Finally, you have so many decisions out of the way. After much deliberation, you’ve decided to adopt an infant or an older child and pursue domestic or international adoption. You’re adopting privately, going through an agency, or adopting from the foster care system. You have successfully navigated the stressful world of the home study replete with many questions from a social worker during several home visits, collected numerous documents, got fingerprinted, divulged information about your personal finances, and participated in mandatory pre-adoption training. You thought the hoops you had to jump through would never end, but at long last you have an approved home study.
For many folks, the hardest part begins now when there is nothing to do but wait and you have no idea how long you will be waiting. There are still so many unknowns. You are told that you will eventually adopt the perfect child for your family, but how do you believe that when you don’t know when that will happen? You are told that the waiting is like a “pregnancy” but there is no end in sight and what do you tell your employer about when you will be taking maternity/paternity leave? You are uncertain about whether readying your home for a child will help keep the hope alive or be a painful reminder that there is no child in the empty room. You were willing to talk to family and friends throughout the home study to get their support and references from them; but how much do you count on them to understand what you are going through?