The beginning stages of the adoption process are full of activity. You are busy learning about adoption, taking online classes, getting to know your counselor, preparing for a home study, creating your family profile, filling out forms, and much more. While this first can hold its unique frustrations, the waiting phase is often one of the most difficult times for prospective adoptive parents since it can easily lead to anxiety and doubt. No one can tell how long the adoption wait will be, so it’s important to keep yourself busy and shut down any negative thoughts.
1. Continue with your life as much as possible while waiting. Don’t be negative if your first contact with a birthmother doesn’t work out, but rather try to learn from that experience. Turn this waiting period into a gift and prepare for that new special person who will soon be in your life.
2. Consider doing some practical things like updating your health insurance, finding out about your company’s adoption leave policy, finding a pediatrician, and exploring child care options. It is never early for this sort of preparation, because once the baby comes, you will no longer have excess time to explore and choose.
3. Take a new parent class with your partner. Many hospitals and community centers offer classes for new parents that you can take advantage of. The more information you have about practical care, the more confident you’ll feel when your baby arrives.
4. Read books about adoption and parenting. Every piece of information is precious. It’s also a great idea to read multiple perspectives and opinions, especially when it comes to parenting, in order to decide which aspects you agree and don’t agree with.
5. Prepare your adoption story during the adoption wait. You can even consider taking month-by-month adoption waiting photos and incorporating them into an adoption story for your child. You can also prepare games and stories to explain the adoption process to your child.
6. Expand your social network with other adoptive families. Other people’s stories can be your inspiration during the adoption wait, so visit forums, adoption sites, and support groups to meet new people.
7. Spend some quality time with your partner. You are in this together, and maybe this is just the right time to deepen your relationship. Consider taking a trip together to relax. Your new baby will demand the best of you, and you’ll want to be ready, rested, and waiting with open arms.
8. Do something for yourself every day. It can be the smallest thing, like spending the day in your pajamas, getting your hair done, baking a cake, or reading a good book.
9. Renew an old hobby or tackle your to-do list.
10. Consider doing something else rewarding, fun, or worthwhile to keep your spirits up, such as learning a new language, taking dance classes, painting, writing your thoughts, gardening, or doing volunteer work. Now is a great time to try out new things and expand your horizons.