Growing A Family By Adoption

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If you have decided to grow your family through adoption, you want to adopt now. There is an urgency of having time slip by without having the child of your dreams. Congratulations on making the decision to adopt. Arriving at the decision to adopt is the hardest part. Now action is necessary. Put yourself in motion to accomplish these 7 Key Steps to Adopting in the next 30 days and you will have a baby in your arms within about a year or less.

Here are the steps to adopt in the shortest amount of time:

1. Decide whether adoption is right for you. Talk with others who have adopted. Talk together about whether adopting is right for you both. People arrive at the adoption decision at different times and on different commitment levels. Make sure you both are fully on board with this very important life change.

2. Investigate adoption resources. Many resources are available to you to learn about the adoption process and decide whether an attorney, an adoption agency, an adoption matching service or a combination is right for you.

3. Sign up with one or more adoption attorneys, adoption agencies or other matching services. Take action. Commit to go forward with your plan. Once you sign up with an adoption service provider, you are on the path to becoming parents through adoption.

4. Create materials to present yourselves to a potential birth mother. A birth mother will likely want to see photos of you and read information about your lifestyle to decide whether to choose you as the parents of her baby. Your adoption service provider can usually guide you as to how to prepare materials to present yourself well.

5. Prepare to make decisions about a birth mother match. There will be many decisions you will need to make quickly when a birth mother is presented to you. By reading books on adoption and discussing together possible scenarios you might be presented with will help you be ready to make decisions quickly.

6. Share with your family and selected friends that you are adopting. The prospect of adopting will become more real to you if you talk about it with your extended family members and selected friends. You do not need to tell the whole world if you don't want to, but telling key support people in your lives will help them as well as you be ready to welcome a child into your family.

7. Believe that you are about to become parents through adoption. Begin thinking of yourselves as parents-to-be. There is positive energy in your belief that will propel people and events toward making your dream of becoming parents a reality. Tap into this deep well of support by the power of your belief.

Follow these 7 simple steps within the next 30 days and you will be parents very soon!

If you would like more information about adopting from a trusted, experienced adoption attorney (and adoptive mom), visit:

If you are pregnant and want to know all of your options, also visit:

Click HERE to Call: 877-874-3715


Linda Barnby is an adoption attorney and adoptive mother in Orlando, Florida. She has been serving adoptive parents and birth parents throughout the USA for over 23 years.

The Process of Adoption

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Welcome to the world of adoption at Linda J. Barnby, P.A.!
You are probably asking..."how does the adoption process at your office work?"

Every Agency or Attorney has their own process. There are many parts of the adoption process that will always look the same. We all have to follow the same Florida Laws and we all have the same goal: to help women facing an unplanned pregnancy and want to make an adoption plan, and to help adoptive couples realize their dream of becoming parents. It will take all of us working together to make everyone's wishes and dreams come true!

At our law office, we begin with a phone call or email and provide information and paperwork for you to complete. We usually schedule a consulation for you with Linda Barnby. This will be your opportunity to ask many questions and get lots of answers. You will also get to know Linda and her heart for adoption. If you have already filled out your paperwork, you can bring it with you, or you will receive the paperwork at the appointment and can  take it home to fill out and return to us.

You will want to begin your homestudy process. A homestudy is an important part of adopting and every adoptive parent must go through this. Don't worry! It's not as scary as it might sound! A social worker will come to your home and talk with both of you and any others living in your home. They perform background checks and write a report that will be filed with the court. If you don't have a homestudy agent, we can provide you with the names of several ladies who are licensed social workers and can help you.

You will create a profile of pictures and information about yourselves. This book will be shown to a birthmother so she can choose the family she wants to adopt her baby. We will always talk to you first about a birthmother and have you approve having your album shown to her beforehand. We will tell you about her and provide her medical/social information. We can help with your profile if you would like. We are good at knowing what is good and what is not!

Once you are matched with a birthmother, we meet at our office so you can get to know each other even more and ask questions etc. You may even like to get together and go to a doctor appointment together or meet for lunch. Some our adoptive moms and birthmoms even go shopping and get pedicures together! It really is a wonderful thing to grow to love the person who is carrying the child that will be yours. It's a very special time, and although you might be a little nervous about it, you find that you love her with all your heart and she will truly become your friend.

When the time comes for labor and delivery, you will likely already have been talking with your birthmother by phone and spent time with her so she will call you and let you know she is going to the hospital! Often, she wants you to be with her during labor and delivery, because she has come to love and trust you.

