Adoption can be a lengthy process, especially when you consider that many adoptive parents think about it for years. It is not unusual for adopting a newborn to take two years or more.
Patience is a virtue, of course, but it’s normal to sometimes feel like time is dragging on. When there are no milestones for a while – or when the finish line is in sight – it may seem you’ve been waiting forever.
If you feel impatient or frustrated about the adoption wait, there’s nothing wrong with you! In fact, just about everyone has emotions like these at some point. Even when you are just a few weeks away from welcoming the new member of your family, these thoughts can still crop up.
Some parents don’t really feel relief until they have their new child safely in their arms!
That said, the best way to cope with your adoption wait is to find fun, productive things to do. You have the amazing opportunity to set the stage for your new child’s “forever home.” There are so many good and useful things you can do, even during your adoption wait!
Let’s look at some of the best ways to make the adoption wait work for your family:
- Put It in Context
No matter where you are in your adoption journey, you’ve taken powerful, concrete steps toward your goal. Remind yourself of just how far you’ve come. If there is still more to do, identify the next step in your process and focus your attention on that. An adoption attorney can help you move forward.
- Think of the Future
It is okay to start thinking creatively about what the future with your new child might be like. There may be certain ideas in your mind about how to welcome your child, things to do together, and tasks you’ll need to complete. Imagine the best outcome for your child, then take the next action to bring it about.
- Build Your Network
Now is a great time to look for local parent groups in your area. Parents of all kinds benefit from having “mom friends” and “dad friends” they can go to, especially when things feel tough. Parent groups are warm and welcoming, and adoptive parents are treated with just as much respect as other families.
- Spend Time with Loved Ones
As a new parent, you will often not have much time for social interactions outside immediate family. Now is the time to strengthen those bonds with your extended family members and friends. It might seem counterintuitive, but investing time with others now will help keep them close in the future.
- Take a Little Time Off
Depending on your job, you may be saving up time off so you can spend more hours together with your new child early. If so, this is great – keep it up! If your schedule is more flexible, now is a terrific time to take a week off from everything, relax, and breathe. Free time may be in short supply later on.
- Focus on Fundamentals
As a parent, you might have less time for your own needs, but they are still important. It’s wise to be sure you have recently gotten a check-up, are up to date on any medications, and have a solid sense of the very basics: Your sleep schedule, diet, and anything that helps you stay energized.
An adoption wait only feels like forever. Before you know it, you will be welcoming that new member of your family. Contact Jennifer Fairfax for help making the process smoother.