Adoptions with Act of Love, another agency or adoption professional can be one big roller coaster ride – one day you are giddy with excitement at the prospect of finally meeting your child, the next day you experience the crushing disappointment of your adoption falling through. Continuing to move forward in the adoption process requires faith and courage to go through this roller coaster ride. But sometimes, the plunge seems too quick and too deep. What do you do when your adoption placement fails?
Agencies, such as A Act of Love Adoptions, do their best to provide a good match between prospective birthparents and adoptive parents wanting to adopt. The agency staff will assist you through the adoption process including helping you to seek legal counsel to meet the legal requirements in the state where the adoption will occur. However, there are some instances that are beyond your adoption agency and your control.
Here are some ways you can survive a failed adoption and move forward with your dream of building a family through adoption:
– Avoid making spur-of-the-moment decisions. The intensity of what you are feeling may cause you to make rash decisions. You may feel like writing to your agency or birthmother. Do so, but wait a week before you send it. Read it again before you send it and if its contents seem proper, you can send it.
– Allow you and your spouse to grieve. The heartbreak brought about by knowing that your adoption will not be completed is not something you simply brush off, so that you can move on as soon as possible. Grief is a process that you need to go through for you to heal and have the courage to hope and try again. Spend time with your spouse as you work to strengthen your relationship in the midst of this trying time.
– After the grieving, comes the moving on process. Although you need to go through the process of grieving, you should not pitch your tent there. The temptation to do so can seem irresistible, but take it one day and one step at a time. Find ways to express yourself through the hobbies and creative outlets you usually enjoy.
– Do not play the “blame game”. It is easy to point a finger on yourself or your spouse for “not seeing this coming” or for failing to be a good judge of character. Or, you may think that you have not done enough to bond with the birthmother. However, who has the gift of foresight and can read minds? No one can, least of all you or your spouse. Rather than blame each other, set your eyes on the next steps you will take.
– Receive help from friends and loved ones. Remember, they love you and would like to share in your grief. They may not know what they can do for you, but they would like to help. Welcome their offers of help and show them practical ways they can help you and meet your needs at this time.
– Join a support group. The loss of a precious child that was not yet yours to begin with causes a unique kind of pain. Be it over a website forum or through a support group in your area, talk with prospective parents who have gone through the same thing you have. Those who have been through a failed adoption can hug you and tell you “I know exactly how it feels” because they do.
– Seek counseling. If you are still in the doldrums for quite some time, it may be helpful to get counseling or therapy. Counseling and therapy can draw out your feelings so you can grieve and process your loss. That way, you can more easily pick up the pieces and get ready to move on.
– Decide on your next steps. That is, only when you are ready to make major decisions. What other opportunities would you like to explore? Ask your agency what their policy is about failed adoptions and how they can help you move onto the next step in your adoption plan. Most importantly, continuing moving forward with your dream of being a parent and part of a act of love.