Wait is usually a four-letter word in our house. Our daughters don’t like to hear it when we ask for their patience as they make a request, and even as adults we have developed an aversion to the passing of time before our own desires. Whether we are waiting a set amount of time, like a thirty-minute wait for our food to finish cooking in the oven, or an unknown timetable, like waiting for an adoption, our fast-paced, get-it-now society hates to wait.
My husband and I are currently in the waiting phase of our adoption journey. We have completed all the required documents, finished our home study and background checks, gotten references and health assessments and are now in the lull of waiting. We have come up with 7½ ways to make the adoption wait a little less difficult. These ideas are offered from experience.
As your mind fills with questions or anxiety during the wait, a new hobby to learn yourself or together as a couple can give you a useful and welcomed distraction. Finding a non-adoption-related activity to do on your own or as a family can take your mind off recurring worries as you await a phone call or email from your adoption professional. My husband and I began woodworking projects for our house as we are waiting. It has allowed us to not only learn and create new pieces for our house, but it also gives us time to spend together.
Plan different ideas that would be beneficial for fundraising for your adoption expenses. We have heard so many different ways that families have raised funds, but the important thing to know is what will work for your family and your community. If your surrounding area doesn’t have a golf course or many people who play golf, then a golf scramble would not be beneficial. Maybe where you live people like to have BBQs and sell the meat in the community for fundraisers. Make a list of ideas and your cost and get going on fundraisers.
3. Share Your Story
Our family loves to share with others what God is doing in our family and how he brought us to the decision of adoption. We have found that not only are there so many people we come in contact with that have skewed ideas of adoption, but several we meet are interested in our journey. You can be as open or give as little detail as you want, but in our experience, people appreciate our openness and are even more inclined to donate to a fundraising opportunity after we have shared our story.
4. Choose a Pediatrician
Choosing a doctor is like conducting a job interview for who will be responsible for the well-being of your baby. Take time to consider your options and find the right pediatrician that best fits your needs and meshes well with your personality.
5. Read Adoption/Parenting Info
If you are waiting to become a first-time parent, the number of parenting books available is staggering. You don’t have to go far to find advice on bringing your first child home and some ideas on what you may expect. However, if you have biological children but are a first-time adoptive parent, you will have a different set of expectations and realities. Finding books or articles to help prepare you in this transition would be helpful.
6. Take Time for Relaxation and Recreation
When enduring a waiting period, doing anything for fun may seem like you’re lessening the importance of whatever you are waiting for. You may just not be in the mood to try and relax and have fun because of the worry you associate with your wait. However, trying to destress and enjoy yourself as you pass the time is not just to have fun, but it will also bring value to how you spend your time. Taking care of yourself and finding enjoyment will make a happier you and will allow for a healthier outlook when your adoption does come to fruition.
7. Get with Your Employer
Take this time to square some things up with your employer for when your adoption is completed. You will need to ask about adding your child to the insurance, discuss options for adoption leave, ask whether your company offers an adoption grant, and find information about FMLA. Once you have all of these items checked off your list, you will be one step closer to bringing home your baby.
7½. Work on the Baby’s Room
Some of the best advice we received as we started the adoption journey was to halfway finish the baby’s room as we waited for the phone call saying a match had been confirmed for our adoption. Our adoption professional said while many soon-to-be adoptive parents will immediately set up the baby’s room to completion, this can be one of the hardest scenes to look at as you wait. We took her advice and agreed that walking past a completely decorated and perfectly placed baby’s room would just add to the pain of knowing we didn’t have our baby yet to place in that crib or rock in that chair.
We also didn’t just leave an empty room. This is why I said to “halfway” finish the room. We bought the necessary items we would need for bringing baby home. We even placed a rocker and some other baby things in the room that would be designated for our baby. And for our home study, we went ahead and set up the crib with its mattress so our social worker would see that we were prepared for what was to come. But we have not fully decorated this room. We are ready to perfectly put each piece of furniture and décor in its place once we receive a call saying we have been matched.
We also know that there could be a situation where we are called to drop everything and go pick up a baby that is already born. For that, we know we are prepared with the necessities and will spruce it up when we arrive home. We hold this room as something exciting to come and try to keep from identifying it as what we don’t have yet.
This four-letter-word will try our patience, test our faith, and push us to our limits. But it’s finding hope in the waiting that can be a beautiful part of our adoption journey.
Jill is a 32-year-old wife and mom. She has been married to her husband, Brannon, for eight years and has 5-year-old and 1-year-old daughters. Jill and her husband are currently in the adoption process to bring another baby into their home. Jill lives in a small community in Kentucky. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish and obtained her Master’s degree in Christian Ministries. Jill’s passions are her faith, her family, writing, playing sports, and eating good food.