Making the Most of Your Wait
This is a post for all those adoptive parents who have waited. Maybe you waited to get pregnant or waited to hear the disappointing news that the last round of IVF didn’t take. Perhaps you waited to get your home study approved and now you find yourself waiting some more…waiting for a referral, anticipating that call from your placement agency, waiting to get on a plane and meet your sweet child for the very first time. Others of you who are past these initial stages of adoption may now be waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the day your adopted child asks the really “BIG” questions that you feel unprepared to answer or are scared to address. Wherever you find may yourself in this journey we call adoption, waiting is inevitable. There’s just no other way to slice it.
Waiting doesn’t have to be a negative thing though. In fact, it is often in the waiting that we become better prepared for the goal. For those of you who may have just signed the last piece of paperwork for your home study and for those families who have been waiting for over a year to receive a placement, I challenge you to hold onto hope in a time that can otherwise be filled with anxiety and impatience.
To begin with, the decision to grow your family through adoption is an exciting and hope-filled one in and of itself. While it may sometimes feel like an emotional roller coaster, try to remain focused on the goal, which is becoming parents. I have often talked with prospective adoptive parents who are experiencing the angst of waiting and question whether they made the right decision or have grown weary with not knowing when a child will join their family. I am certainly not negating the emotions of this difficult time, but I have noticed a pattern over the years in the approach of those waiting families who are able to make the most of their wait. Below is a list of some of the things that seem to help many adoptive families. Also keep in mind that Adoption Matters, Inc. is always available to answer questions and to connect you with resources that can empower you and your family along this adoption journey.
- Start a children’s library with some adoption related books included
- Write a blog (or follow an adoption blog—There are so many beautiful and personal adoption blogs out there to benefit from!)
- Take the trips you’ve always wanted to go on
- Volunteer in your community
- Become a Big Sister or Big Brother
- Go to church. Pray. Ask others to pray for you.
- Join a waiting family support group
- Host a group of other adoptive and waiting families in your home on a monthly basis—Building a community of friends who understand what you’re going through and who can provide encouragement, answer questions, etc. is a HUGE help!
- Begin a life book for your future child, detailing your adoption journey up to this point, leaving plenty of space to include your child’s story and how he/she joined your family
- Laugh. Journal.
- Go on date nights
- Get together with friends