The baby is born, and you are all gushy gushy over this new little life! You will visit with the baby at the hospital during their stay and with the birthmother if that has been arranged and everyone is comfortable. Approximately 48 hours after birth, we will come to the hospital and take the mother's consent for the adoption. You will not be present for this meeting. Once the papers have been signed, we'll give you a call to come up to the room or meet us at the nursery. If all has gone well with the baby and he or she is ready to be discharged, we will go through that process and everyone will leave the hospital at the same time. This is a precious time, when the birthmother places your baby in your arms. There are many tears but all is well.

You go home and begin bonding with your new baby. You will call your social worker and arrange for two visits with her at your home, one when the baby is about one month old and again at two months. She will then write a final report and submit it to us to file in the court file.

About 90 days after the baby has been in your care and custody, we will have a hearing that you and the baby will attend where the Judge will declare that he or she is your child completely, legally and forever!

Click Here to Call: 877-874-3715

Happy Endings!!

Pregnant and Thinking About Adoption?!

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We have been working on our new website and hope you will visit there!

If you are pregnant and now sure what to do, please click on the link above and begin to get the information and power you need to make the best decision for you and your baby.

We are here to help. Just give us a call and we'll talk!

Click Here to Call: 877-874-3715

Placing A Baby For Adoption

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A VERY brave young woman made the decision that she would not have an abortion, but she would give her baby Life and a Family. This little "package" is the result of that decision. This beautiful baby girl is sleeping safe and sound and has a very bright future, all because of her birthmother's choice to make this plan for her. The birthmother, the birthfather, the birthmom's parents and the adoptive parents are all in amazement at this process called Adoption.
Though not easy, it leaves everyone with peace in the knowledge that they have all loved this baby and worked together to see that she has the brightest, happiest life ever.

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Brave Is A Birth Mother

I never thought myself as brave
I never needed to
But then one day, upon my heart
The thought of you just grew
It grew and grew and I could not
Let the thought go away,
God grew you in my longing heart
And there you, son, would stay
Then God made a little boy
Who grew outside of me,
God planned your set arrival time
And what your name would be
And somewhere in the world so vast
Inside of her you grew,
I’m sure you kicked and squirmed at times
As babies often do
What did others say? What did she think?
O, the choices she could choose,
But the one she picked was very brave
And for me, the greatest news

God picked me to be your mother
And I’m still surprised each day
That I feel like you grew inside me
Though it seems so odd to say
I love you so much, I can’t fully express
How much you mean to me,
A miracle from God you are,
Answered prayer you’ll always be
 Men do brave things and risk it all
We think of them with awe,
But in my heart ‘brave’ has a new face
A woman I never saw

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Happy Mother's Day!

"I'm comin' Mommy..."
Do you long and ache to hear those words? Mother's Day is such a happy occasion for so many. We all have mothers! 

But not all of us are Mothers. I pray that if you have empty arms on this Mother's Day, it will be the last one and next year you will be a mother and hold that precious child in your arms. Keep believing. Keep Hope. He or She will come to you!

We have an an adoptive mother who is waiting for her baby to be born...soon. In many respects, she already is a mother, except a young woman who has chosen the path of adoption carries her baby. Adoption is such an amazing journey for everyone in the adoption triad - Mother, Baby and Adoptive Parents. 

It has been a pleasure and privilege to watch this particular group of three (four counting the baby!) interact and draw closer and closer. I suspect they will be lifelong friends. And that's how it should be!

So hang in there! Love on your Momma! Your day is coming!!

Happy Mother's Day!

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It Never Gets Old . . .

Babies, Moms, Pregnancies, Deliveries, Birth, Life, Adoption...

It always amazes me. Working with Linda Barnby, I have had the privilege of walking through many pregnancies with our brave and courageous birthmothers. Adoption is their option and their choice. They choose a family and know that their baby is going to have a wonderful life and they have made it possible.

I have had the honor of going through labor and delivery with several of these women. It never never ceases to amaze me. This little baby, which began as something no eye could even see, grows and develops, ever so slowly and ever so perfectly, until the day that he or she is ready for their entrance. They slip quietly into this world and it's nothing short of a miracle.
All ten toes, all ten little fingers, tweeky little nose...wonderful breath from brand new lungs...everything all formed in perfect order.

Thank you to our fantastic, strong mothers who chose the path to life for them and for their children. Adoption is such a loving option.

Thank you for doing what might not have been popular or accepted. Thank you for doing what was best for you and for you baby. You will heal emotionally so much better with the knowledge that you have given life to this amazing little human being.

Your child will love and bless you all the days of his or her life for giving them life. When you think of your baby, you might shed a tear, but you'll always know that your precious child is in the world and the world is a better place because of him or her . . . and you!

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February...Love is in the air!!

