It’s hard to imagine what your life will look like once you adopt a child. The process of adoption is not always easy, but it can be such an incredible journey.
Just like with a biological child, adoptive children will change your life in wonderful and unimaginable ways. It can be one of the most significant and rewarding things you’ll ever do in your lifetime. Here are 8 ways adopting a child will change your life.
Mindset: Perspective, Outlook & Character
Children will change your outlook on life. Both before, as a prospective parent, and after you adopt, they will make you look at the world in a way you never looked at it before. You’ll see all the beauty and potential in everything around you. And they will help you see yourself with fresh eyes too. Through caring for your child, you’ll learn how important it is to be mindful of others’ feelings and needs. You’ll develop patience, empathy, and humility as your child teaches you how to love someone unconditionally, something you may not have understood so deeply without their presence in your life.
Often, this newfound perspective and appreciation for greater selflessness will carry over into other areas and other relationships. You may find that you have more patience for others, that you’re quicker to forgive the faults and mistakes of those around you, and see more clearly the unique traits of others.
What all of this means is that adopting a child often leads to greater character. The choice to take on the responsibility of raising a child often heightens our sense of self-discipline. We desire to work harder for our growing family, invest more wisely and more strategically to maximize the potential of long-term provision for those we love, and we feel a new sense of purpose in all we do.
A new child can sometimes help us get rid of limiting beliefs and poor habits as well. Knowing that we are responsible for their upbringing and maturation, we may find ourselves more dedicated to overcoming personal addictions, spending more time with better people, and finally consider engaging in professional counseling so we can grow as individuals even as our children do. Caring for an adopted child can call on qualities that were previously unknown or unused inside of us, making us better people.
This goes for anyone who decides to raise a child, but adopting a child will change the way you value and use your time. You’ll have to make adjustments in your life to get the most out of this new addition to the family. You may have less time for personal hobbies and other activities as you prioritize your children and family more. While some of this may frustrate you, you’ll find tremendous satisfaction knowing that you’re pouring greater effort into the young lives that need you the most. After a while, you’ll learn how to organize your schedule with greater precision so that you can still create patterns and healthy habits where work, home, and personal pursuits all have a place in your life.
For a season, most new parents tend to get less sleep. New babies need a lot of attention. They sleep odd hours, wake often, need to eat several times a day, require changing and cleaning and in general, a lot of your time and affection. Unlike with some other things in life, greater time and responsibility in parenting also means greater satisfaction and joy. You will need to reorganize some of your habits. But the incredible benefits that come with family intimacy, the exploration of a child’s journey, and the mutual love shared with each other, far outweigh any sacrifices made.
Adoption affects marriages in several ways, some difficult, and many positively. There are difficulties to navigate, to be sure. Adoption can strain parents, physically, mentally, and emotionally. The time and effort needed for good parenting often mean less time one-on-one with each other. Resources become even more of a concern. There may be greater stress and conflict around the need for more income, better budgeting and more savings. The two of you may disagree on what to prioritize, where spending could most effectively be changed and what investments are worthy of your attention.
The two of you may sometimes disagree on what direction to take in specific matters of parenting, like in schooling, discipline, your child’s activities, healthcare and other matters. It may become more imperative to focus on and schedule time for regular talks since there are fewer opportunities that happen naturally. However, with the right outlook and consistent communication, you should be able not only to develop healthy exchanges about important subjects but find that your efforts in parenting and with one another are continually bringing you closer.
On the other side of things, raising children often engenders greater affection between you and your partner. The shared trials and joys of caring for your little one together enable you to see yourselves more completely. The experience allows you to take on new challenges, not only in parenting, but in other areas, as you witness your successes together take shape.
Sharing the load of caring for your adopted child teaches you to be more giving with one another and more appreciative of each other’s sacrifices. And the love shared between all of you will grow in depth as time passes.
Many couples who are considering adoption wonder if adopting a child will change the intimacy in their marriage. There are some common misconceptions about intimacy, but the truth is intimacy can be enhanced by adopting a child.
A child will change your life in so many ways, not just by providing you with love and companionship, but also by turning your world upside down and inside out – for the better! Still, raising any child requires couples to explore new territory with one another. During certain seasons, the requirements of parenting can drain some of the energy and vibrancy out of your physical and emotional intimacy.
During these times, it becomes even more imperative to remain open and vulnerable with each other and to seek meaningful communication about every aspect of life, especially your intimacy. After all, your affection and closeness with each other affects how your children interpret and externalize intimacy and physical and emotional affection in their own life and relationships. The more kind, tender, supportive, and interested in one another you are, the more these positive traits will be adopted by your child.
Often, finding a professional marriage counselor is a great plan. And not just after conflicts arise. Preempting these by choosing to find counsel, even while things are going smoothly, is very wise. It allows you to develop a greater understanding of yourselves, one another, and your children, while building greater communication and mutual problem-solving tools for anything that might arise. Physical and emotional intimacy between the two of you will certainly be tested. But over time, the act of raising your child together can strengthen your bond.
