The adoption journey is emotional, nerve-wracking and irritating at times with all that paperwork! Finding ways to support your friend going through adoption will help her through this roller coaster journey and she will be forever grateful.
I like to think of the adoption process in four main stages, each with a new world of emotions.
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This is a very basic overview of what your friend is going through during her adoption journey, either with her partner or on her own. At each stage of adoption, there are different emotions running and different ways you can help her through it.
Be there for her while she and her partner reconcile with their infertility and begin to research adoption. Listen to her woes, her questions and her pains. Remind her constantly of the positive actions she is taking for her future.
Ugh. Paperwork. The most irritating part of the adoption process. Your friend may be non-existent while she spends the time filling out everything. Be understanding of her absence. Additionally, you can offer to write a referral for her home study.
Nerves are high and she is probably going through many of the mood swings that pregnant women have. Help her relax during this stage by going out for lunch or dinner, booking a day at the spa, going to the gym with her or whatever activity you know will relax her.
Once she is matched with a birth mom, treat her like any other expecting mom. If she’s OK with it, tell everyone that she is expecting. Figure out if she wants a baby shower and, if so, throw it for her. Help her with anything she needs to get ready for the baby, including watching her pets or house sitting while she spends time at the hospital, whether it's local or out-of-state.
How you can support her after she brings the baby home is the same as any other new parent. Don't invade her privacy by going over the day she is home with the baby to hold and coo to it. Often parents want time alone with their adopted baby to bond.
However, I bet your friend is overwhelmed with chores. Take the liberty of going over to her house with her favorite take-out or a homemade special dinner that will last as leftovers. While you are there, clean and do laundry for her, or offer to take care of the baby while she showers and has me-time.
Just making the effort to understand the ways in which her situation is different from as well as the ways it's the same as that of a pregnant woman, and supporting her throughout the entire process will be more appreciated than you can realize.
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