February is here and Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Everyone associates February with Love...and the retailers LOVE it too! Out comes the candy on the shelves...all too soon after Christmas! Everything is Red Red Red in the stores...Valentine's Cards for kids and for adults...t-shirts, flowers, toys, underwear, socks, even valentine plates, napkins, tablecloths, bowls and dishes! It's everywhere!

Our children, who are not married yet, call Valentine's Day the "Singleness Awareness Day." They would like to have a Valentine.

 If we played a word association game and I said "Valentine's Day", what would you say?

Boyfriend...Husband... Wife... Candy...Parties... Love... Flowers... Chocolates!

I would add..."Adoption" to that list. 

ADOPTION is just another word for LOVE. 

Couples who want to adopt LOVE each other and want a child to LOVE. They are brave and strong to walk the path of adoption with all it's ups and downs and twists and turns. They want to have little Valentines running around their feet!

Birth mothers want to give their baby a better life but are not able to parent and make the very difficult choice to release their baby to another to LOVE . . . 

Now THAT'S LOVE in its deepest sense!

February may be all about LOVE, but Adoption is all about LOVE, ALL the time!

Happy Valentine's Day!

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A Christmas Story of Adoption...

Once upon a time, not too long ago (all good stories start with "Once upon a time" right?!), a young woman was experiencing an unplanned pregnancy in Orlando, but was planning to parent her baby. She is very young. She grew up in the foster care system. She aged out and was sent out on her own. No mother. No father. No one to really care and help. So she has grown up learning how to survive on her own and not to ask for or take help. It's very hard to watch a young beautiful girl with no direction, no ambition, no goals, no motivation think about parenting a life.

She called Linda Barnby's office, an adoption attorney in Orlando,  a couple of weeks ago and wanted to talk. This in itself was a big deal for her. I picked her up and took her to lunch. She said she was now considerng the option of adoption for her baby who was due soon. We talked about all the ups and downs of parenting vs. adoption. I asked her what was the main thing she was lacking in order to parent. She She had a baby last year(yes, last year), and tried to parent but had no help or support, so placed that baby for adoption. Now here she is again, in the same situation. The birthfather is in jail. He's just a kid too. I told her if she wanted to parent I would help her. I'd come visit her and teach her how to be a good mother. I'd take the baby sometimes and give her a chance to rest. I wanted her to parent if she wanted to. There were more issues than just her ability to parent.

One morning, I tried to call Alicia to see how she was doing and she was at the hospital. She was there alone. I asked if she wanted me to come be with her and she said no. About an hour later she called me back and I could tell she wanted me to come. I asked again if she wanted me to come and this time she said yes. So I spent the next several hours with her and had the honor of holding her hand and watching her sweet baby girl come into the world. It will never get old. To me, it's not yucky or gross. It's beautiful. This little human being who just spent 9 months "in the secret places" being formed and fashioned by our God, is ready and comes into the world.

A baby laying there, having never taken a breath...all on her own, begins to breathe and the reflexes are there. She cries and then is comforted as she is warmed and wrapped tight. Her mother holds her and the tears flow. She loves her, but she knows she cannot parent. She touches her beautiful black curly hair and looks into her blue eyes. Bella, as she has named her, stares into her mother's eyes. She trusts her to make the best decisions for her. It's a moment I will treasure always. I get to hold her and bless the Lord for this, His creation.

I feed her her first bottle of milk. She knows exactly what to do. Who taught her to suck and swallow when the nipple is placed in her mouth? I know who taught her that..."I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well." Psalm 139:4.

Baby goes to the nursery... I hold Alicia and she cries...

Friday I get a call from Alicia. She saw the baby only once during the night, but she is struggling. I had planned to go see her at 9am and she was anxious for me to come so we can talk. We spend the morning together. She has decided she will proceed with the adoption plan.

Linda Barnby, the adoption attorney in Orlando, had arrived and I left Alicia with my laptop with the profiles on it for her to look at while we went downstairs and got some lunch. We came back and she had picked the family. Ethan and Laurie. They have their own story to tell. A story of heartache, grief and sorrow. 5 pregnancies. 5 lost babies. One born at 20 weeks. Hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to conceive. They are scared to death but they want to be parents so badly.

We meet with them Friday morning and try to answer all their questions. There is a perfectly healthy baby girl waiting for them at the hospital. They cannot grasp it. We anxiously get their paperwork done so we can go to the hospital. They have had not even 24 hours to adjust to the fact that they are about to be parents. They asked if the birthmother had named the baby. We told her...Bella Marie. Laurie begins to cry. This is the name that they were considering for their baby.

