If you feel that God is calling you to consider adoption, it is natural to have concerns. Anything unknown can be scary, and fear is one of the main reasons those who consider adopting do not follow through. This article addresses some of the more common myths and fears along with the realities of the adoption process. While adoption comes with its unique difficulties, it also offers great rewards.

Debunking the Myths
Myth #1: Adoption Takes Forever

It is true that the adoption process can be tedious. Certain steps must be followed, paperwork must be gathered, and then there is the waiting. It is not true, however, that adoption has to take years and years. Adoption is a journey of faith that can be completed in the relatively short time of a few weeks (although this is not typical), or the journey may take as long as several years. The thing to keep in mind is that most people who set out to adopt, and who meet the criteria to adopt, do finalize adoptions. The time required to adopt a child depends largely on how assertive those who want to adopt are, how quickly they get their paperwork and home study done, and whether or not they want to adopt only a non-special-needs, nonminority newborn. Most agencies estimate that the average adoption process takes ten to eighteen months to complete and can vary greatly from domestic to international and from country to country.

"When you view adoption as fulfilling God's plan, the time becomes less important," says Kristine Faasse, licensed social worker and national adoption consultant for Bethany Christian Services. "I just talked to a family not long ago who waited a long time. I ran into them at an event and asked how it was going. The mom said, 'You know, you told us there was a reason why we waited and waited. Now we know what you meant -- because this is the child who was meant to be ours.' I could tell you hundreds of those stories, and they all give me goose bumps. God has the right child for adoptive families in the right time."

For adoptive parents who do their part quickly and efficiently and who are open to different options, adoption can take place very quickly. Some friends in Texas experienced infertility and decided to go through the adoption process to create their forever family. They adopted a baby boy domestically after a wait of nearly a year, and when he was three they decided to try to adopt again. Within days of putting their profile on the agency's Web site, the couple was matched with a birthmother. They brought home their daughter just a couple of weeks later.

For other couples who adopt domestically, the wait can be longer. A couple in Florida had no difficulty adopting their first son seven years ago using an adoption attorney and agency. However, when they tried to expand their family five years later, it took two and a half years and several disappointments before they brought home their second son. As they gazed at their infant son, this couple is quick to say that the wait was worth it.

 Adopting internationally varies in wait time, with the average adoption taking six to eighteen months for Eastern European countries, Russia, and Asian countries and sometimes fewer than six months for some South American adoptions. If couples are willing to take an international child with special needs, the wait can be shortened to just a few months from the time they first fill out an agency application to their Gotcha Day, the day they are united with their child.

If adopting parents choose to adopt from foster care and are willing to become licensed as foster-care parents, a child can be placed with them almost immediately after the several-week licensing process is completed, with plans underway for adoption to make the placement permanent if the child becomes legally available.