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Before We Adopt, What's the Biggest Question We Need to Answer?

Bri Stensrud

"You know, when you're considering adoption or considering being a foster home or foster parent, I think one of the things that you've got to keep in your mind is that no child should be put in the position to fulfill a need for you. It's a bit of a paradigm shift when you walk into the adoption process about you are gifting your family to a child. Your family is not getting a child. It's very different.

You walk in, you have this need. A lot of families who are entering the adoption space are wanting to fill a void or they're so desperately wanting to be moms and dads or parents that they are seeking a child to fill something for them. They're gonna be sorely disappointed when that child doesn't meet expectations or there's complications that they don't anticipate.

Also, as you enter in, I think a lot of people enter into adoption as, 'Well, fertility didn't work for us so now we're entering the adoption space.' Okay. But that paradigm then is, 'That child needs to fulfill something in our family.' We really need to shift that around and think, 'Okay, I'm gonna gift my family to a child.' Then what does that look like and how does that shape how we move out?

Then you have the whole other end of the spectrum where churches are really doing a great job of advocating for adoption. You have all these families that are going out and adopting and 'We're gonna do this,' and then you bring the child home and that's actually the real start of the journey. It's not the fundraising. It's not the getting matched and the whole home study. It's you're needing support when they come home.

What's really been very telling is all of these Christian families are going out and adopting, but then there's a lack of post-adopt support. We've got this anemic system that we're asking people to walk into. I think it's critical that you evaluate and get together your support system after you adopt. Post-adopt support is really important.

If you're in a church that's really promoting adoption, I think that's beautiful and wonderful and it's biblical. We need to do it. But we're doing a complete disservice to all of our families that are going out and doing this if we don't think about the post-adopt support on the backend for those families."

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