I come into the hospital and Laurie has her head covered with a shawl and is calling my name. There are high school children by the Christmas tree in the lobby singing songs. She is hiding and laughing and telling me that those are HER children from her school where she teaches and nobody knows what is happening! Remember, it has not even been 24 hours since all this began!

Upstairs, we meet the social worker who took us in to see the baby. This couple sees their baby girl for the first time. They are in love immediately but still scared to believe this is actually happening. They each hold awkward, yet so sweet as they hold her and count her toes and take tons of pictures. The Doctor comes in and answers all their questions and calms their fears. They ask if the baby comes with a manual. We say we make no guarantees and there are no refunds, no exchanges. smile.

I helped them buckle their baby girl into her car seat...this newly formed little family is on its way home. Merry Christmas Ethan and Laurie! I pray you will know the One who calls you all by name and who formed and prepared your daughter for you on this day and in this way.

Linda and I are not done. We head to the jail to see the birth father to get his consent for the adoption. He is just a kid too. 20 years old. He knows this is best for his daughter. He wants to know that both his children will be able to know each other. Both adoptive families are excited about meeting and allowing these siblings to grow up knowing each other. Paul and Alicia will get pictures and letters and know how they are doing.

And they are all living happily ever after. The End.     . . .  Or no!  It's really just the beginning!

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A Day of Hope

Debbie represented our law office at First United Methodist Church of Winter Park's Day of Hope, a conference for information about the Orphans in our country and around the world, about adoption and helping children. It was a great day of learning more about so many important.

We heard about bicycles that are refurbished and given to children or adults who need them, about housing for teenagers who need help, Orphan Care in Africa, home studies, and so much more. We also heard the adoption story of two couples who recently got their babies, and a birth mother and her journey.

Be watching for the conference next Fall!

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When The Pain and Loss of Infertility Goes Away

I've seen the suffering . . . seen the tears. 

Time and time again they try, but never a baby. When does the pain of infertility and loss go away?

People who are trying to conceive may spend years working with infertility doctors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, chiropractors. You name it, they've tried it. Some look into adoption - domestic or international.

Still the pain remains. Empty Arms. They suffer so much and they think they will never have children and the suffering will never go away. They think that even when they do have children they will never forget all the pain and suffering they went through to get there.

When a woman is in labor and having a child, she suffers. She thinks she will never forget that pain. She has the baby and immediately forgets the pain that she just went through. Think about it. If we remembered that pain, we would all only have had one child, because we would never put ourselves through that more than once.

The Bible even states: "A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come, but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world." John 16:21

All the treatments, all the waiting, all the pain and suffering - it all goes away the instant that baby is in your arms.

You think it won't, but have hope! It will. Believe me.

My friend just experienced that. They spent years and all their money on infertility treatments. They embraced adoption as the path to parenthood for them. Situations were presented to them but never worked out. They were waiting for their baby to come to them - and, at last, he did just a few days ago.

A birth mother who had an unplanned pregnancy had given birth and was working with an adoption attorney in Orlando. Chad and Brandi went to the hospital to meet their little man, and as soon as he was put into their arms, ALL and I mean ALL the pain went away in the blink of an eye. No more tears, no more pain, just total joy and elation at their son.

You want to be parents? 

Take the path that will get you there. Embrace that path, and know that in the end you WILL have your baby and you WILL forget the pain that you went through to get you there. 

Are you pregnant and thinking about placing your child for adoption? 

There are people like Chad and Brandi just waiting to love your child and give her or him a wonderful life.

To Hopeful Adopting Parents:

Your baby is out there. They will come to you. By treatments? By adoption? Some other way? It will happen though. 

Don't give up hope. Keep moving forward. Your day will come and no one will be happier than you and your child!

CLICK TO CALL NOW!  877-874-3715

Congratulations Chad and Brandi!

After years of infertility, tears, and longing to be parents, Chad and Brandi have met their son...Connor, born August 18, 2010...we (and they!) couldn't be happier!!! Adoption Works!!

Happy Mommy, Happy Daddy and Happy Baby!

Paths to Parenthood Conference

We had a great time at the Paths to Parenthood conference on Saturday, September 18th, which was sponsored by Fertile Dreams. Check out their website at

We met a lot of amazing courageous people looking for paths to being parents...there were adoption specialists (like us!) there, infertility specialists and lots of information about treatments and support.

There was also a special speaker who shared her story of winning the IVF raffle and was attending the conference with her six month old baby boy!

There were many other door prizes! Linda Barnby donated a one hour adoption consultation and here she is with her lucky winner!

