Disclaimer: The steps I describe in this series are the steps we took toward adoption. This is our perspective on the steps to adoption.
Unless you matched prior to finding an agency or completing your home study, you are most likely now entering the waiting phase of the adoption process. I will say it can be a very difficult and lonely time during the adoption process. It is possible that you will match at the expectant mother will change her mind so you start over in the waiting process. You will probably be very aware of all things baby or kids so it may seem that everyone you know is announcing they are pregnant (and everyone may be pregnant). However, I think this is a great time to reflect and start thinking about what you will do once you are matched and placement takes place.
A lot of prospective adoptive parents wonder if they should start buying baby clothes and gear. Everyone does things differently but our social worker advised us not to so we chose not to set up a baby room. She told us it is very difficult to walk past a room every day and not have a baby. I would agree with this statement. It would have been difficult for us to look at a baby room every day and so I’m glad we chose the path we did but everyone is different and setting up a baby room might give others comfort. I would ask you to think long about how you will feel after the room is set up if your wait last years?
If you choose not to set up a room, take this time to research baby gear and infant clothing to find out what you will want to purchase when baby does arrive. You can do this from time to time as you wait and it will help you feel prepared. I did this several times and made a list of items. It helped me to satisfy some of the loneliness during this time.
I would also suggest picking up a new hobby or a new book series. This is a good chance to read a lot about adoption. It’s also a great time to find something new about yourself and maybe something new you might enjoy. I would also advise to let your spouse know how you are feeling. If you are having a rough day waiting during adoption talk about it.
Another idea is to journal your adoption journey. It would be a great memory to give to your future child. It can also help you get your feelings and emotions released when there isn’t always someone to talk to. Let’s face it, the likely hood that one of your closest friends is walking the adoption journey or has walked the adoption journey is slim. People who have not been down this path do not understand it and so it can be difficult to discuss it with those outside this journey.
I would also encourage you to not shy away from your friends who become pregnant while walking the adoption process. Yes it will be difficult to sit at a shower or listen to people to talk about their pregnancy but for me it allowed me to think about the joy coming. While I was sad, it was also a sweet time for me to reflect on what it would be like one day.
The wait is hard, there is no other way to put it. However, each day that passes you get closer to meeting your future child. Take the advice I gave but the best advice I could give is pray a lot. If I’m having a difficult day then I just start praying. It is truly the only thing that carries me through.