The Most Common Characteristics Shared by Successful Adoptive Parents, pg 2

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2. They Maintain a Positive Attitude and Find Joy in What they are Doing:

Maintaining a positive attitude is critical in all phases of the adoption process. It is one of the more obvious ways to spot those individuals who actually believe in miracles. The adoption process works best for those who are confident that it will work. When we are convinced that something WILL happen, even if we know that it may not be for a while, our basic human nature will motivate us to work just a little harder to make it happen, primarily because we are confident that our efforts will not be wasted. On the other hand, we are less likely to put our heart, soul and efforts into something if we are doubtful about its chances for success. If you have felt this way yourself at times, you are in good company, because it is a fundamental part of how we all think and react to our environment around us.

From within the insecure and uncertain world that most birthparents live in, they are looking for confident and well-grounded adoptive parent who can provide a stable home environment for their children. If you don’t have confidence in yourself or in the people you will work with in the adoption process, birthparents will "sense" this. They recognize discouragement, distrust, panic or a lack of commitment from you like a hound dog recognizes the scent of a rabbit. When they find this, they will often seek different adoptive parents for their child.

Birthparents are not blind or stupid. There is not much that you can hide from them. If a birthmother does not view you as emotionally stable individuals who are at peace and in control of their lives, she may become convinced that you can provide a good home for her child. Whether or not this is right or fair isn’t all that important, because that is just how it is.

A very important part of maintaining a positive attitude is to not try to live a lie. That means that to have a positive attitude, you really must be and feel positive inside. There are very few people that don’t have something in their life about which they are very positive, and perhaps even passionate. You may feel this way about many areas of your life, but may not feel this way about the topic of adoption, especially your own. Considering what you may have been through, this could be a very understandable and normal way for you to feel.

Although you may be able to cover up how you really feel inside for short periods of time, those feelings can never be hidden entirely, and may even erupt into a painful and emotional mess during times of stress or uncertainty, both of which are present in the adoption process. These periodic stresses, which are usually the result of your reaction to uncertainties are a very normal part of the adoption process.

It is a normal human reaction to feel frustrated when we do not get what we want, or are not seeing the result that we want or expect as soon as we would like. In almost every case, this will involve a collision between reality and our pre-determined expectations about what we think "should" happen. Since there is often little that we can do to change the realities of life, especially those that involve the free will choices of others, then all we can really have a beneficial impact on is the realistic management of our own expectations.

It is important to remember that not getting what you want, or not getting it when you want it, will more often than not be a wonderful blessing in disguise. In your mind, which would be worse: For you to receive the wrong child for you when you wanted it, or to receive the right child for you when it is finally available and when you were prepared for its arrival?

Adjusting your expectations to a realistic level that approximates the reality of the world around you will help significantly reduce some of the self-imposed stresses that are just a normal and expected part of the adoption process, thus releasing you to take a more relaxed and positive attitude in your life.

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