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It's a Girl! for Birth Mother Cara and Adoptive Parents

Cara is facing an unplanned pregnancy and the baby is due in October. Cara invited Julia and John to the ultrasound appointment. This day has been much anticipated. Everyone was excited to find out if Cara is expecting a girl or a boy. Julia picked Cara up at her apartment and together they drove to the appointment. John was called away on business and could not attend.

Prospective adoptive mother Julia called Linda, their Orlando adoption attorney from the doctor's office to say: "It's a Girl!" Now Julia and Cara can begin imagining about this little girl. What will her personality be like? Will she have blue eyes and lots of hair? And Julia just may go shopping for things pink.

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Birth Mom Lauren Chooses Adoptive Parents Ken and Tia

Lauren, age 40, is in jail, arrested with drug paraphanalia. She now is facing an unplanned pregnancy. She is four months pregnant and an admitted alcoholic and cocaine user. She has a grown daughter. She placed a child for adoption several years ago. Lauren is homeless. She has always depended on a man for her support. She says she likes to work, but her drug and alcohol habits make holding a job almost impossible. She is very bright, brimming with personality and seeming possibility. But she knows she lets her demons and her unruly emotions govern her. She is contrite about her situation and lifestyle. She just wants to do the right thing for this child. She knows she is not capable of providing for this child in the short term or the long term. With the help of an adoption attorney, Lauren has chosen Ken and Tia, a childless couple who live in another state, to be the parents of her child.

Lauren is set to be released from jail two months before her delivery due date. Linda Barnby, the Orlando Adoption Attorney and the adoptive parents know that she would be drug and alcohol free if she were to remain incarcerated. They anticipate she will return to her former lifestyle soon after she is released.

They worry for Lauren. They worry for the unborn baby. They ponder how they can best help her upon her release from jail.

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Walking in a Birth Father's Shoes

I was once superficially involved in a contested adoption. I did not know the young birth father who was contesting the adoption placement of the newborn of a young woman with whom he was briefly intimate and now was facing an unplanned pregnancy. Just prior to trial, this young man had a change of heart and decided to sign a consent for adoption. As I witnessed his signing of the consent, I noticed many things about him, including his shoes! They were obviously brand spanking new shiny dress shoes that contrasted sharply with his more modest and well worn clothing. His shoes seemed mightily uncomfortable. I guessed he bought them especially for this occasion so as to appear grown up and presentable.

After the adoption papers were all signed and the meeting ended, everyone left. As I drove back to my law office a half hour later, I noticed this young man walking, in the broiling heat of our Florida summer sun, down a busy thoroughfare. He was walking back to his job at a restaurant which I knew was several miles away. He had already been walking 30 minutes -- in those shoes. He had an hour or two more to walk to reach his job.

I stopped for two reasons. I could not bear the thought of him walking so far in such physical pain, particularly after he had just signed documents to release his first born child for adoption. And now that the adoption case was resolved, I wanted to ask him why he had suddenly, voluntarily decided in favor of placing his daughter for adoption, after contesting it for months.

He was very glad for the ride. His answer to my question was simply: "I realized adoption was what was best for her."

Birth Father Adoption Drama

Adoptions typically involve drama. Lots of it. With emotions frequently in code red zone, and very high stakes for everyone involved, drama is inevitable.

Here is an update on Birth Mother Cara's adoption journey. Brian, her former boyfriend and the birth father of the child she is expecting, originally expressed a great deal of interest in making an adoption plan for their unborn child. He was the one who made the initial call to the adoption attorney. Since he placed a child a for adoption previously, he said, he is aware first hand of the potential beneficial outcomes for all parties.

Sadly, since he and Cara split up, his fortunes have taken a nose dive. He is out of work and will shortly lose his place to stay at a relative's home. He and Cara still communicate. He sees her feeling upbeat about her new life. He sees her receiving care and concern from a number of new people in her life, including the adoptive parents and the adoption attorney's staff. He sees her life taking an upward tilt. He now is making noises to indicate that he may not be in favor of the adoption. Why?

Is it just frustration and envy that are making him behave seemingly illogically? Or has he had a genuine change of heart? No one wants a birth parent to make an adoption decision that he will later regret. What future does Brian truly want for his child? Very pregnant Cara and adoptive parents, John and Julia, need to know.

Here in Florida, the law provides a mechanism for giving legal notice to an unmarried birth father about the adoption plan prior to birth which requires him to take specific, statutorily prescribed actions, within a certain time frame, in order to effectuate a continuing right to determine the outcome of the adoption plan. His failure to take those actions will automatically foreclose his rights after the time period expires.

Cara, along with John and Julia, the adoptive parents, will wait on pins and needles until the 30 day statutory time period runs and Brian's decision is known.

