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What’s it Like Waiting For Adoption?

5 Things You Can Do To Pass the Time

One of the most nerve-racking parts of the adoption process is waiting for a prospective birth mother to choose you. When you work with American Adoptions, you can expect to wait an average of 12 months.

But wait times can vary depending on a number of factors that are sometimes out of your control. Although waiting for an adoption match can be hard, there are some things you can do to help cope with the wait. We’ve created this guide on five different ways you can pass the time while you wait for a match.

If you have any questions about how American Adoptions minimizes adoption wait times, then you can call 1-800-ADOPTION or fill out our contact form to get more free information now.

1. Go on a “Babymoon”

Many expectant couples go on a “babymoon”. This is a great way to pass the time when you’re waiting for adoption. Where and when you go is completely up to you, even if it’s a weekend visiting friends and family.

A nice change of pace can be good when you’re coping with the wait of adoption, as the waiting period can be hard but rewarding. Researching destinations and planning a trip can be a great way to take your mind off of things.

“There were times, of course, when I was like, ‘Oh my goodness – we’re never going to get a child,’” Kirsten, an adoptive parent who worked with us, said about her long adoption wait. “I remember, during those really hard times, our adoptive family specialist Kelli telling us, ‘We’ve never had a family not get a baby.’ And I just remember thinking about that so many times while we were waiting.”

2.  Get Organized

Some adoptive families who are waiting for a match feel like they need to be actively doing something to distract themselves. Reach out to your adoption specialist and ask about the best way to get organized while you’re waiting to adopt a baby.

For example, this would be a good time to start baby-proofing the house and getting the nursery ready. Sometimes, over-preparing can make families feel sad or frustrated, so do whatever makes you feel the most comfortable. If that means going out and buying everything you need to welcome your baby home, or focusing on the basics, getting organized can help when you’re coping with the wait of adoption.

“When you’re pregnant, you physically do something for nine months, whereas adoption, after all of the paperwork, there’s nothing you physically can do,” Kristen said. “That helped me, getting the nursery ready.”

Remember that you’ve completed all the paperwork, clearances and home study work that you needed to do, and now you’re just waiting for a prospective birth mother to view your profile. Our adoption specialists encourage you to go about life as you usually would during the adoption waiting process. But we know it can be difficult. Keep in mind that you’re so close to welcoming your baby home!

3. Take Time for Self-Care

Do you want to focus on yourself and take some time to improve your lifestyle? The adoption waiting process could be a good time to start. Once your child has arrived, much of the focus will be on their well-being. But, if you get into the habit of taking good care of yourself, then those healthy habits will continue well into parenthood.

Taking the time for yourself will not only benefit you but your child, too. Here are several ways you can cope with waiting for an adoption match:

  • Start working out regularly
  • Make healthier eating choices you can continue after the adoption
  • Take time for relaxation, such as meditation, yoga, a walk or a bath
  • Spend lots of quality time with friends and family, especially those you don’t see often
  • Begin learning a new language, instrument or skill you’ve been wanting to explore

“Make sure to communicate with your partner about what their needs are, what their hopes are,” Mike recommends when coping with long wait times. “Make sure that you’re taking care of each other emotionally, mentally and physically.”

If you find yourself depressed while waiting for adoption, then contact your adoption specialist so they can get you the resources you need.

4. Focus on the Positives

Even though waiting for adoption can be difficult, it’s important to try and think about the positives. There are so many beautiful moments unique to adoption that others won’t get to experience.

The moment when a birth mother chooses you is unlike any other. Think about the moment when you get to hold your baby for the very first time. The time you spend waiting in the adoption process will be that much more meaningful when you think about what you’re waiting for.

You have a ton to look forward to, and though it’s hard when you feel like these experiences will never come, the wait is worth it.

“Patience, sticking to your plan, not compromising – [the birth mother] landed on your profile for a reason, because you made those choices you were comfortable with,” Adrian said about experiencing a long wait. “It’s hard sometimes as a couple – this long wait – and you have different mixed emotions about it. Talking about it openly and honestly is always good.”

5. Try Not to Compare Yourself to Others

Although this is much easier said than done, our national adoption agency has been working with adoptive families for more than 30 years. We see far too many hopeful adoptive families compare their wait time to another family’s. Because every prospective birth mother is different and will be looking for different qualities, it’s important to remember that every experience is unique.

Comparing yourself to other families while you’re waiting for the adopted baby to be born can be harmful. Keep in mind that the adoption waiting process is unpredictable, and you can only do so much to expedite the process.

“We look at Rose and think in so many ways she was meant to be a part of our family,” Elizabeth says about her adoption experience. “It is true what they say: You wait for the child you are supposed to have. Never for one minute have we ever thought that we didn’t have the right kid for our family.”

If you have any more questions about what to do while waiting for adoption, then you can fill out this contact form to get more adoption information now. We’d love to help you get started! 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do we need to retain our own attorney?

No, American Adoptions has established relationships with some of the best adoption attorneys in the nation. Because adoption laws vary from state to state and between counties, it is important to utilize the services of an adoption attorney who specializes in the state where the adoption will finalize, which is unknown until you match with an expectant mother. You have the right to retain your own attorney, but doing so may be an additional, unnecessary expense.

Can we choose the gender of our baby?

American Adoptions does not allow gender specificity in adoption. Any family who wishes to be gender-specific in their adoption should contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION and ask about the possibility of an exception waiver before taking any other steps toward adoption with our agency. Any families who do receive an exception to be gender-specific may also incur an additional fee, which helps cover the additional advertising costs of such a request.

Please note that gender specificity will likely increase your wait time significantly.

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