choose to continue your pregnancy, however, it is important that you begin prenatal care as soon as possible.  If you choose to make an adoption plan for your baby, we can help you with the prenatal costs associated with your pregnancy.

 

In the end, only you can decide what option is best for you and your baby.  But you do not have to make this decision alone.  Call Adoptions With Love toll-free at 800-722-7731 to learn more about your unplanned pregnancy options, or download our free checklist here to learn what option is right for you.

 

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