Deciding on adoption is a large step for anyone, but for many families dealing with the wait is the hardest part. In the waiting phase of your adoption it is common to become anxious. You may experience sleepless nights, difficulty focusing at work, or just the constant feeling of “butterflies” in your stomach. All of these feelings are normal, and even expected. After all, in making an adoption plan, you are reaching for your dreams. You are investing your time, emotions, and finances, with the hope of soon becoming parents. You have taken a huge step toward growing your family, and you know that the decisions you are making now are going to change your life.
Becoming proactive is one way you can help your adoption journey by easing the day-to-day anticipation and giving you some control over your time and feelings. It will help take all of those bundled up nerves, and transform them into positive actions that will get the word out to everyone around you, that you are seeking a child to adopt.
Adoption is about faith and timing, but it is also about doing what you can to make yourself an active participant in your own adoption journey. In the beginning there are a lot of steps to complete, but after the documents are ready, the home study complete, and your profile has been finished, the waiting process begins. Being proactive will not only help you feel better, but it will make the time pass, and perhaps make your adoption journey even more memorable.
Here are some tips for becoming proactive towards your adoption:
- Go shopping! Donate maternity clothes; we are constantly in need of nice maternity clothes for our birth mothers.
- Volunteer with Lifetime--Visit LifetimeFoundation.org to find out how you can help.
- Take a trip. –While you are on vacation, take a selection of Lifetime Adoption materials and pass them out. If you are interested in helping with outreach, please contact your coordinator for details.
- Help a friend.—Giving the gift of time to someone in need can help ease the feeling of one’s own burden.
- Celebrate—Have a family get together and let them know how they can support your adoption plan.
- Tell your story-Begin a journal about this adoption process, your child will love to have your own words as a keepsake someday.
- Be Creative--Create special business-like cards to carry with you and pass around. Include your first names and Lifetime’s 1-800 number.
- Network-Keep a few copies of your profile in your car and at work. You never know who you’re going to meet.
- Keep in touch--Mention your adoption journey in your Christmas card, letter, or newsletter.
- Building support- Find other adoptive families to share your experiences with. Learn about what your community has to offer.
- Decorate—Get the nursery ready and baby proof the house.
- Take a class--Learn about baby care and child development.
- Find a hobby-Start something new that you enjoy and can share with your child.
It is our hope that this information and these tips will ease some of the tension you may be feeling as you wait to be matched with a birth mother. Remember, stressful or anxious feelings are normal as you travel down the adoption road. What you choose to do with these feelings is completely under your control. We believe the Lord has a special plan and timing in mind for each of our lives. We can do everything possible to set ourselves up for success, and after that, we must place our trust in Him!
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is the founder of Lifetime Adoption and host of the radio talk show, Let’s Talk Adoption with Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P..
has been an adoption professional since 1986 and assists in over 120 adoptions per year. She has been quoted in and consulted for Parenting and Adoptive Families magazines and has appeared on CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox.