No, I do not become discouraged. You see, God has not called me to a ministry of success. He has called me to a ministry of mercy.—Mother Teresa, when asked if she ever grew fainthearted while working among the poor.
Discouragement is one of the biggest challenges you have to face when you choose to adopt a child. While the adoption process can be exciting and you may be eager to become a parent, the reality is that the journey can be tough and challenging. But if you believe God has called you to adopt and you trust Him to lead you to your child, you can overcome any difficulty that comes your way. Apart from seeking guidance from God, it is important that you are aware of some of the common challenges that prospective parents face during the adoption process.
Some of them are given below for your benefit:
- The birth mother may change her mind at the very last minute. You must understand that adoption is from the heart and it can be traumatic for a woman to give up her baby to another family. Occasionally, birth mothers may be overwhelmed by emotions and refuse to go through with the adoption plan. This is the time for you to pray for God to work His perfect will for you and the baby. Pray for the birth parents too!
- Your spouse may have a change of heart. It is possible that your spouse may refuse to go through with the adoption plan at the last minute. Please understand that you cannot force your spouse to be a parent. You must have a healthy marriage before you try to become a parent. Lean on God for support and ask Him to show you how to deal with your spouse’s change of heart and your frustration.
- Unexpected medical challenges or special needs for the child may derail an adoption plan. Sometimes prospective couples may find that they have to deal with more difficulties than they signed up for – the child may need a lot of medical treatments or may be one who has special needs.
- International adoptions are fraught with challenges. You may have to deal with the unexpected situations, such as finding the child mentally or physically challenged.
Whatever be the challenge, you can be mentally and spiritually prepared for it. Educate yourself on the adoption process so that you are better equipped to deal with tough situations. Engage experienced adoption professionals to meet your adoption needs. Do your research when you opt for international adoptions and ensure that you are working with qualified and legitimate adoption agencies that are authorized to facilitate international adoptions. And through it all, stay in touch with God for He is the only One who can protect you and give you the guidance you need to make the right decisions.
Robert J. Morgan, Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes, electronic ed., 225 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000).