My Unwritten Rules of Adoption Waiting
- Never get too excited. Cautious optimism is the rule of thumb. Things may go really well, but they also might not.
- Respect the birth mother’s right to choose. Her right to choose her adoptive family to entrust her child to. And her right to change her mind.
- Keep living. Do home reno’s, go on trips, enjoy evenings out as a couple, even make plans for 6 months out. Just buy cancellation insurance in case you have to cancel, it’s an easy solution.
- Do not pay attention to your bank account. (At least if you are doing an international adoption). Just accept that you are going to be more broke then you ever imagined possible.
- Keep working hard to pay off all the bills.
- Distract yourself. That could mean reading, going to the gym, home reno’s, traveling, visiting with friends, going shopping, having a few glasses of wine, etc. Honestly, do whatever you need to do to keep your mind occupied with healthy thoughts.
- Network with other waiting adoptive parents. They understand the unique hell that is waiting and endless paperwork. Our biggest surprise was finding a group of people who understood infertility and loss – almost everyone adopting has been there too in some way, shape or form. These friendships are valuable today, they give you support that most people don’t understand. And, these friendships will probably also be valuable when you are raising children and will have someone who understands the unique adoption situations that will arise from time to time.
- Be bitter/frustrated/angry/disappointed/hurt/spastic when you need to be. The wait is hard, don’t try to be a superhero, just be you. Good days and bad days are part of you. Just pick yourself up when you can and try not to wallow in the bad for too long.
- When you are ready, and only when you are ready, start preparing for your child. Buying the first baby item is a big step, so make it special. And, then keep getting ready because who knows when baby might come into your life.
- Embrace why you are waiting. Remember what you’ve been through to get here, but try to focus on what is coming next. Focus on the future joy. Hold onto the hope. Remember there is a giant pile of gold at the end of the rainbow.
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