When I took my pre-adoption classes (they are called IMPACT in the state of Georgia), I went into it with rose colored glasses like most. I thought we’d talk about the challenges of parenting and discuss ways of dealing with childhood trauma. It never occurred to me that we’d be discussing things that would actually bring up some uncomfortable yet necessary internal dilemmas. After completing this course, I quickly realized I’d need to heavily weigh many topics before deciding exactly what type of child I feel I could best parent.
I remember one of the couples in my class feeling bad and nervously saying that they didn’t think they could parent a child of another race. By no means were they racist individuals. After taking this course, they simply didn’t think they had the proper tools or experience and even seemed a little scared about how they could possibly lead a child of another race with all of the current racial specific issues our country has faced recently. I remember thinking to myself “how brave of them” to share this and to be honest about what they felt were personal limitations or shortcomings.
After all, these classes are meant to get us thinking. Not only about how we plan to parent, but what our personal limitations are, how we plan to overcome them and what can we realistically handle? Here are some things I would strongly encourage you to think about before filling out your expectations papers.
1. What races are you open to parent and does your neighborhood, friends and/or family provide an open and supportive environment?
2. What medical issues (if any) are you willing to take on and are you ready to adapt your lifestyle to the changes this will bring to your household and schedule?
3. Are you willing to consider an open adoption? If so, what does this look like to you and how do you plan to facilitate communication with the birth parent(s)?
4. Do you currently have children (or animal children)? Have you thought or talked about their feelings surrounding the household environment? Do you have a transition plan?
5. What age is most ideal for your family? Are you ready for a baby or does a toddler or teenager fit better within your family dynamics at this time?
No matter what you choose, we all know parenting isn’t easy. We can’t perfectly build children into our family. We must build family around our children! There are bound to be things that happen you never imagined. After all, that’s life.
Author – Simone Jennings (@simonejennings)Published in