Adoption is always a leap of faith. There is the leap of not truly knowing what your child will be like, how their personality will mesh with other family members. There is the leap of committing to a child with limited information on their health and development. And since the Department of State shared new interpretation of regulations in 2018, for families who hope to adopt a waiting child it means the leap of completing a home study; investing time, energy, and money, not to mention their hearts, before they can be matched to that child, not knowing if that child will still be waiting when their home study is done.
Since this change, international adoption numbers have dropped, particularly for waiting children. Families are still interested in adoption, and inquire about waiting children, but fear holds them back from beginning the adoption process because they worry “What if that child isn’t available when my home study is done?”
We understand this fear -it’s no small endeavor to complete a home study, and becoming attached to a child only to be unable to bring them home is heartbreaking. However, we see the other side too: the children who still wait. The numbers aren’t going down. 3387 children currently wait on China’s shared list. Over 300 children on the current waiting list for the Philippines. Hundreds more wait in Colombia, Bulgaria, and the Dominican Republic. We worry- who will take the leap for them?
That’s why we’re so happy to share that in 2019, all eligible families who applied hoping to adopt a specific waiting child were matched with that child once their homestudy was done.
Why do we share this? Because we want to remind families that it’s entirely possible that the child who is tugging on your heart will still be waiting three or four months from now, when you could have a home study complete.
“ We hadn’t even started our home study and were actually told that there was a 95% chance that she’d be matched with someone else before we were able to complete our HS. Instead of discouraging us from getting started because someone else would probably lock her file first, that statement actually ignited the fire in me.”
No, there are no guarantees you will be matched with that child, but when has adoption ever been a guarantee? More importantly, if you don’t take that leap and start the home study for that child- will anyone? Or will that child continue to wait indefinitely, aging out of eligibility for adoption as too many do?
“When the thought of someone else being matched with her before we could be literally brought me to tears, I knew we needed to go for her. I told myself that if she was matched with someone else then she wasn’t meant to be our daughter. But I also couldn’t take the chance of waiting until we planned on starting and losing precious months with her if she were still waiting when our “time was right”.”
So if you’ve been watching a waiting child, and haven’t started your home study because you’re afraid- take the leap. Don’t let fear hold you back from giving a child a chance for a family, and your family the chance for the joy of a new child. Make 2020 the year we get to share that MORE waiting kids were matched than in 2019.
Lastly, from a mom who didn’t get to adopt the first child she set out to adopt, let me just say this: if the “worst” happens, and you don’t adopt that child you hope to, once you’re home with the child you do adopt, you won’t be able to imagine any other child in your family. However it ends up, it will all be worth it- so take the leap.
Thousands of children around the world continue to wait for the love and permanency of a family. Email firstname.lastname@example.org today to learn more about the children who are waiting for you.