Hurry up and wait.
There’s a reason that saying is so common in a variety of settings. If you’re adopting a baby like us, chances are you were so eager to get through all the paper work and the home study so you could become active with an agency.
We gathered the necessary documents for our home study provider like it was a race. It felt addicting to check off all the boxes and each one represented getting one step closer to our baby.
- Marriage license, birth certificates, background checks, and every other life document you could ever think of…check
- Home study interviews…check
- Agency application/s…check
- Profile book…check
- Wait to be matched… …
…for most couples, things sort of came to a screeching halt.
You’ve lost complete control of the situation and there’s nothing left in your court to do. While you feel a sense of relief and accomplishment that you’ve gotten this far, the silence can be brutal.
If you’re anything like us, the wait time was our biggest concern. And even after only a few days into it, we were struggling.
The more we prayed and talked about it, the more we realized that we needed to find a way to experience joy in this wait. We began brainstorming ways to enjoy every day during this time. More importantly, we needed something to help us turn around those days that just seemed to drag on and feel like eternity.
“The Great Wait”
A couple days early in our wait, we’d look at each other and just say “we’ve got to go do something fun!”. We’d found that the typical daily routine we were used to wasn’t going to work throughout this adoption wait. I should also note that for 2 years before we began our adoption journey, we traveled full-time in our RV.
It wasn’t easy going back to more of a stationary lifestyle in order to start the process, so routine was extra difficult for us. In an attempt to break up the day-to-day monotony, we created a list of activities and called it “The Great Wait”.
We sat down and wrote as many activities we could think of that would bring us joy, or at least add a little fun into our day. It became a new kind of “check list” and way more fun than paperwork.
After only a few days of picking from the list and going out after work to do one of the activities, we were so happy we made it and knew we needed to share it with other couples who are also waiting to adopt a baby.
Doing one of these activities, even just for an hour after work, or a full day on the weekend, allowed us to take our minds off the wait, stop checking our cell phones obsessively, and focus on each other. We love that while doing these activities, we can appreciate that we’re making the best of our final days just the two of us. As much as we want that baby in our arms, activities like these won’t be quite the same when we do.
What a blessing we were able to find in our wait and we hope you can do the same!
Other things that may help you survive the wait
A few other ideas of things you can do as you wait for your little one:
- Journal. Write down your feelings, progress, and challenges so you’ll always remember this time to share with your child someday.
- Read some adoption related books or watch inspiring adoption movies (we love “Instant Family” and “Closure).
- Prepare for parenthood (if you aren’t already a parent). We talk about discipline, took a parenting class, and I’ve loved trying to improve myself and prepare to be the best mom I can be.
- Practice self care…while you can! Start an exercise program, meditate, pamper yourself. Strengthening your body, mind, and spirit will make you feel more confident and positive. Plus, it’s much harder to do those things when baby comes.
- Find other adoptive couple friends. Use social media or ask around. I found a local adoptive moms group through Facebook that meets for dinner every couple weeks and it’s been so helpful to surround myself with people who understand. I also connected with other waiting adoptive mamas in Facebook groups and met for coffee, which led to double dates with our husbands. It’s even more helpful when you get your baby to have the support as adoptive parents.
What has helped you during your adoption wait? What advice do you have for waiting couples?
Let us know in the comments!