Advice from Adoption VeteransAdvice from Adoption Veterans

For many adoptive couples, the wait between their activation and an adoption opportunity can be nerve-wracking and stressful. This is totally normal, and every couple will handle their wait differently. Refer back to our What to Do After Activation post for tips on this stage of the adoption process, or read on for encouragement and first-hand advice from people who have been in your shoes.

“Don’t let people’s own opinions or encouragement or stereotypes dissuade you.” -Linda

“The wait time is really, really, really hard. And what a lot of people don’t understand unless they’ve gone through it, is it’s not like a pregnancy where you have a set amount of time and then there’s a specific baby. A lot of times we had to trust that fate, that God does have a specific child out there for you.” -Kathryn

“The three months of putting all the paperwork together really kept my mind occupied. It really kept me going and then all of a sudden when we had nothing else to do, and we were both done, it was completely out of our hands. That was definitely hard.” -Diane

“I think it was hard knowing—well not knowing—when we had situations that we agreed to send our profile to. That was really hard because then you knew there was a baby right there and that the birth mom was going to choose.” -Kelly

“The biggest thing is to take life as it comes and just know that there is a plan for you. And to never give up hope. You just have to stay with it and stay strong. Keep the faith. I guess when we look back on it and all the things that you have to go through the adoption process, all the paperwork, all the appointments, all the meetings, all the classes, you kinda think, my gosh, there’s biological parents that should have to go through this, and they don’t have to go through anything. I think the biggest thing is to just get busy with your life. And also, in your heart, just plan to have a baby. There’s going to be a baby in the future, but don’t stop your life just waiting for that baby because it just makes it too hard.” -Karin

“As frustrating as it can be sometimes, you just have to keep living your life and have faith that it’s going to work out the way it’s supposed to.” -Bill

“The adoption process taught us a lot of patience, and that you have to accept that certain things are out of your control. Bruce and I believe in God’s plan in this, and it was a huge reminder that we are not in control of this process. There was just so many other people and factors that played into it.” -Shannon

“We have learned that everything happens for a reason. Our advice to parents going through this tough process is to be calm, go about your daily life, pray about what you want to happen, trust your instincts, trust American Adoptions, and know that whatever is supposed to happen is going to happen.” -Carlie

“I felt good up until about nine months, but our wait ended up being 22 months long. I really struggled a lot with it. Even my friends who have adopted from American Adoptions had no idea how we felt because they all adopted in six months or less. I probably sent an email once a month asking how things were going. I felt that despite a lot of people doing all they could, nobody could really help us as it is ultimately a pregnant woman’s decision. However, it was helpful to know that we were very similar to many other families who adopted successfully, so we knew it would eventually happen for us.” -Elizabeth

“We had our whole summer planned to remodel one of our bathrooms, and we were going to do it really slowly, just so there was always something going on to keep our minds occupied. We were at the crux of total demolition when they called and said there was a baby coming in a few weeks. And then we had to hurry and put the bathroom back together before we left!” -Sara

 “Patience. My baby was going to come home with me when she was ready, and there is no force on Earth that is going to change that. Every point was just a twist and turn on the path that was leading us straight to our daughter.” -Heidi

“Do not to take all the criticism personally. You are scrutinized to prepare a family for a little one with no defenses- think of it as keeping your child safe from those who would harm it!” -Shannon

“Go on with your life and be positive; try not to be too anxious. Forget the in-between stuff and just know that somehow, someway, I’m going to have a family. It is so worth it.” -Nancy

“Patience, whether it’s dealing with the adoption process or the child himself. When he starts crying, you have to be patient, but more so with the adoption process itself. We were fortunate– we were selected within a couple of months– but the years leading up to the adoption, you just have to be patient, and when the time is right, it is going to happen. Lucky for us, it did. We have the greatest kid in the world.” -Craig

“Be patient. Keep your heart open. All the steps and jumping through hoops is well worth it in the end. God will bring you the child that’s meant for your family.” -Jessica

“Don’t get caught up in the wait time because every situation is different and it will happen when your child is ready… It’s not a bluelight special at K-Mart. It’s your child, and it’s a lifelong relationship. And you want that to be the perfect situation for you, for your child and for the birth mother. It’s a lifelong relationship for everybody involved.” -Kelly

“Pray, have faith, trust the process and embrace the wait. As others have said, God’s hand is absolutely in this and he will bring the child that is meant to be a part of your family. And sleep.” -Jennifer

“Try not to stress about the process. The process of bringing home your baby is just a small blip in the great adventure that is parenting. Your baby will come home to you at just the right time. Relax and enjoy the ride!” -Heidi

“It’s a roller coaster: talk to your social workers if you need support!! They are there to help you! You’re one in a million experience is their everyday.” -Rebecca

“Have Faith! Once you are active, let it go and enjoy life again! It will happen! Once you hold your little one all the pain will disappear!” -Elizabeth

“We tried to not think about waiting as much as possible and to just let the match happen. When we got the call, it was a surprise and the time we waited didn’t seem that long at that point.” -Andy

“I think the one interesting thing about this whole process, and it comes back to faith, is that our marriage is incredibly stronger because of everything. I suspect other adoptive families will learn this as well. We had those four years of time in order to strengthen our marriage, build our faith, volunteer more at church, improve at our jobs, and just do more together. It’s as though it was all a master plan, that we were going to be at this point in our lives and that everything was meant to be all along.” -Jim

To learn how to American Adoptions monitors our wait times, read How We Minimize Adoption Wait Times!