We all have goals, whether we know it or not. We have goals to save for the future or to travel, to buy a home or a new car, or to purchase items we need and want to make our lives more enjoyable. And the majority of us want to start a family.
An important distinction common to those who succeed at adoption is that they are very intentional in their steps and focused on their goal. Many prospective adoptive parents look and fantasize about adopting but do little to move past that point. While it is advisable to do research before moving on to adopt, there are many who don’t move any further to complete what they have started. Fear is often the culprit.
Successful adoptive parents know that timing, planning, and dedication to completing their adoption goal can make its achievement much easier and smoother. As with any goal, there are basic steps that must be taken to attain the desired end result. Those who have gone before know it takes time and patience and following a concise plan to realize adoption success.
Here are 10 important steps toward a :
1. Reachable goals are SPECIFIC.
To reach your goal of a successful adoption, your brain must know exactly, and precisely, what you are trying to accomplish. Never state your goal with vague terms like “some day I would like to be an adoptive parent” or “in the future I will be an adoptive parent” or “maybe we will have a successful adoption.” Be specific! If you want to complete and adoption of a newborn within two years, then specify those exact details. If you want to find an adoption professional this month and start the process, be exact. Your brain can help you accomplish almost anything if it knows precisely what you are aiming for.
2. Reachable goals are SIMPLE.
Many people describe their adoption goals in ideals that are complex and may conflict with each other, i.e., we want a child from our surrounding area who looks like us and is born in the summer when school is out and of a birth mother with no expenses and… The list goes on and on. Any one of those things is a great goal, but the combination becomes overwhelming, difficult, and the brain gets confused. If you want to become an adoptive parent of a healthy infant, just say so! If you want to keep birth mother expenses under $1,000, say so! Keep your goals simple, clear, and focused.
3. Reachable goals are SIGNIFICANT.
No one can muster the enthusiasm, hard work and courage to go forth in adoption if they don’t want to adopt 100%. A successful adoption goal is one you really, really want! It’s something that will change your life, enhance your family, and fulfill you. It gets your energy flowing, gets you up in the morning, and keeps you going all day long, because it is important! Set adoption goals you feel are worth achieving! If your spouse is not ready to for an adoption, the chances of success are reduced and it is not fair to bring a child into a family that is not completely devoted to adoption and raising this child.
4. Reachable goals are DELIBERATE.
To become a successful adoptive parent you will need to know that the best goals accomplish many great benefits, all at one time. Adopting will almost certainly: (1) Feel great! (2) Be the start of completing your family; (3) Enhance your life forever; (4) Provide opportunity to share the love you have with a child; (5) Add a new member to your family; (6) Build patience; (7) Cause you to view parenting in a new light.
Take the time to describe how adoption will impact the many areas of your life. You’ll have more reasons to move forward toward your goal and more excitement when you do!
5. Your adoption goals must be reachable and MEASURABLE.
A goal without a measurable outcome is just a pipe dream. You can’t achieve a pound of “happiness” but you can become a parent. If you call adoption professionals every day for a year for information or attend weekly support meetings religiously but you don’t apply some of what you have learned, you will not get anywhere in your adoption. Someone has wisely observed that, “What gets measured, gets done.” Define your goals in terms of time, expense, and time willing to dedicate to the process. Then measure your progress until you achieve your desired outcome.
6. Reachable goals are REALISTIC.
To reach your goal, you will need an adoption plan, a path, and a vehicle for getting there. Your goals must make sense! When you explain them to friends and family, your goals should create excitement and draw support and encouragement. Your goals should be just out of reach, but not out of sight! You want to stretch to be your best, not strain after impossible dreams. Set realistic goals you can and will achieve if you stick with it! More families fall short of this one secret, that is, don’t give up and don’t slack off in what you need to do to reach your goal.
7. Reachable goals are TANGIBLE.
You need to be able to imagine seeing, hearing, smelling, and holding your child. Go for things you know are realistic and that you can clearly visualize. The brain has a hard time going for “someday we will adopt a child,” but it can visualize a healthy child under 12 months old! Define your goals in terms that excite the senses, and then go for it with all your heart!
8. Reachable goals are WRITTEN.
To become a successful adoptive parent you need to know precisely what you want because you’ve written it down. Often, the adoptive parent will write a short description of their goals every single morning, as a personal reminder of their priorities and their objectives. They do what they must each day to achieve this goal, such as working on their adoption profile, filling out their home study paperwork or making the doctors’ appointments for physicals. The act of writing down your adoption goals vastly increases your chance of doing what is necessary to move closer to your successful adoption. Write it down! Then keep your notes where you can see and read them every day, and take a step closer to that goal of a successful adoption.
9. Reachable goals are SHARED.
We are far more likely to stick to our adoption plan of becoming an adoptive parent and reach our goal if we know our friends and family support us and our plan of a successful adoption. Being part of a group of people with the same goal increases our determination, our stamina, and our courage to keep going. Caution: Never share your goals with anyone who may ridicule, belittle, or discourage you from a successful adoption! The world is full of doubters and you have no time for them. Find an adoption support group, a group of successful adoptive parents and others who have succeeded and who will encourage you every step of the way. Successful adoption professionals and adoptive parents count on and confide with others who have the same goal! Too often family members are unfamiliar with the way adoption usually is conducted today and have only been educated by the media and the fear of adoption. The truth is that the majority of adoptions go through without incident or problems.
10. Reachable adoptive parent goals are CONSISTENT WITH YOUR VALUES.
One of the biggest reasons people fail to achieve their adoption goals is that they have conflict between what is valuable to them and what is realistic. Do they perceive adoption as rescuing a poor child or as a gift from one person to another? Is a child not of your body as valuable in your mind as a biological child? Whenever your values and your goals are in agreement, there is no stopping you! Clarify your values first, and then set simple, specific, measurable, tangible, written goals that are consistent with those values. You will achieve adoption success, every single time! Don’t give up, and remember… there is a child for you!