QUESTION FOR YOU! It's "Walk a Mile in His Shoes Day!" What questions do you think a birth father ponders as he struggles to make a decision about adoption for his child?

Prepare to Adopt - 15 Things to Do While You Wait

So, you have signed up with an adoption agency or attorney and you are waiting. Waiting to be matched with a birth mother. Or, you are already matched with a birth mother and you are waiting for the birth of your (and her) child. Or you are waiting for your referral.

You are wondering if it is EVER going to happen. You cannot bring yourself to BELIEVE that you are going to be parents. You are afraid that if you wish too hard, the dreamy picture you hold in your head of you smiling down into the eyes of a beautiful child -- your child -- will be zapped out of the realm of possible reality like a computer crash where you lose everything. It is too painful to imagine such a loss, so you hold yourself back from fully believing that you will be become parents.

You have been living in the mobile home of fear for ever so long, frequently buffeted by gale force winds of disappointment and longing. You now live cautiously in the apartment of hope. But you still cannot picture yourself dwelling in the red brick house of belief.

What can you do while you wait? It seems everything is out of your hands at the moment. Seemingly, you've done everything you can do to put your adoption plan in motion. Now, apparently, there is nothing to do but wait.

This is a time of great opportunity! You have much within your control to help you not just endure the waiting, but to move you into the belief that indeed you will be parents -- and soon. Once you believe that an adoption is really going to happen, that a child will be yours, you will begin to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally to welcome your new child into your life.

Amazingly, it works in reverse too! If you prepare yourself mentally and emotionally, and take action to prepare, you will not only come to believe that it will happen . . . . . . You will MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Here are some things you, as prospective adoptive parents, can do to prepare and do your part to make an adoption dream metamorphose into a real, live new son or daughter:

1. Read.
As a former teacher and lifelong learner, my mantra is: "Educate thyself!" Particularly when a big decision looms. Take a look at some of my recommendations of books and DVDs that will enrich your knowledge base and ensure that you are no babe in the adoption woods.

2. Declutter, clean and organize your home.
When baby arrives, you will have no time, energy or interest in spending time on your home. Trust me on this! Instead, you will want to watch your baby breathe . . . . and everything else your baby will do that is cute and charming. And don't forget! You will have visitors! Family will descend upon you. Friends will drop by. Do yourselves a favor. Remove the stress of it all in advance by decluttering, cleaning and organizing your home inside and out. It will make you glow!

3. Put your finances in order.
Look out! Expenses ahead! Some are easily anticipated and some will be unexpected. Be prepared financially by knowing what you've got, where it needs to go and that you will be prepared for the unexpected.

4. Take a baby care class.
Confidence is a direct result of having sufficient knowledge. Baby care is no exception. Having a baby care expert show you and teach you what you need to know will provide you with peace of mind that you can handle that slippery baby in the bath.

5. Talk with friends and family about adoption.
Now is the time to begin to educate your circle about adoption as well as yourselves. As you read and discuss adoption issues that you will likely face, you will begin to identify issues that your family members and friends could benefit from understanding. Your friends and family do NOT need to know the intricate detail and goings on of your adoption journey. You should protect your privacy and the confidential information that belongs to you, your child and your child's birth parents. However, the more your circle supports the choices you will make in your adoption plan, the easier your transition into parenthood via adoption will be. It is a delicate balance. Tell them what they need to know to be of support to you and ultimately to embrace your new child. Rally your troops!

6. Design and prepare your baby announcements.
Just plain fun! And with a useful purpose! Loads of software programs exist to make creativity easy. Have at it, creative types!

7. Investigate day care and Parent's Day Out Programs in your community.
Wouldn't it be lovely to have such important, but time-consuming decisions made prior to baby's arrival? Wouldn't it be nice to know that, when you need a little down time, your baby will have safe care? Then you can focus all your time and attention on gazing lovingly into your baby's bright eyes. Aaah! Heaven.

8. Choose a pediatrician.
Talk with friends about their children's pediatrician. Discuss the traits that are important to your choice of a pediatrician. It is not a bad idea to include proximity as a criterion. Having a pediatrician whose office is close your home is a welcome benefit when your child has a fever of a 103 and you are in panic mode.

9. Organize a baby scrapbook in advance.
For procrastinators like me, trying to create a baby scrapbook while parenting is an overwhelming prospect. I wish I had organized a scrapbook in advance that I could just slip photos and memories into without having to organize as I go. Had it been available to me when my children were babies, I think recording special moments on a private, personal blog would have suited me to a tee. More on that in an upcoming post: "How to Brag - uh, Blog - About Your New Baby."

