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Supporting Adoptive Families – After the Referral

This is my second post in my Supporting Adoptive Families series, you can check out the other posts from the series:

You’ve been supportive after the adoption announcement, you’ve stuck by their sides while they went through the antagonizing wait, and now they have a referral! You know a few details about the child but how can you support an adoptive family now?


Definitely ask lots of questions. Every agency and country is different but you could ask:
* when do you get to travel and pick him/her up?
* how long do you have to stay?
* where in the country do you travel to?
* what is the process like when you are in country?

We are proud parents and want to show our children off! Most countries and agencies don’t allow photos of the child to be posted publicly until the family passes court but you bet they want to show the photos when you see them in person! And sometimes we get updated photos so definitely ask if we have a new photo to share.

Hearing they got a referral is like hearing a child has been born. I don’t know about you but one of the first times I see my friends after they’ve had a new baby, I give them a gift (I say one of the first because I am a forgetful person, chances are that gift was left by the door for a few days before I remembered to grab it), adoption referrals are no different. Plus, if they are anything like us they’ve been saving for the past few years just to afford the adoption and now that they have a referral they have another child to clothe and raise, and quite possibly the opposite gender of all the clothes they’ve been saving for the last 4 years (ah, such is life).

Just after our referral a sweet friend who I had only chatted to online up until that point offered us a bunch of her sons hand-me-downs which was such a sweet and supportive gesture and truly meant a lot to us.

Ugh, this is honestly the hardest for us, believe me, even if it doesn’t seem like it, we hate asking for money. But the truth is we’ve spent the last three years doing every thing we can think of to raise some extra cash, have contributed over $30,000 of our own money and it still doesn’t cover the expenses. And after the referral the agency, travel and accommodation fees can all get a little overwhelming, even without throwing the fact that we have to fly close to Christmas, the most expensive time of the year.

If they have biologically or previously adopted children offer to watch them for an evening so mom and dad can go out on an actual date before life gets a bit crazy.

Offer to help out while they are travelling, maybe house sitting, watching pets, watering flowers, shoveling the snow off the driveway . . .

Every family is going to be different but everyone wants to be welcomed home in some way or another. For many people it’s an airport welcoming (but please respect the family if they don’t want too many people at the airport). If the family is up for having people welcome them at the airport do it, and keep in mind that this might be the last time you see them for a little while and it’s not because they are trying to hide their children from you but because they’ve got some bonding to do with their new family (more on that in the next section).

Just keep praying, every step of the way. They need your prayers.

Check out the other posts in this series:

For those of you who have been through this stage,
what would you add to this list?

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