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Why Resolving to Adopt is a Bad Idea

Every year I hear it and I cringe just a little. I see a Facebook status that goes something like "Our New Year's resolution for 2018? To ADOPT!!!!!" or something similar. I get it, maybe you were disappointed that you didn't manage to have a baby last year, or you have been homestudy ready with no success for a long time. Inevitably, going through the holidays without that child you have been longing for brings lots of emotions bubbling to the surface and you can't face the thought of another holiday season like that. This is completely natural, by the way, and don't assume that you shouldn't be feeling what you feel - ever. 

But here's the thing - you can't really "resolve" to adopt. It can be a goal, but not a resolution. Making adoption your resolution assumes that you can make it happen by force, generally sheer force of will. Believe me, if you don't think forcing adoption is a bad thing you need to either educate yourself on the history of adoption or check your motivations. Resolving to adopt is like resolving to find your soul mate, it is generally something out of your control, and often putting a timeline on it leads you to accepting situations and circumstances that really aren't right for you - much like resolving to find that soul mate. There is no relationship that you can resolve to have, and if you force it, I guarantee it won't be the relationship you really set off to find. As we frequently counsel our adoptive parents, this is one more thing that is out of your control, and that really stinks, but it is a reality you have to accept if you want to move forward. 

And while you never like to be a pessimist, what will happen if you don't adopt successfully in 2018? If it's a resolution - something completely under your control to make happen - that leaves you responsible for your failure. Now, maybe you are, I've seen all kinds of crazy self sabotaging stuff, but typically an adoption doesn't happen and it's no one's fault. This is also out of your control, and also stinks. For whatever reason an adoption situation didn't come your way that matches your parenting skill set, or it did and you weren't chosen for it. Guess what, there isn't anything you can do about that. Maybe the expectant mom was looking for a different type of family, or maybe she had several families that were similar and it came down to minutiae. Either way, you can't resolve to make someone choose you, whether it's a soul mate or an expectant mom. 

So, what CAN you do to further your adoption possibilities in 2018? First, acknowledge that it is a goal, not a resolution, and rather than treating adoption like it's losing that last ten pounds come up with a strategy to position yourself better when it comes to adoption. Make a list of actionable steps you can take and then complete them.

You could:

So what are you doing in 2018 to make your adoption dreams come closer to being reality? Please share in the comments!