growing-adoption-success Adoption success. What does that look like?

Success is a concept individually defined and determined, especially in regard to adoption. The definition of adoption success will vary by context and will also evolve over time.

Hopeful or prospective adoptive parent

If you are a hopeful or prospective adoptive parent, you probably would initially define adoption success as “passing” a home study and finally being chosen to be the parent to a child through adoption. Your definition of adoption success grows on the day your child joins your family. And, is completed on the day your child’s adoption is finalized.

If you are already an adoptive parent

Your definition of adoption success likely has expanded. You now see success in how you and your child have grown a loving and reciprocal bond with one another. You enjoy the privilege of watching them grow, soothing their hurts, and receiving their hugs and kisses. You experience adoption success when your heart swells and your eyes brighten whenever you think of your child. When they bless you with the gift of their hearts and their trust, that too becomes part of your definition of adoption success.

If you are an adopted child

Adoption success looks and feels quite different. to him, it is the security of being seen and heard. It means that his parents appreciate and are well-educated on adoption complexity. Adoption success is when his parents recognize his grief and losses and bear compassionate wisdom to the hard truths about adoption. He experiences his adoption as a success when he is encouraged to be his true self and does not have to play the chameleon to fit his parents’ idea of the child of their dreams.

Although an adopted child will be unaware of the 7 Core Issues of adoption, he needs his parents to know about those issues. Their acknowledgment and understanding of these issues and how they will influence his thoughts, feelings, and behavior are essential for his adoption to be considered a success. Knowledge of the  7 Core Issues helps inform and shape how parents will respond, support, and guide him. This knowledge helps ensure that the child feels secure, safe, and loved. That is adoption success internalized.

How to intentionally create adoption success?

The easiest way to grow adoption success is to become well-educated on the unique needs of adopted children. Move beyond two common false ideas. One, that love is all you need, and two, that adoption is totally benign–a complete win/win. Deal with the complex realities, become educated on them, and then commit to supporting your child as compassionate witnesses to the truthfulness of his experience. Be strong enough to see the messiness, hold the difficult conversation–probably uncomfortable conversations–and allow him the space to share his honest thoughts and feelings about adoption. This means welcoming conversations about not only the gains and blessings but also the losses and heavy emotions as well.

Adoption success as a family

Doesn’t just happen. It requires intentionality and commitment. Work towards building a family life in which everyone’s needs are met and which is steeped in truth-telling, truth-acknowledging, and truth-seeking.

Check out our on-demand courses.

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Read these books written by our coaches.

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