Q&A with Juan & Lauren on Their Adoption Journey
In the U.S. alone, more than 125,000 children are waiting to be adopted from foster care. To raise awareness around the importance of adoption, we sat down with soon-to-be adoptive parents, Lauren and Juan, to talk about their adoption journey.
Adoption had always been on the table for Lauren and Juan. Juan is originally from Colombia and immigrated to the US when he was fourteen, so when the couple discovered a special program for parents who are adopting from the country with Colombian heritage, they knew it was the right fit. Lauren and Juan have been in the process for two years and recently received “the call!” that they have been matched with a precious four year old girl. They're thrilled to be making the journey to Colombia in January to pick her up and officially bring her home.
Let's dive into their adoptive journey.
Q: How has the adoptive process been so far?
Our adoption journey has overall been great, but with that said it has definitely been a rollercoaster! We made the decision to go with an agency that is local to Denver and that has been a lifesaver. In August 2019, we officially started the process which is essentially a massive amount of steps of complicated paperwork and bureaucracy approval (it makes the home-buying process seem like a walk in the park!). Then in 2020, we were thrown the curveball of COVID which had a devastating effect on adoptions as virtually the majority of the process had to be put on hold due to closures. Luckily, adoptions are prioritized in government offices and things have begun to get back to normal which is such a relief to families. This process has definitely enhanced our value and practice of patience and grace.
Q: What’s at the top of your ‘To Do List’ before welcoming your future child home?
As a couple we are obsessed with home projects and interior design. The number one thing on our to-do list was getting our daughter’s room ready and making it a space that she feels safe and adores. A play/learning area is going to be the focal point of the room and we definitely used GoodBuy Gear’s playroom shots on IG as inspo!
It’s also incredibly helpful to use GoodBuy Gear as a resource because what came as a shock to us as first time parents is how quickly the cost of items to prepare for your little one add up. It’s truly such a valuable platform with all of the functional, curated gear we need.
Q: In light of National Adoption Day, can you share some of the benefits of adoption? What're some of the challenges?
Sharing from experience, our main goal and reasoning of wanting to become parents and ultimately pursue adoption is to have an impact on a little one's life as well as guide and provide every opportunity possible. We believe personally that adoption has benefits of providing the opportunity for a path to parenthood for couples and stability for children who are in vulnerable situations. Transparently adoption is challenging because it is born out of a loss in regards to the birth family, in a perfect world there would not be any need for adoption and that can be very challenging to navigate.
Q: Are there any negative stigmas associated with adoption that you wish our society would acknowledge and change?
From being immersed in this experience, it’s really opened our eyes to various negative stigmas around adoption. The one that resonates the most is that sometimes it can be seen that if a child is being adopted the child is being “saved” and others sometimes view that the child should be so “grateful” and “lucky”. There are multiple studies that show that this can have a profound negative impact on children’s psychology so it’s important to be mindful of language used around children who were adopted. Fortunately, there are groundbreaking strides in trauma informed care and different types of adoptions (open, closed, etc.) that have greatly helped further education in this area.
Q: Do you have any suggestions for how family and friends can support loved ones they know going through the adoption process?
Any kind of adoption process is logistically complicated and can be overwhelming at times. We could not be at the point in our own journey that we are today without the love and support of our family, friends, neighbors, and even co-workers! The biggest suggestion we would give is to keep checking in and ask questions about the process and truly listen. Everyone needs different types of support at different stages, but being there and being present goes a long way.
Q: If you could give one piece of advice to anyone going through their own adoption journey, what would it be and why?
At the beginning of our process, our agency told us “the child that is meant for you will find you” and this has been a huge source of comfort during anxious times. Each adoption journey is unique so try not to get into the comparison game with others going through the process.
Adopting a child can be a long and emotional process. If you or someone you love is going through the process, you're not alone. You can find more resources and support here.