One of the hardest parts of any adoption process is the waiting. It can seem to take forever to get the financials in order, to process the paperwork, to get your profile ready — and then you still have to wait to find a birthmother match. The waiting to adopt during the holidays can feel interminable, and perhaps no more so during the holiday season. Below are some ways to help manage the stress of waiting during the holidays.
One way to keep your mind off the adoption wait during the holiday season is to stay busy, but with one important addendum: don’t overwhelm yourself. However, the holidays are a great time to see friends and family and take part in more social outings, so it can be easy to stay busy.
Another way to keep your mind off the wait and stay busy during the holidays is by volunteering. Whether it’s at a homeless shelter, an animal shelter, or with some other cause that’s close to your heart, you can keep yourself busy while also making a positive impact on the world.
Prepare for Hard Conversations
A big part of the holidays for lots of people is seeing friends and family that they might not otherwise see very much during the year. This can lead to catching up, which may inevitably include some hard questions, like “When are you going to have kids?”
As well-meaning as those asking questions like these may be, it can be hurtful in the moment, especially if asked in a crowd. If you prepare an answer ahead of time, you can feel more empowered to address it when the issue arises. You may even choose this time to let people know you’re in the process of adopting.
Waiting is hard, and the holidays are stressful even without the added stress of an adoption to think about, so it’s important to take care of yourself. Take some time away if you can, or reward yourself with little treats like a bubble bath or a night out with your partner. Even just planning for something toward the end of the holiday season can do wonders just by giving you a specific date to look forward to.
Connect with Other Adoptive Parents
It is hard to overestimate the power of the kind of support you can get from those who have been through the same sort of wait as you. You can ask your adoption agency about local support groups or connect with other adoptive parents online on forums or social media. Talking with other parents waiting to adopt during the holidays and supporting each other can help you feel less alone as you navigate the holiday season while waiting for your adoption, no matter what stage of the process you’re in.