The 3 Simple Words I Tell Waiting Adoptive Parents Who Feel Like Quitting

This guest post is by Tami, an adoptive mother. 

A few years ago I was just like you. I was waiting to adopt.

More than anything else in the world I wanted to become a mother. But every day a new problem would come up, and I started to doubt it would ever happen.

Eventually it got so bad that I was ready to quit.

And while I don’t know your particular circumstances or the challenges you’re facing, I’m happy to say that I made it through.

And I know you can too.

Adoption WILL work if you DON’T give up. Those three simple words—Don’t Give Up—have been my motto.

Four years and two months—that’s how long it took my husband and I to get our precious son.

And we were fairly wide open in regards to preferences. The child’s race, age, religion and ethnicity–it really didn’t matter to us.

In fact, multiple agencies told us we would be “early to match” because we were so flexible. And yet nothing about waiting those four years and two months was “early” or easy for us.


We endured a sudden illness/emergency surgery and had four weeks without work.

There was the loss of job due to unethical practices by my employers.

We had to relocate and leave behind the friends and family we loved.

We had to a sell our house. Buy a new one. Get a new job. Find a new social worker. The list goes on and on.

Not to mention, we had to deal with a failed adoption.

That experience in particular was devastating.  We were matched on my birthday and had known the birthmother for two months.

We drove 24 hours to meet her and the boy we thought was our son, and instantly fell in love with him.

But one hour before the consents were to be signed, she  changed her mind. Later, we discovered she had been doing drugs, and had completely lied to us, but we still would have wanted him.

We felt so betrayed that we didn’t think we could go through it again. It took us three months to feel like we could trust again.

Our multiple losses were unbearable. I sought grief counseling because I didn’t think I could cope. And I was right. I couldn’t.

And yet through it all, I kept coming back to those three simple words: Don’t Give Up.

Our families and friends, they had other ideas. They gave up on us waiting. They gave up on us hoping. They were upset that we didn’t quit.

But those three words kept me going.

I should have mentioned earlier that I’m also stubborn, motivated, and don’t like to fail. That kept me going too.

Then, one day, a miracle happened. Three months after the child from our failed adoption was born, our son was born and placed with us.

Our son is not what we expected, but we couldn’t be happier!

Even though we were working with a multicultural agency, the boy we were placed with is caucasian, like us. It’s not better or worse. It’s just not something we were expecting.

And we have a very nice open relationship with his birthparents. I would have never thought we could have such similarities with them.

Our son’s birthmom is very determined, analytical, methodical, and had lists of questions, just the same way I would have had if I had been in her situation.

We also have similar interests in nature, pets, and religion. Even our hair colour and height  are very similar! God works in mysterious and unexpected ways.

At grief counseling I learned about “self care” — the importance of nurturing your heart and soul. You need to do things to take care of yourself and that you enjoy doing.

It didn’t make me instantly happy or take away the hurt, but it made me see that I needed to expand what makes me happy and not focus exclusively on becoming a mother.

We had put all our money, energy and emotions into our adoption. More than four years ago, I came online looking for hope and now that I found it, I want to help others.

Blessings to all of you who are waiting. Great things come to those who wait. Just remember those three simple words.

Tami is a proud adoptive mother and is honored to be part of an open adoption. She still enjoys the 2 am feedings with her son!

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