Whether you are hoping for potential birth parents to choose you, in anticipation of paperwork processing and red tape cutting, or simply anticipating the birth of your precious child, waiting can be one of the most arduous parts of the adoption process.
Wishing, wondering and worrying can weigh heavily on you and affect your relationships, your work and even your health. It is difficult to sit on your hands and do nothing, but if you have completed all of the required work, you might feel as though you have no other choice. The truth is, you can actually keep yourself quite busy undertaking tasks and activities that not only distract you from the wait, but also help you become even better prepared for your future child.
Learn things that will help you be the best parent possible to your child. Consider your unique set of circumstances, and find ways to embrace, overcome and improve any challenges you might face. Check with your adoption agency to discover classes, seminars, books and other beneficial resources. Study your child's culture if it is different from yours. Educate yourself on sibling relationships if you will have multiple children following placement. Seek training that will specifically enrich your family.
Get to know other waiting families, either in your area or online. It can help to talk with peers who are currently facing similar situations. You might also benefit by befriending families who have been through the adoption process. An adoption agency, like Family Creations Adoptions, may even have a program through which they match waiting families and families who have already adopted and guide them to enrich each other's lives. These experienced adoptive parents can mentor you, helping you learn how to cope with challenges you may encounter.
Create Something Special
Release some pent-up energy in a creative way by making something you can share with your child one day. Keep a journal and pen your thoughts, hopes and dreams about your child's life. Write an autobiography: share the story of your own childhood, describe how you met your partner and explain why you decided to adopt. Use your special talents to design a gift for your child, such as a handmade piece of furniture, a personalized song or a scrapbook.
Make a Difference
Volunteering is a wonderful way to pass the time. Seeing and meeting the needs of others may make your own burdens feel lighter. You might organize a care package drive for an orphanage in another country, sign up to snuggle babies in your local hospital's NICU or become a CASA volunteer to advocate for children in foster care. The satisfaction and pure elation you experience will help fill the void you feel until your child is finally placed in your waiting arms.
After a few years of marriage, my husband and I decided to open our home to a child who needed a family. Our journey included learning about the adoption process, what goes into matching parents with children, and even how relationship counseling can help improve the chances of building a solid family unit. It did take some time, but at last we were matched with two wonderful children. One was a newborn while the other was six years old and had spent time in more than one foster home along the way. Each child brought specific challenges, but also gave us a joy that we had never known before. If you are thinking of becoming an adoptive parent, understand that it can take time. Read on and I'll share what things that you need to know in order to make your own journey.