Life is a challenge, meet it!
Life is a dream, realize it!
Life is a game, play it!
Life is Love, enjoy it!
Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Ready, Set, Go! It’s time for your next challenge on the new reality show, Survivor: the adoption series. You will be tested in the areas of endurance, strength, agility, problem solving, teamwork, dexterity, and willpower all with the hope that at the end of your journey that you will be united with the child you are meant to raise. ARE YOU READY?
When my husband and I began our adoption journey earlier this year, we were asked to describe the process of becoming approved and certified through our agency, the Independent Adoption Center. To us, the process is very much like the challenges that contestants endure on the reality series, Survivor.
To those who might not be familiar with the show, Survivor is a reality-based television show produced in many countries. On the show, participants are isolated in the wilderness and compete for cash and other prizes. During the course of the game, players compete as tribes or individually in contests called challenges. Challenges consist of various activities that test the contestant’s endurance, strength, agility, problem solving, teamwork, dexterity, and willpower, and are usually designed to fit the theme of the current season.
The commonality, or theme, that many of you reading this have in common with us is that we all hope to adopt a child. Unlike the show, our version of Survivor is reality. We all have hearts overflowing with love for a child or children we have yet to meet. Our tribes might include our spouse, partner, or we may tackle the journey on our own. And let’s talk about those challenges! Background checks, fingerprinting, income verification, driving records, physical exams, letters of reference, questionnaires, and a home visit are facilitated by our Tribal Council, consisting of the office manager and adoption coordinator at our agency. On the show, a jury decides a contestant’s fate, kind of like the social worker or adoption coordinator who is put in charge of one’s home visit and pieces together all the potential adoptive parents’ paperwork to make sure the parent or parents are qualified to bring a child into their home. Though the process is tedious, I think most adoptive parents agree that the process of seeking approval from their agency is well worth their efforts. I personally wish that anyone thinking about raising a child should have to go through this process. At the end of the show, contestants are awarded prizes, much like adoptive parents when they are blessed with a child.
As the lyrics from the song Survivor by the musical group Destiny’s Child state:
I’m a survivor (What?)
I’m not gon give up (What?)
I’m not gon stop (What?)
I’m gon work harder (What?)
I’m a survivor (What?)
I’m gonna make it (What?)
I will survive (What?)
Keep on survivin’ (What?)
To all the potential adoptive parents out there, you will survive the demanding process of approval, and I wish you well!
About the author:
Carrie Bedwell, and her husband Rob, are IAC clients waiting to adopt their first child. They reside in Hobart, Indiana and are excited to start their family through open adoption. If you would like to learn more about them visit: http://www.iheartadoption.org/users/carriebedwell or watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO4YfQe9U3w&feature=share
If you want to follow them on their adoption journey, tune in to their blog: http://carriebedwell.wordpress.com/