10. Make your home child safe.
Natch. Simple actions can make your home safe for your soon-to-be toddler. Research to discover what to look for inside and outside your home that could pose a hazard for your child. Look at your home through the eyes of an extremely curious, crawling, toddling child. What could your child poke a finger into or potentially fall off of, or what could fall on her?

11. Plan how to pay for college for your child.
Set aside some money now for your child's college fund, with a solid plan for contributing to it on a regular basis. Better yet, invest in a pre-paid college fund if your state offers it. It ensures your child will attend college because it is pre-paid. Great peace of mind for you.

12. Knit or sew a baby blanket or lovey.
It is good to keep hands and mind engaged during times of stress and anticipation. A handmade craft project is just the thing! As you move toward completion of your project, you are moving closer to the great day! It makes you feel as if you have a hand in moving the time along. And you will have a lovingly handmade treasure for your child.

13. Keep an adoption journal that your child will eventually read. Your child will treasure the stories of his adoption when he is old enough to understand the words. Keeping a journal will help you share with him all the events and your thoughts and feelings as you prepared for and awaited his arrival.

14. Shop for stroller, car seat, educational toys.
There is a surprising variety and number of features to consider. You will be glad you researched ahead of time.

Take time to re-charge and rejuvenate.
Breathe. Take a yoga or pilates class. Take some walks around your neighborhood. Plan a meet up with friends. Talk about topics other than your adoption plan (sometimes)!

Take positive, constructive action daily. These actions will help you keep your perspective, your sense of humor and your sense of balance in an adoption world gone mad! Carry on, Courageous Adopters (and soon-to-be parents -- Yeah, I'm looking at you!)

QUESTION FOR YOU! What things are you doing to prepare for your baby's arrival?

Will Adopting Couple Ever Become Parents?

Rachel and Gary, married six years, and after four years of infertility treatment, have decided to adopt. They consulted with an Orlando adoption attorney and placed themselves in the attorney’s pool of prospective adoptive parents. The question on their minds now is: After years of infertility treatments, now, through the process of adoption, will we actually, really and finally become parents?

One of the sweetest challenges I repeatedly face, as an adoption attorney in Orlando, is to convince a prospective adoptive couple that they will indeed become parents. Their fears and insecurities are so great, and they have lived with them for so long, that they literally dwell in fear. Couples who have struggled unsuccessfully with infertility eventually lose hope that they will ever conceive. When couples arrive at the decision to adopt, somehow this feeling of doom carries over into a belief that they will never become parents – even though they have set an adoption in motion! They wonder if they are doomed to be forever the seekers of a child, never destined to actually become parents. You know the thinking -- always the bridesmaid, never the bride?

They wonder if their fate is to be disappointed over and over again in every attempt to become parents. After all, failure has been their only experience to date. How can they reasonably hope for success just because they are now trying a different method of achieving their dream to become parents? An unhappy fate has been looming over their shoulders for far too long. The sense of having no control over their wish to become parents has made them weary and wary. They have come to fear even looking Fate in the eye.

If Fate has decreed failure as in the past, they reason, why would changing the method change the outcome? (Silly thinking, of course! But adoptive parents are human, after all, and privileged to engage in silly thinking and unwarranted depression!) My, role, as an adoption attorney, includes imbuing disappointed, hurting, disbelieving couples with real hope and real belief. As an adoptive mother myself, I know all about these feelings first hand.

Why is belief, for prospective adoptive parents, so hard to come by?

Being physically pregnant brings with it, naturally, a real expectation of having a child. The baby is already “here” because a pregnant expectant mother and father can see their baby growing everyday in the mother’s body. The baby is real and tangible to them. The couple can touch the baby in the mother’s tummy, hear its heartbeat, feel it move and kick. It is easier for pregnant couples to believe they are going to be parents – even though no one can really know they will be parents until the baby is born alive and healthy.

What we are talking about here is “belief” and how belief, or suspension of belief, affects the waiting couple’s emotional well-being during the waiting period.

Adopting parents, on the other hand, face a bigger mental and emotional challenge. Their baby is “out there” somewhere. Their child or unborn baby is, for the time being, being cared for by someone else. The expected child is not under their roof. They have no daily contact with the expected child or unborn baby. They have no control over how that child is being cared for. They have no control over whether that child will ultimately become available for adoption. Their expected child is under the control of another while the prospective adoptive parents wait.

There is a natural tendency for adopting parents to withhold investing fully in the belief that they will be parents. They are painfully aware that if the birth parents fail to sign consents after birth, they will be crushed. Hearts will be broken. Their family and friends will grieve for them. The baby’s room will remain empty. Tears will flow and they will be disappointed yet again, just as they were, month after month, while they were trying to conceive. It is infinitely more difficult to invest whole-heartedly in the belief that they will be parents when a couple has no control over whether the expected child will ultimately be theirs.

