November is National Adoption Month. For many children waiting for a good home, and families waiting to be complete, adoption fills their lives with love. We spoke to Blue Yonder associate Dan Berreth who adopted his daughter last year. Dan and his wife also have a 6-year-old biological son.
What has your adoption journey looked like?
We decided to adopt when we were not able to have another child. We began by researching adoption agencies and looking at both domestic and international options. There’s quite a process to it but it comes down to three steps:
- Pass the home study.
- Build an online profile, so the birth moms can get to know you.
- Get chosen by a birth mom to be a potential family for their child.
A good agency will hold your hand the entire way. Each state has unique laws so it’s important to understand your rights, as well as those of the birth mother, including different types of adoption – both open and closed.
The waiting was the hardest part. The agency will show your profile and it might not fit the characteristics the birth mother wants in the family they choose to raise their child, so you have no control over when you get selected.
The challenge for us was that we moved from Michigan to Texas, so we had to start the adoption process all over again. So, again, lots of patience. But once we passed the home study and built our online profile, it only took three months for a birth mom to select us! Today, we are the proud parents of a 6-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter.
What has this adoption meant for your family?
For us, there was a hole in our family and being able to adopt our daughter has filled it for us. You never really know how big that hole is until it is filled.
Every child is unique, so it’s been very different and exciting to be a dad to my daughter and experiencing life through her eyes as much as I can.
For our son, he loves being an older brother. He is constantly trying to teach her things. He loves to hold her hand and he does a lot to take care of her. But hands off his Hot Wheels! Overall, they have a great relationship, and he knows how to make her laugh. And there is nothing like a baby’s laugh.
They both light up our lives every day and in return I get to be their dad!
What would your advice be to other people considering adoption?
- There are many things that anyone needs to be prepared for anytime they bring a new child into their family, especially through adoption. Some thoughts from my experience:
- A fear of mine was that I couldn’t love and care for a non-biological child as much as my son. I can assure you that this won’t even be a thought once they arrive – don’t be afraid that you will love your adopted child any less because you won’t!
- Be patient. There are so many things that can change throughout the adoption process, so many different factors that come into play. You’ll need to be prepared to wait and to flex as needed. Lean on your support system throughout the process as there can be some challenging times.
- Think through all the different things that you will need to be prepared for – whether logistics, financial costs, etc. – be confident though that when you make the decision, adding a child to your life is worth every step and cost along the way.
What’s next for your family?
We are moving to a bigger house early next year and my son is very excited about it (in fact he can’t stop talking about it at school according to his teacher). I look forward to continuing to watch our daughter grow and learn!