When Waiting Feels Like an Eternity
What do you do when you’ve filled out all the paperwork, completed your Home Study, and now you’re waiting to bring your new adoptive son or daughter home? The waiting can feel like an eternity. We asked other adoptive parents who have been on this journey to share their insights.
"Focus on ways you will simplify your life after adoption so that you have more time to dedicate to your child for bonding, adjustment, and attachment,” one parent shared. For example, do time-consuming chores you may have less opportunity to accomplish once your child is home—like spring cleaning or painting the garage. Another idea is to practice a new bedtime and morning routine so you will be better prepared for inevitable changes. Also consider bowing out of some church or community obligations, freezing meals that will be ready to heat later, or hiring someone to mow your lawn or clean your house.
While these practical tips are helpful and certainly worthy of consideration, maybe you really want to find ways to start specifically preparing for parenting this new member of your family. One parent had this suggestion—especially for new parents. “Spend time with children, volunteering at church, or babysitting or mentoring . . . engaging with children prepares you for the dynamic world of children.” In addition, he suggested developing a community of other adoptive families, perhaps serving as a respite care provider when needed.
Some children will be welcomed not only by new parents but also by new siblings. One adoptive parent of multiple children said they had pictures of their coming child around the house for their other kids to see and start feeling the adoption was going to be real. “We would watch the video we had of them,” she continued. She also suggested referring to the new member of the family as their brother or sister while discussing together what they could all do to be welcoming. Perhaps most important, she added, “We prayed for them every day both at the dinner table and on our own.”
Other suggestions for the wait include keeping a journal to share memories later with your adoptive child; reading adoption blogs, articles, and books; studying the culture and country your child is coming from; and planning for anticipated medical needs by visiting specialists or reading about potential treatments. Preparing for that exciting day when your child comes home might also include making a box of age-appropriate activities you can do together to help facilitate bonding, such as coloring pages and simple, interactive games for younger children.
But perhaps the best advice is to dedicate more time for prayer, taking time to listen to God as He prepares your heart for the gift of children, and daily asking Him to give you the faith to trust His perfect timing—even while you wait.
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