Just like a six year old, you may find yourself going from “Are we there yet!?!” to “Please! Just five more minutes!!!”
There is no way around it… “The wait” is one of the hardest parts of the adoption process. But, this season of your life can be a valuable, and even enjoyable, one so don’t let it slip away! Here is a list of some practical and creative things that helped us, and can help you, make the most of the time.
1) Take some childcare classes at your local hospital. We called our local hospital to see what was offered and decided to take an infant care and infant/ toddler CPR class. It really helped us feel more prepared.
2) Fundraise! If you need financial help this is the time to get it done! For some specific ideas on raising money for your adoption, check out this post.
3) 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 made a selection. Be sure to call and ensure the doctor you wish to see accepts your insurance and is accepting new patients.
4) Talk about names. Our birth mom asked us what names we were thinking of and loved our choices. I’m glad we had thought ahead and could tell her right away when she asked. If choosing an open adoption, there is a chance the birth parents may wish to be involved in the naming. However, if you already have some names picked that you can tell them you like, they just might love them too! Also, it’s nice to be able to pray for your child by name before they even come home.
5) 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.
6) Decide right now to trust God’s timing. Like I mentioned before, there is no way around it…the wait is hard! But, if you are trusting God throughout the process and believe He’s walking alongside you in this process, you have to realize He already knows who your child is. Your child is chosen…just for you! You wouldn’t want to miss out on that because it takes a little longer then you’d prefer.
When our first child, our daughter Abigail, was placed in our arms, we knew it was all worth it. She is 100% ours. We know she was meant for us. We waited about a year once our profile book started being shown. But, once we met her we realized we would have waited as long as it took. There was no doubt that she was worth every bit of the wait!
Then, unexpectedly,our son came along.
Just remember, God knows what he’s doing! Trust His perfect timing and before you know it, you won’t believe how far you’ve come!
7) Read! Reading can be an excellent way to pass the time. I personally love books of encouragement. For some ideas on some great books to read, check out #5 on this post. And, for some encouraging adoption quotes that can really help put the waiting in perspective, check this out!
8) Enjoy your spouse! This is golden! If this will be your first child, you might be so excited about going from a couple to a family of 3 that you could almost overlook this opportunity. Don’t! This is a prime time to soak up some great time with your spouse. Life will be different, very different, once you adopt! It will be amazing, and so worth the wait but…it will be different. You probably won’t be scooting off for a romantic vacation away for a while. If it’s in your budget, “the wait” is a great time to go on a vacation or a little weekend get away.
9) Buy some fun things for your future son or daughter! This was a big one for me! I loved shopping sales for clothes, toys, etc. It helped keep me excited, even when the wait seemed long. And, you better believe, that first outfit is in a special box to give them one day. I want them to know how much we were thinking of them before we ever met them. 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.
10) Work on getting your finances together. 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! We personally love Dave Ramsey and his “Financial Peace” class. This could be a great time to take this class if it appeals to you.
Incorporating any or all of the ideas into your wait can make a dramatic difference in the value you find in this time. However, if nothing else, please remember God is in control. He has brought you on this journey and He’s going to show you just how great His plans are for you!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11