25 Ways To “WAIT”

Here are 25 ways to deal ways to approach the “ready and waiting” process in the healthiest way. There is so much to learn about adoption and parenting, so embrace this time.
1. Have faith
Having faith is having confidence, trust, a conviction, a belief that you will adopt and that the process works.
2. Take adoption classes (not just the required home study classes!)
Your agency offers you optional pre-adoption classes as well as information on upcoming adoption conferences and workshops throughout the year. Pay special attention to adoption events during the month of November, National Adoption Month.
3. Look for adoption announcements and memory books
There are so many creative ways to announce that you have adopted and to record your adoption journey and your child’s arrival. You can purchase pre-made announcements or memory books or you can create your own.
4. Become familiar with adoption terminology
The agency provides you with a list of words that introduces you to adoption terminology. This education is not to be “politically correct” but rather to introduce you to important terms that you will need to know throughout the adoption process. Becoming comfortable with many of these words will prepare you to talk about adoption with your child and others in your life.
5. Build an adoption library for your child
Becoming familiar with the many adoption storybooks now available will prepare you for one day reading to your child. The gift of a book is a gift that keeps on giving.
6. Read adoption and related books
In addition to building your child’s library, begin to purchase or borrow books on adoption, parenting, etc., that will prepare you for your journey.
7. Nurture your relationship
If you have a significant other, don’t forget each other. One day you will be parents and need to build in the time for each other. Right now is the time to stay committed to date nights, spontaneous and planned trips, etc. Do not put your relationship on hold during the adoption process.
8. For those exploring domestic adoption, update your profile and update your birth parent letter
Listen to the agency staff if they provide you with suggestions to tweak your profile and even if they don’t, change it every so often… maybe a new front cover, or a new paragraph to your introductory letter?
9. Place your profile on the adoption agency website!
Adoption STAR has partnered with ParentFinder and helps you create a beautiful online profile that is added to our website.
10. For those exploring international adoption, enroll in a language class
What language will your child be hearing or speaking when you meet? It will be a great comfort to your child if you can learn a few phrases or simple songs in their language to support them during their transition into your family. You may not learn to speak fluently but it will certainly enhance your understanding of your child’s culture.
11. Attend cultural events and learn more about your child’s culture
Join in some of the community celebrations within your child’s culture. Sign up for a cooking class and research and try recipes from your child’s country of origin.
12. Meet other prospective adoptive parents in person and on-line!
Your agency provides you with an established support group offering social, educational and support opportunities as well as two online groups where you will meet adoptive families in all stages of the adoption process.
13. Join an adoption support group
Involving yourself in an adoption support and social group prior to adopting will provide you with incredible new friendships, a built-in support system, and a group of people who will route for you along the way and celebrate with you when your good news is shared, and is with you even during the disappointments.
14. Find a “mentor” from the adoption community
Your agency provides you with a Mentor List upon request. You can select a Mentor based on topic-areas or experiences. Perhaps you are single and want to connect with a single adoptive parent, or you are hoping to have an open adoption and want to connect with a family already experiencing this. The individuals/couples on the Mentor List have gone through the process and can share their experiences with you.
15. Keep a journal or blog
Write your emotions down in a journal or blog. You can record your thoughts and feelings as well as some of the frustrations you will feel along the way. After you adopt this will be priceless to you.
16. Write a letter to your child
As difficult and emotional as it may sound, writing a letter to your eventual child will provide keep you focused on your goal of parenthood and remind you of all the reasons you wish to adopt. This is another keepsake that will be important to you long after your child arrives, as well as a special gift to your child one day.
17. Prepare for parenthood
Becoming an adoptive parent doesn’t happen over night but when it is time to pick up your child whether it is in your state, another state or another country, you’ll want to be sure you’re ready. Find out from the agency what you should travel with, what will be provided and what you can prepare for before “the day” arrives.
18. Identify a family physician or pediatrician
It’s never too early to look for a pediatrician or family doctor. You will want to meet the physician before your child arrives to be sure you are comfortable with them and their practice as well as to be sure they have experience with domestic/international adoptees.
19. Explore your neighborhood
Though you may have lived in your neighborhood for years, you may not have been educated on the resources important to assist you in the new role of parenthood. What resources are in your neighborhood? Have you been to the local playgrounds? Are you familiar with the closest hospital or emergency centers? Are you familiar with the school districts?
20. Investigating child care options
Whether you are going to be a working parent or not, it is recommended to pre-educate yourself on the daycare options available to you. In addition identify “babysitters” you will be comfortable leaving your child with inside and outside of your family. Just like it is important to nurture your relationship now, it is vital to build in time alone (at least one date night per week.) It is important to have a healthy relationship to be a healthy parent.
21. Safety/childproof your home
Is your house childproof? Have you:
• Installed outlet covers and plates on outlets?
• Installed smoke detectors on every level of your home?
• Used window guards, window stops or safety netting to prevent kids from falling out of windows?
• Removed window blind cords that have loops, which can cause strangulation? Bought safety tassels to replace cord loops?
• Installed doorknob covers to keep children out of dangerous rooms (bathrooms, garage, office)?
• Posted emergency numbers next to all phones?
• Installed safety latches on all cupboards and airtight containers, including refrigerators?
• Stored knives, sharp objects and heavy pans out of child’s reach?
• Stored medications, detergents, soaps, alcohol and other hazardous items out of reach?
• Used back burners when cooking, and remembered to turn handles away from counter edge?
• Equipped faucets with anti-scalding devices?
• Latched trash compactor and dishwasher?
• Ensured there is a fire extinguisher in the kitchen but not close to any heat sources?
• Made sure trashcan has lid and is inaccessible to children?
• Ensured you have a safe cupboard (filled with wooden spoons, plastic cups and lids, and other harmless items) for your child to explore while you are cooking?
• Used child safety gate to keep kids out of kitchen when you are not there?
• Ensured you have a cordless phone to remain mobile with kids around and have at least one cell phone in house for use in emergencies when there is no electricity?
22. Finish Projects
Finish those home renovation projects such as painting, refinishing furniture or even renovating your home.
23. Look for volunteer opportunities with your adoption agency or support group
Your agency is always looking for volunteers to help out in a number of ways, by volunteering for a specific event or project or by joining one of their committees! E-mail or call today to learn of ways you can get more involved.
24. Be expectant (rest, exercise, eat properly, and make plans!)
You’ll need to find ways to deal with the stress of adopting and being “in the process.” Exercise is a great stress reliever. Now may be the time to join that health club, sign up for a Yoga class. (And work with weights – your child will want and need to be held… often! Your arms and back will thank you!)
25. And last but definitely not least . . . Believe!