So you’ve just heard that your friend is adopting and you are so excited for them!
You want them to feel supported, but how do you help them?
Here are a few ways that you can help them through this trying time.
- Be respectful of their decision. They’ve most likely looked through other options before deciding on adoption. Congratulate them for taking a step to grow their family, even if it might not look like your family structure.
- Don’t assume. Perhaps they are going through an adoption because they need to step in for a family member, have a medical condition that prevents them from getting pregnant, have infertility issues, or genuinely just want to adopt. Allow your friend to share their story, if they choose to, and do not assume it is only for medical reasons.
- Be flexible. Your friend is juggling a lot on their plate including a to-do list that is about the size of an Encyclopedia. Understand that they might not be able to go out on girl’s night out, volunteer, or do many social activities so that they can focus on completing their adoption paperwork.
- Listen. Your friend is processing many different emotions right now and many of them are conflicting. On one hand, they are overjoyed at the prospect of meeting their new child, on the other hand, they are nervous about it not working out. If your friend is married or in a relationship, this could cause additional stress on them and their partner. Ask your friend out for coffee and just lend a listening ear.
- Be patient. You might want to jump in and check how the process is going and if there are any new updates. The truth is that adoption is complicated and many times lengthy process. There may not be any updates for long periods of time due to delays in paperwork or approval from other parties. Understand that your friend will share any new updates on their adoption when the time comes. For now, just ask them how they are doing!
Adoption is an on-going life event. Because I am still going through this process, I continue to rely on God’s help to get me through. I have a hope that is pushing me through the lengthy paperwork. At the end of the road, I know that I will have a son or daughter and I am so extremely excited to meet them.