"When I Knew I Was Ready"

It's hard to pinpoint the exact moment when you'll know that you're finally ready to adopt. For me, when it came down to the wire, I knew.

A mother and her new baby, after deciding she was ready to adopt

“When did you know you were ready to stop infertility treatments and pursue adoption?”

“So, how does it feel to be sure you want to do the adoption thing?”

“How will I know I’m ready to adopt?”

“When did you know?”

Yep. I’ve heard all that. I’ve probably said all that.

To be honest, I don’t think you have to be 100-percent ready to embrace the reality of adoption to get started on the process. Adoption doesn’t need to be your final answer just because you have filled out some paperwork. You shouldn’t be worried if, when you sit through adoption education classes at the agency you’ve chosen, you’re still having doubts. Don’t be scared if you have a hard time letting your social worker actually take the family profile book you created out of your hands.

Are we ever really 100-percent ready to do BIG things? Are the stars ever aligned and perfectly in place? No, there are usually some lingering doubts. That doesn’t mean we don’t do those things. We do them because we’ve weighed the pros and cons of the situation. We do them because we know we want the end result, even if the path is scary.

So when people ask me, “When did you know? Was it when you wrote that first check?” I say, “No.”

“Was it when you got your fingerprints taken?”

“Not then,” I reply.

“For sure, then, when you filled out all the paperwork?”

“Not even then.”

“How about when you mailed it in?”

“I was getting closer, but I still wasn’t all the way there,” I admit.

Even after my husband, Chris, and I turned in the last piece of paper our agency needed to put us on the official waiting list, I thought to myself, “I don’t think I can do this.”

So, when did I know? I knew when I met Georgia’s birth parents. When our social worker opened the door to the room where we’d attended all of our adoption education classes — the classes that made me ask myself whether adoption was for me more than anything else I encountered during the process — but now I saw them sitting at that table, I knew. I knew I was ready to pursue adoption. I didn’t have a doubt left in my body.

So, it’s OK not to know. When you absolutely need to know, you will.

Don’t let the logical need of having to be “sure” stop you from pursuing something that could be the best decision of your life. If you know where you want to be, and there is a road that will take you there, even a dark and twisting road, get on it. You’ll have enough light to get to the next turn. And one day, you’ll turn a corner and you’ll be in a parking lot full of floodlights and street lamps and huge, blinking signs that say, “You made it.” Then you’ll know.

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