The Most Common Characteristics Shared by Successful Adoptive Parents, pg 8

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8. They Constantly Educate and Inform Themselves:

If you are a serious adoptive couple, you will become knowledgeable in all aspects of the adoption process. In doing this, you will need to develop your own philosophy and comfort level with the kind of adoption you determine will best fit your circumstances and disposition. Not all adoptions are for everyone. You need to enjoy and be comfortable with your own kind of adoption. Then become an "expert" in that particular type of adoption. Knowledge is definitely a source of power in these circumstances. Those adoptive couples that understand what is going on, and know what they are doing, will adopt more quickly, and will enjoy the process a whole lot more.

Some people will encourage you to read anything you can get your hands on about adoption. That is neither healthy nor practical. Unfortunately, there have been a lot of negative and discouraging things written about adoption. Some have a basis in reality, while a great many of them do not. Some of this material has been written by people who are still in the process of healing from the effects of their own personal challenges or tragedies. As a result, what they have written may not be entirely accurate, nor may not be a fair portrayal of reality for you. Even if what is written has a basis somewhere in the reality of one person’s adoption, the information still may not be relevant for your particular situation, especially if the information is negative and will rob you of the positive energy and focus that you will need to successfully complete your own adoption. You shouldn’t allow yourself to live in fear of what happened in the past for someone else, to feel responsible to mourn their losses for them, however real they might be. Instead, you need to be spending your time, energy and resources on making the future into what you want it to be for your family.

Remember that just because someone else in a very different time and place, and under very different circumstances from yours, may have had a bad or disturbing experience, that does not give you cause to jump to the conclusion that anything even remotely close to that will ever happen to you. In fact, it is more likely that it WON’T ever happen to you! So it is very unfair for someone to terrorize you with questionable or disturbing material that is totally irrelevant to the experience that you are going to have. It is also unfair and unwise for you to voluntarily inflict this kind of emotional damage on yourself. You should take great care to protect yourself from individuals who want to terrorize you or to take advantage of your tender emotions.

You need to use wisdom and moderation in evaluating everything that you are exposed to before you believe it or let it affect your attitudes and behavior. Just because something is in print or is on the Internet does not necessarily mean that it is right, true or important for you.

Yes, you do need to keep learning in order to progress. You also should not fill your mind or heart with negative, discouraging or irrelevant information. I would encourage you to avoid anything that is negative or that makes you feel fearful or upset, especially if it just does not "feel right" to you. Be a selective consumer of adoption information. Since you become what you read, just as much as you become what you eat, be wise in selecting the information about adoption that you "consume."

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Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.

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