The holidays are always emotional. And then, facing an unplanned pregnancy and creating an adoption plan for your baby? That’s a lot for anyone to deal with. Remember: Your adoption specialist is there for you whenever you need support this holiday season, and although things can feel a little lonely, you’re not on your own in this. You can always contact us if you need to talk.

Here are some additional tips for handling the holidays when you’re pregnant and making an adoption plan:

Lean on your support system

Spend time with the people who encourage and support you. Whether that’s friends, family, your partner or spouse, your faith community, your adoption specialist or birth parents who know what this stage of the process is like — surround yourself with love from whoever you have in your corner.

Reach out to the prospective adoptive family

If you’ve already chosen the people who you feel are your baby’s future parents, it can sometimes be uplifting and comforting to plan the beautiful life ahead together. Getting to know the adoptive family can take your mind off of holiday blues, and it may also offer you some peace of mind in addition to strengthening your relationship.

Make special gifts

The holidays can keenly remind us of the losses we’ve experienced. But they’re also a reminder of the things we’ve gained. This holiday season, you could make unique gifts for new additions in your life: your child and his or her potential family. You could make a special ornament that your child could hang on the tree and think of his or her birth family, a baby blanket, or an adoption memory book that you and the adoptive parents can contribute to.

Write a letter

Sometimes writing your thoughts down can be therapeutic. Try writing a letter to your baby — share your love, your hopes for the future and your excitement at the life ahead.

Stay away from negativity

Somehow, we always seem to run into those former friends and unsupportive family members that we don’t want to see during the holidays. The last thing you probably feel like doing is talking to those people about your adoption plan. If you can, avoid situations you think will bring up negativity altogether. If it’s unavoidable or an accidental run-in, stay cool — you don’t have to tell them anything that you don’t want to, and you don’t owe anyone an explanation for your choices.

If you’re stressed about what you’ll say to people about your pregnancy during the busy height of the holiday season (especially if you’re showing, or ask for eggnog without the rum), talk to your adoption specialist. She’ll be able to give you some tips for handling those conversations.

Find your own family

You may be lucky enough to have a loving family who supports your decision regarding your pregnancy. Or, for whatever reason, maybe your family isn’t part of your life or you’re not currently on the best of terms with them. During a season that places emphasis on time spent with “family,” the holidays can be hard if you don’t have that support in your life. So instead, spend extra time with your chosen family, whatever that looks like to you. Have a special meal with your friends, significant other, coworkers, faith community, or whoever feels most like family in your heart.

The holidays can bring up a lot of emotions — joyful and difficult. If you’re emotionally struggling and having a hard time focusing on the positive, you can reach out to your adoption specialist at any time by calling 1-800-ADOPTION (236-7846).