Advice from Adoption VeteransAdvice from Adoption Veterans

This week, adoption veterans have advice and encouragement for getting through the pre-activation stage of adoption. Even though it might feel like you’re buried under paperwork, take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone!  

“The volume of paperwork is daunting, but I think it’s very necessary. It demonstrates your genuine desire and that you’re willing to persevere.” -Linda

“When I first saw the questionnaire, it about made my head explode, and I had to put it away. I couldn’t look at the whole thing in one sitting. It’s questions that you never considered before. The more you talk to people, and the more we learned and went along, to reduce our wait time, we wanted to be more and more open. And we realized that we were open to more than we thought we originally were. The wait kind of helped to think about it a little more.” -Jim

“It felt a little overwhelming, just kind of daunting at how much there was to do. But we kind of took it one step at a time. They said, try to start with the home study first. So we got that process started, and then you  know, we did the finger printing. I just kind of tried to separate each step in my head on its own so that it didn’t seem all at once. And then once we got through that, it was a really good feeling that we had put all that together.” -Diane

“The way I started looking at it was, if American Adoptions called me today and said I could come pick up this baby, under what circumstances would I give the baby back, And I realized that there were quite a lot of instances that I would feel comfortable keeping the baby.” -Kelly

“Everything was so– I don’t want to say easy– but it was so nice to know that we had three people right there.” -Ashley (on her home study worker, Adoptive Family Coordinator and Adoptive Family Specialist)

“The APQ was amazing. It was such a good tool. It was cumbersome and kind of annoying to do it because it was like, gosh, how many questions are they going to ask? But it really narrowed things down. I really enjoyed it.” -Robin

“Talk about the tough issues and about how you would handle certain situations. Be honest in your APQ about your comfort levels with race, drug exposure, medical history and budget. We knew when we turned in our APQ that we would be fine with any match that we were called with based on our answers in our APQ. Then finally try to relax and enjoy the process that will make you parents.” -Faith

“With infertility treatments, we felt we weren’t in control of anything and whether it was going to work. On the other hand, when making our Adoptive Family Profile, we felt like we actually had control of something. We really wanted to show everything about us, take the best pictures, and show what our life was really like.” -Anne

“Save everything you do for your adoption: the APQ, profile, pictures ect to put in your future son or daughter’s scrapbook. These are all important steps you will take and will want to remember. I had a lot of fun doing this and will share it with my son when he’s older!” -Ashley

“Don’t fret about the paper work, but make sure to complete it in a timely manner. Be honest and open when it comes to filling out the APQ.” -Holly

“It’s a lot of work to remember all the addresses you’ve lived at for the past 10 years [for your home study].  An easy way to find all these addresses is your credit report! Your credit report will have a list of all your past addresses for a long time.” -Sarah

“Know there are going to be some down days… Just do something each day. I would do something each day toward the adoption, even if it was just filling out one form. Just do little by little so that you don’t get burned out.” -Robin

“For getting through the print and video profiles, just be yourself!  We all get nervous to write about who we are and what we wish for the future and especially to videotape ourselves!  Try to have fun and remember to be yourself- that’s who a birth parent wants to see!  We all have things that make us, our family and situations special- embrace those and let them shine through!  Bring the video camera everywhere you go, and treat it like you are capturing home movies!  Have fun with it!” -Lisa

“Get a receipt.” -Jeff

That last one is short, but true. It’s always a good idea to make sure you get financial records during each step of the adoption process! For more advice, check out American Adoptions employee and adoptive mother Jenny’s post on adoption paperwork!

What’s some of your best advice for getting through home studies, profiles and all the paperwork involved in adoption?