In one memorable scene, prospective adoptive Mother Vanessa Loring is shown painting a nursery. Vanessa says, “What to Expect says that readying the baby’s room is an important process for women. It’s called ‘nesting’.” To which husband Mark Loring replies, “Nesting, huh? Are you planning to build the crib out of twigs and saliva?”
While the term “nesting” may sound funny, it’s actually a very appropriate phrase. “Nesting” refers to the animal instinct many women feel to organize, clean and prepare for the arrival of a new child. It’s extremely common in pregnant women, especially in the weeks leading up to delivery. Some women describe it as an “overwhelming urge”.
What many people don’t realize is that nesting isn’t exclusive to just pregnant women. Anyone expecting a child can experience the urge to nest, including parents waiting to adopt.
Of course, waiting for baby while pregnant is very different than waiting for baby as a prospective adoptive parent. Pregnancy lasts only nine months, while an adoption process is unpredictable, sometimes spanning much longer than nine months and sometimes much less than nine months.
So it’s natural for prospective parents to feel unsure when it comes to nesting. Is it ‘okay’ to prepare a nursery, register for baby supplies, and start stocking up on infant clothing when you don’t know when your baby will arrive?
The truth is, there’s no right or wrong answer. Deciding what amount of nesting is appropriate is entirely up to you and your family. Some families decide they want to prepare the nursery and buy items for the baby while others feel that walking by an empty nursery everyday would cause too much pain to not know when it will one day be filled.
Whether or not you nest, and in what capacity, is entirely your decision. But, if you are looking for creative ways to nest as a prospective adoptive parent that don’t include baby showers and painting the nursery, here are 10 ways you can nest while waiting to adopt.
1. Write a blog or journal
Take some time to journal your thoughts and emotions. A core component of nesting is preparing yourself emotionally to welcome a child into your home. Journaling your thoughts can be a great way to help document this experience and also work through the emotional rollercoaster that waiting for baby can often be.
2. Create a video journal
If you’re not into blogging, video journaling is a fun alternative. Your kids will enjoy watching you later on in life when you feel ready to share this journey with them! Enjoy this fun exercise!
3. Research pediatricians
Take some time to research great pediatricians near to you. Schedule visits to offices so you can get a chance to meet each doctor. You won’t like all of them, so find the ones you prefer and select one that you’d like to use when baby comes home.
4. Research child care options
Do you or your partner plan to stay at home post maternity/paternity leave? If not, you’ll need to orchestrate some sort of childcare for you child. Look into childcare options. You can even schedule visits with local childcare providers so you can get a feel for their culture and environment. Make a list of your top favorite options so that you can be prepared to sign up or join the wait list when your child arrives.
5. Prepare Yourself
READ BOOKS Spend time reading books related to caring for a baby and the adoption process. If you’re not sure where to start, contact your adoption agency; chances are the agency will have a library at your disposal or at least a list of great books to read. EXERCISE AND EAT WELL Preparing for baby also means preparing yourself. Make a concerted effort to eat well and exercise. Not only will your physical health prepare your body for the demands of caring for a newborn, but it will also help to keep your mood and spirits up, as waiting to adopt can be challenging and emotional.
6. Clean/prepare your home
The desire to clean and organize is a key indicator that you’re nesting. It’s okay to allow yourself to give into that urge. Spend time organizing your home. Clean your closets and cabinets, organize your kitchen, tackle that long to-do list you’ve had running in the back of your mind forever. When baby arrives, you won’t have time to work through that list, so use this nesting period to your advantage and prepare your home.
7. Take a CPR/First Aid class
Local community organizations and colleges often offer CPR and first aid classes. Your adoption agency may offer it, as well. You’ll never regret knowing how to conduct CPR and basic first-aid. It’s a skill that you hope you’ll never need to use, but you’ll be grateful you know how if ever there’s an emergency down the line.
8. Purchase the basics
While you might not be inclined to start a baby registry or decorate a nursery while waiting to adopt, you might find comfort in buying the basics for your child. Think about what baby will need in the first few weeks of coming home – diapers, basic clothing items and blankets – and think about purchasing those items.
If buying the basics doesn’t seem like enough to you and you feel the urge to prepare more (everyone is different), consider making a list of the items that you’d like to add to your one-day registry.
9. Engage with your adoption agency
A great way to prepare for the arrival of your child is to stay engaged and active throughout your community and adoption agency. If there are events, attend them. If there are support groups available for prospective parents, consider joining those. Stay active and stay involved.
10. Spend time with your partner
Part of nesting means that you not only prepare yourself and your home for parenthood, but you and your partner prepare as a couple to become parents together. Spend quality time together. Go on a vacation or schedule weekly date nights. Make a true effort to be together and enjoy your relationship.
It might seem unnatural to nest while waiting to adopt, but keep in mind that each person is different. There is no black and white rule book. Do what you and your partner feel comfortable with. While the wait can be challenging, stressful and frustrating at times, try your best to make the most of it. Enjoy quality time with your spouse, check things off your to-do list, try new things, and remember, it’s all apart of the journey to parenthood.]]>
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