For Rachel and Gary, like other adopting parents, adoption presents some Big, Scary, Unknowns. Having bravely summoned the courage to begin the adoption process and having thrown themselves into the pool, they still have some deep seated fears. Will a birth mother choose them? Will the birth mother and birth father with whom they are matched sign the consents for adoption after the baby is born? Will they be real parents at last?

The short answers are: Yes, yes and yes. That is the beauty of adoption. Once a couple embarks on the adoption path, there is no question but that they WILL be parents. How? and When? and Through Whom? are questions yet to be answered. But these questions will all be answered in time and with some measure of control by Rachel and Gary themselves.

The reality is: Couples who choose adoption and embark on the adoption path will be parents. The knowledge of that allows Rachel and Gary to look Fate directly in the eye – and grin!

QUESTION FOR YOU! I'm curious . . . . How did your journey from non-believer to believer happen? Was it slow or quick? Did a particular event trigger belief? Please share by leaving a comment.

Birth Mother Cara and Adoptive Parents John and Julia

Cara, age 23, a birthmother in Orlando, discovered she was pregnant after her boyfriend of two years, Brian, left. Already the mother of two toddlers from a previous relationship, Cara had not worked for several years. The only job she had ever held was as a server and was not prepared for this unplanned pregnancy. With young children to care for, she was finding it difficult to find a job at all, much less one that would pay enough to cover day care.

Without the support of her former boyfriend, she soon was homeless. Cara was fortunate to have a friend who offered her short-term housing. Her friend, Melody, a single mother of an eight year old, had placed a child for adoption two years earlier.

After talking with Melody, Cara discussed the idea of adoption with Brian. Brian, 15 years older than Cara, had placed a child for adoption years earlier. With a former girlfriend, he was also co-parenting a 14 year old daughter. Cara's and Brian's age difference and differing interests led them realize they could not go on together as a couple. Brian told Cara he thought an adoption plan was a good idea under the circumstances.

Forty miles away, John, a contractor, and Julia, a graphic artist, had tried infertility treatment for several years. They have been married for 8 years. Both from modest backgrounds, they each had worked hard to create a comfortable life for themselves. After several frustrating years of trying to conceive, they realized that becoming parents is their most important goal. They decided to adopt.

Linda Barnby, an adoption attorney in Orlando brought John, Julia and Cara together. They first learned about each other through pictures, written information and discussions with the attorney. Based upon what they learned about each other, they chose each other. They knew enough to feel cautiously committed to each other even before they met face to face. It felt like an "informed blind date," John said.

The adoption attorney in Orlando arranged for them all to meet at a local restaurant. The attorney helped them share information with each other in a comfortable way. Nervous at first, they soon felt like old friends, discovering similar interests. They told each other their stories of their separate journeys toward adoption. They even found things to laugh about together.

Cara came away from the restaurant meeting feeling confident that John and Julia were the perfect couple for her baby. She wants them to be at the hospital delivery in October. John and Julia were amazed at Cara's maturity and level-headedness at a time of such crisis in her life -- and her commitment to being a good mother to her two toddlers.

They plan to get together several more times before the birth and to stay in touch after.

Return here for updates as their adoption journey continues.

QUESTION FOR YOU! If you met your child's birth mother, what was that first meeting like? What were your feelings before you met? During the first five minutes? At the end of the meeting?

If you are in the process of adoption . . . . How do you feel about the prospect of meeting a prospective birth mother?

Adoption Journey

Curious about adoption in Orlando?

Here you will follow the real life adoption journeys of some birth parents and adoptive parents as they consider, decide, embark, choose, meet, laugh, cry, deliver, welcome, hug, release and keep in touch.

Adoption is a wild ride that elicits just about every possible human emotion. It is not for the faint of heart. It takes a great deal of courage to make an adoption decision and to follow through with it.

If you've ever wondered how and why people make such difficult decisions, you may gain some insight by reading these stories of real people who are on an adoption journey.


Since I am building this new blog as a service to you, my gentle reader (Thank you!) . . . . I would like to know what questions you want answers for. Kindly take the time to leave a comment with your most burning questions. I will do my best to provide the answers in future posts and return comments.

CLICK TO CALL NOW!  877-874-3715

All About Adopting

Florida Adoption Attorney and Adoptive Mother Linda Barnby Has Been Helping Birth Mothers and Adoptive Parents "Find Each Other" Nationwide for More Than 20 Years

For Help and Info CLICK TO CALL 877-874-3715.