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Adoption Resolution: Building Your Support Network

Each December, as the new year looms over the horizon, it’s always a nice exercise to think about how you set yourself up for success. Whether it’s personally, professional, socially, or with your family, it never hurts to put a little effort into taking care of your future self. We’ve found that one of the most vital resources for adoptive parents — whether you’re just beginning the process or have adopted numerous times — is a trusted support network. It’s often underestimated, but without it, it’s easy to feel alone, isolated, and stressed by the thought that you have to bear the entire weight of this process by yourself. Parenting, no matter how you come to it, is a communal effort.

We’re a big fan of adoption support groups for this reason. They’re an incredible way to surround yourself with a network of people going through the same thing you are. People navigating home studies, creating their adoption plan, placing a child for adoption, the unspeakable joy of being matched, the devastating blow when an adoption doesn’t go as planned.

Adoption support groups aren’t just for the challenging moments. They’re for sharing and giving advice, celebrating the big wins, and building a local community that understands what it’s like to adopt, or place a child for adoption, and can be a positive force in you or your child’s life.

It’s important to cultivate support within your community as well. To open up and share with your friends and family about the ways in which you may need them. When you consider how you could use support, think of:

  • The people who might swoop in and take your baby for 30 minutes so you can have a nap
  • The local restaurant that doesn’t mind if you bring your child in for dinner and still treats you respectfully, just so you and your partner can have a meal out once in a while and feel like normal people.
  • The friend who will stop by with a bottle of wine and sit in pajamas with you because it’s been days since you’ve had contact with another adult.
  • People who understand, sympathize, empathize, and want to be there for you and your family.

Because no matter how perfect of a parent you want to be, you’re going to need some help.

As you’re preparing for your adoption, or making resolutions for 2019, think about your support network. Who are your people, your community, your village? Who will you call upon for support when you need it? Where are the mommy groups, daddy groups, new parenting groups, and bustling playgrounds in your area? Who will you have around you when you’re ready to admit that you need a bit of help, or would just like a break? Which is not only entirely okay, but expected.

We encourage you to think about your future self, that under-slept, over-exhausted human being who should never be expected to do it all, and make sure that part of your preparation for parenthood includes building the village who will stand by and offer their support. You deserve it.