11 Steps to Realizing Your Adoption Goals Every Time
Everyone has goals, whether we know it or not. We have goals to save for the future or to travel, buy a home, a new car, or to purchase items we need and want to make our lives more enjoyable. And the majority of us want to start a family, and as Christians, having a family to share our faith with is the most important thing of all.
Where ever two or more of you are gathered in his name…there is love.
An important distinction between people who succeed at adoption is that they have faith in their desires, are very intentional in their steps, and are focused on their goal. Many prospective adoptive parents look and fantasize about adopting but do little to move past that point. While it is advisable to do research before moving on to adopt, there are many who don’t move any further to complete what they have started. Fear is often the culprit.
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid…for the Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Successful adoptive parents know that the timing, planning, and dedication to completing their adoption goal can make its achievement much easier and smoother. As with any goal, there are basic steps that must be taken to attain the desired end result. Those who have gone before know it takes time and patience along with following a concise plan to realize adoption success.
There is a time for all seasons under heaven…
Here are 11 important steps to a successful adoption:
- Prepare to PRAY
Prayer is one of the most important steps you can take. Have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to find you the perfect child for your forever family. Your child is out there. Waiting. In God’s time, you will find her/him. Be patient, have faith, and remember, love conquers all.
- Reachable goals are SPECIFIC
To reach your goal of adoption, your brain must know exactly, and precisely, what you are trying to accomplish. Never state your goal with vague terms like “some day I would like to adopt” or “in the future” or “maybe we will adopt”. Be specific! If you want to adopt a newborn within two years, then specify those exact details. If you want to find an adoption professional this month and start the process, be exact. Your brain can help you accomplish almost anything if it knows precisely what you are aiming for.
- Reachable goals are SIMPLE
Many people describe their adoption goals in ideals that are complex and may conflict with each other, i.e., we want a child from our surrounding area that looks like us and is born in the summer when school is out and of a birth mother with no expenses and . . . The list goes on and on. Any ONE of those things is a great goal, but the combination becomes overwhelming, difficult, and the brain gets confused. If you want to adopt a healthy infant, just say so! If you want to keep birth mother expenses down to under $1,000, say so! Keep your goals simple, clear, and focused.
- Reachable goals are SIGNIFICANT
No one can muster the enthusiasm, hard work and courage to go forth and adopt if they don’t want to adopt 100%. A successful adoption goal is one you really, REALLY want! It’s something that will change your life, enhance your family, and fulfill you. It gets your energy flowing, gets you up in the morning, and keeps you going all day long, because it is important! Set adoption goals that you feel are worth achieving! If your spouse is not ready to adopt, the chances of success are reduced and it is not fair to bring a child into a family that is not completely devoted to adoption and raising this child.
- Reachable goals are DELIBERATE
Successful adoptive parents know that the best goals accomplish many great benefits, all at one time. Adopting will almost certainly: (1) Feel great! (2) Be the start of completing your family; (3) Enhance your life forever; (4) Provide opportunity to share the love you have with a child; (5) Add a new member to your family; (6) Build patience; (7) Cause you to view parenting in a new light.
Take the time to describe how adoption will impact the many areas of your life. You’ll have more reasons to move forward toward your goal and more excitement when you do!
- Your adoption goals must be reachable and MEASURABLE
A goal without a measurable outcome is just a pipe dream. You can’t achieve a pound of “happiness” but you CAN become a parent. If you call adoption professionals every day for a year for information or attend weekly support meetings religiously but you don’t apply some of what you have learned, you will not get anywhere in your adoption. Someone has wisely observed that, “What gets measured, gets done.” Define your goals in terms of time, expense, and time willing to dedicate to the process. Then measure your progress until you achieve your desired outcome.
- Reachable goals are REALISTIC
To reach your goal, you will need an adoption plan, a path, and a vehicle for getting there. Your goals must make sense! When you explain them to friends and family, your goals should create excitement and draw support and encouragement. Your goals should be just out of reach, but not out of sight! You want to stretch to be your best, not strain after impossible dreams. Set realistic goals you CAN and WILL achieve if you stick with it! More families fall short of this one secret, that is, don’t give up and don’t slack off in what you need to do to reach your goal.
- Reachable goals are TANGIBLE
You need to be able to imagine seeing, hearing, smelling and holding your child. Go for things you know are realistic and that you can clearly visualize. The brain has a hard time going for “someday we will adopt a child”, but it can visualize a healthy child under 12 months old. Define your goals in terms that excite the senses, and then go for it with all your heart!
- Reachable goals are WRITTEN
Successful adoptive parents know precisely what they want, because they’ve written it down. Often, they write a short description of their goals every single morning, as a personal reminder of their priorities and their objectives. They do what they must each day to achieve this goal, such as working on their adoption profile, filling out their home study paperwork or making the doctor’s appointments for physicals. The act of writing your goals down vastly increases your chance of doing what is necessary to move closer to your successful adoption. Write it down! Then, keep your notes where you can see and read them every day, and take a step closer to that goal of adopting.
- Reachable goals are SHARED
We are far more likely to stick to our adoption plan and reach our goal if we know our friends and family support us and our plan to adopt. Being part of a group of people with the same goal increases our determination, our stamina, and our courage to keep going. Caution: Never share your goals with anyone who may ridicule, belittle or discourage you from adopting! The world is full of doubters and you have no time for them. Find a support group, a group of successful adoptive parents, and others who have succeeded who will encourage you every step of the way. Successful adoptive parents count on and confide with others who have the same goal! Too often family members are unfamiliar with the way adoptions are conducted today and have only been educated by the media and the fear of adoption. The truth is that the majority of adoptions go through without incident or problems.
- Reachable adoption goals are CONSISTENT WITH YOUR VALUES
One of the biggest reasons people fail to achieve their adoption goals is that they have conflict between what is valuable to them and what is realistic. Do they perceive adoption as rescuing a poor child or as a gift from one person to another? Is a child not of your body as valuable in your mind as a biological child? Whenever your values and your goals are in agreement, there is no stopping you! Clarify your values first, and then set simple, specific, measurable, tangible, written goals that are consistent with those values. You will achieve adoption success, every single time!
Don’t give up, and remember — There is a child for you!
Committed to Excellence in Adoption Education
- Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is a nationally recognized authority on adoption. A Certiﬁed Open Adoption Practitioner, Caldwell is the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center, LLC., established in 1986. Caldwell has assisted in over 1,800 successful adoptions. She was one of the ﬁrst adoption professionals on the Internet.
- Caldwell’s life work has been dedicated to educating and helping birth parents and adoptive parents through teaching, speaking, and resources and as a radio talk show host.
- Author of a number of award-winning books, Caldwell has more than 150 media credits to her name, including: Larry King Live, ABC News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN Headline News, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, CBS News, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, Dr. Laura, and is widely sought for print articles and speaking engagements.