Adoption will also affect the rest of your family. Grandparents will want to develop close bonds with your adopted child, helping them feel like a natural part of the family.. Aunts, uncles, and cousins have their own expectations and hopes. It can be both rewarding and difficult. Sometimes, these individual expectations can create conflict. Everyone may have a different idea about how you should raise your child. It’s important to remember that even while a multitude of counsel can be a smart choice, you are still the parent in the end. Your child’s upbringing is your responsibility.
Adoption is exciting for everyone. Your family grows. Other relatives can experience the satisfaction of helping you during this time and loving your child as the child grows year after year. Adoption should be a source of significant meaning, and a gateway for each member of the family to better understand each other and experience the many joys of a new child.
One of the best things about adopting a child is that you will instantly have support from other families who care about you. Time and time again, adoptive parents speak about how their family and friends were there for them during the adoption process. When you adopt, you’ll be able to rely on your friends and family members to help celebrate this new chapter in your life.
Friends are often a unique source of support, able to encourage you and to help with some of the ups and downs of raising a child. With a good friend, you’ve got an occasional babysitter, someone who can run errands for you when you’re caught up in something else with your kid, a trusted source of counsel, and one who can pull you away for some healthy distraction and personal time when things seem overwhelming.
As with every other aspect of life, adoption will affect your professional life. Because of the time and energy it takes to care for a child, it is natural for there to be a period of adjustment. In addition to maternity and paternity leave, one or both parents may need to make changes to their work schedule for a while, sometimes indefinitely. The key is to communicate beforehand, to share exactly what you’re feeling and thinking about your careers and the expectations each person has for the future. Then work with one another on a plan for the months and years that follow.
It may also be necessary to have certain conversations with your employer. Parenting requires a great deal from us, doctor’s appointments, dentists, schooling needs, sporting events, dance, art, gymnastics, music lessons or any of the other innumerable activities our children will take part in. It will help to share any special scheduling requests with your place of work as early as possible. Sometimes, requests just can’t be honored. At this point, it is important for you to find compromises with your spouse and help from friends and family with errands, rides, and other activities.
You will also find that work from home will have new surprises, mostly good though. You may be drawn away more often to tend to your young one’s needs. But you’ll also experience the joy of playful interruptions by a bright and curious child looking to spend more time with you.
Work with each member of your family to agree on schedules and chores and to protect quiet time in your office for work. Getting each person involved can ease stress and help everyone be a vital part of loving and looking after your wonderful adopted child.
Goals & Priorities
Adopting a child has a way of both focusing and reorganizing our goals and priorities in life. As our love for our child grows, we find that things we thought were important begin to diminish, while other things start to rise to the surface. We may find ourselves laying aside certain habits to focus on a few specific things that carry more value.
We grow in experience and wisdom through parenting. Adoption opens our hearts to a new sense of acceptance, compassion, and generosity. It sharpens our resolve, refines our worldview, and pushes aside superfluous patterns, leaving room for us to fill this space with the pursuit of more meaningful endeavors.
On the practical side, our financial goals often change. We may finally take savings and investment seriously. We may want to buy a house to provide better for our child, or pursue new study or training so that we can change jobs and increase our income. Whatever the changes, you can be sure that walking through adoption will open up a flood of new emotions, desires, and dreams.
Adopting a child is an incredible experience. While it will require you to make changes and compromises that take some time getting used to; more than this, it causes us to grow. It widens our heart, opens our mind, helps us focus on the things and people that matter most to us, and holds the potential to change us positively in ways we never could have imagined.
Torrone Law is your ideal family law partner. We are here to help you navigate your adoption with greater understanding and ease. Connect with us today to begin your journey.
For quick answers about adoption, check out our frequently asked questions below.
What are some challenges with adoption?
That’s a big question. The journey of adopting a child is unique to each family. But certainly, the process of adopting a child can be lengthy and take considerable legal counsel and financial and personal preparation. Other common concerns include a shift in relationship and personal priorities and schedules, a need for better communication between spouses and other family members, less sleep, a reorganization of daily and weekly patterns, and the desire for more resources to care for your child.
What are some benefits of adoption?
Adoption is an incredibly positive experience, one with the capacity to change your life forever. Raising a child expands your compassion, your generosity, and your personal character. Parents find greater patience, a renewed desire for intimacy with others, a dedication to find better ways to provide for their loved ones, and a hopeful outlook on life.
What can I do to prepare for adoption?
The best place to start is by contacting a trusted adoption agency, or a few organizations with superb reputations in the field, a good family law attorney or firm, and a trusted family counselor. Each one will play a role in preparing you personally, practically, and legally for the road ahead. It will bring confidence, clarity, and health in this important season, and help you maintain a positive attitude. You can also grab a few excellent books from noteworthy psychologists and experienced parents. Many of these provide helpful advice, a list of needed items for your young one, tips for parents, and ways to prepare everyone involved.
It is a good time to open greater dialogue with family and friends about your desire to adopt. The earlier you can gain support, the better off you’ll be when your child arrives. Take time to decide on your family’s highest priorities. Discuss how you want to raise your child, what kind of schools you prefer, family diet, what each of your work schedules will look like, your medical care priorities, and how you might better utilize your resources to care for your expanding family.