The truth is there is no perfect way to wait for your adoptive child. When you’re passionate about something and you have to wait for it, the wait is often hard. It’s ok to be where you are and feel what you feel. But there are things that you can do to make the most of the wait and, to live fully in the “in-between”. Specifically, I’d like to offer 10 tips to help with the wait.
Before we look at 10 tips to follow while you wait, here are some important things to keep in mind.
Decide right now to trust God’s timing
If you’re a Christian, don’t lose sight of the fact that God has already hand-picked the child for you. And, in the case of open adoption, He knows the impact and love only you can also share with your future child’s birth mom (or birth parents). Therefore, you can’t get “the call” that results in permanent placement until that child is conceived.
Think of the waiting time before your child comes home as a valuable preparation time.
Although it’s hard, this time of waiting can serve as a valuable time you will never have again. Consider how you can make the most of it. Believe that the trials you’re facing during this time are helping to prepare you to be an even better parent to your future child. Use this opportunity to talk to other adoptive parents to learn what they wished they had known before adopting.
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Now let’s looks at 10 tips for waiting adoptive parents-to-be that cover practical ideas on ways to make the most of this time.
1. Read (or listen via audiobook) to books to help you along your journey as an adoptive parent.
When your child finally arrives, reading will likely not be the first thing on your mind. Don’t miss this opportunity to read and prepare for parenthood. And, if you’re not big into sitting down and reading a book, audiobooks are an excellent option.
For some ideas to get you started, here are some recommendations.
There are so many more great books to dive into. For a list of twenty, check out this post. 20 Adoption Books for Parents – For The Love of Adoption
If you feel like your biggest need right now is living in this in-between time, here is a specific book that speaks to that.
2. Pray for your adoptive child and their birth parents.
This “in-between” time is a powerful time for prayer. For some help knowing what and how to pray, here are some additional book recommendations.
3. Join a Positive Adoption Group.
Getting involved in a group with others on the same journey as you or those who have already been down this road can be an incredible way to grow during the waiting process. There is a lot to be learned from those who have gone before you. And this can be an excellent way to talk through your feelings, ask questions, and get some extra advice and support.
Note: Be careful that the groups you choose to join are positive ones. Sometimes adoption groups deteriorate into more of a “gripe session” than a supportive community. Avoid this at all costs. This is a time to surround yourself with positivity and support. And be sure that you remember when interacting with groups that you have an opportunity to be a light to others.
4. Take advantage of this time with your spouse and/or family.
If this will be your first child, you might be so excited about growing your family that you could almost overlook this opportunity. Don’t! This is a prime time to soak up some great time with your spouse and connect to your family. This time next year, your family may be even bigger but for now, focus on those closest to you.
5. Do Something for Yourself
If there is something that you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t gotten around to, this is an excellent time to consider doing it. Maybe there is a new hobby you’d like to start or a fun book series you’d love to read. This is a great time to stay busy with things that fuel you.
6. Keep a journal
Getting feelings out on paper (or video if preferred) can be a great way to process during the waiting period. You can use this as a private space to voice whatever you need, including your frustrations. But, try not to dwell there.
Another idea is to make it more of a keepsake for your future child. In this case, you can share your hopes, dreams, and prayers for your child. And, once your child is old enough you can give it to them.
7. Buy some fun things for your future son or daughter!
Have fun shopping occasionally for clothes, toys, books, etc. It can help you stay excited even when the wait seems long. This doesn’t mean you need to go crazy spending money. But, picking up a little something from time to time can make the wait a little more enjoyable.
If you’d like to start building a collection of adoption books for your future child, here are 50 adoption books to consider. 50 Adoption Books for Children – For The Love of Adoption
Another fun thing you can get together if you’re adopting an infant is a hospital bag. For some ideas on what to pack, here is a post that includes a free checklist. Hospital Checklist: 10 Must Haves For Adoptive Parents To Take – For The Love of Adoption
8. Prepare your home
Clean, organize and purge your house (aka nesting). Your primary focus will not be cleaning and organizing once your child comes home. This is a great time to get your house in order and get some baby/toddler proofing in place if you’re adopting a young child. Also, you’ll feel less overwhelmed knowing that everything is clean and fresh.
9. Find a pediatrician
This is a great time to ask for recommendations from friends or make calls until you find someone you feel comfortable with. If adopting a newborn, you will likely be asked for the pediatrician’s name at the hospital, so they know where to send records. It can go a long way to help you feel more prepared if you’ve already selected a doctor. You’ll also want to ask if they accept your insurance and confirm they are accepting new patients.
10. Apply for any additional grants or fundraise
It’s not too late to get funds together for your adoption or get your own money a bit more in order. This waiting period is a prime time to apply for adoption grants. For a list of my most recommended adoption grants, grab this guide. And, if you’d like an overall list of fundraising ideas, you can find more ideas here.
And, if you have debt, this is a great time to work on paying things off. Because the truth is…a child will, of course, have costs involved. Even if you just tackle some small debts, this is a great time to knock some debt out! For a $10 discount on an awesome budgeting class, check out my friend Sami’s course: Your Sunny Money Method
When all else fails, remind yourself that in the end, you will have your child in your arms. And, at that time, you will know exactly why you had to wait and you’ll fully understand just how worthwhile all the ups and downs were.
You can download these 10 tips in a beautiful 4-page workbook here.
And, here are some of my favorite adoption quotes to reflect on while you wait.
“It’s not that I love waiting. I just love the person I’m waiting for.”
“Adoption is a journey of faith. From beginning to end.” -Johnny Carr
“There is a very special birth mother out there for every adoptive family, and when you’re holding your baby in your arms, you will know why you had to wait for her specifically.”
“Every night I pray to God to keep you in His arms until I can hold you in mine.”
“Everything you are going through is preparing you for what you asked for.”
“You are not just waiting in vain. There is a purpose behind every delay” -Mandy Hale
“Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.”
“When it is all finished, you will discover it was never random.”
“Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.”
“Faith doesn’t make things easy. It makes things possible.”
“Adopton is like a roller coaster. It has ups and downs. But, it’s your choice to scream or enjoy the ride.”