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The Wait: Advice from Adoptive Parents

At a recent annual family picnic, we asked some of our adoptive parents to tell us what kind of advice they would give other adoptive families waiting for a match. Their responses are so insightful and exactly what we tell prospective adoptive families.

One of the things we hear most often from adopting parents is how hard it is to wait for that phone call—for the news that a pregnant woman has chosen them to be her baby’s adoptive parents. Some families’ wait can be short (just a few months), while other families can wait years. That huge range makes this process very difficult for some families.

For many of our clients, “the wait” comes at the end of a painful, multi-year process of infertility doctors, treatments, and heartache. For everyone, there is a long and involved process: choosing how to adopt, educating oneself about the steps, completing a home study, and the soul-searching Parent Profile writing process. The months and years that lead up to the wait to be matched with a birthmother are filled with actions and lists of things to do. Once the Parent Profile is finally done, the action steps slow down for most people and the passive waiting begins.  In our society, most people are not good at “just waiting.” We are programmed to be busy, take action, BE IN CONTROL. As busy adoption professionals who juggle countless details on a daily basis for our clients, we completely empathize with parents-to-be who find it so hard to sit back and just see what will happen!

The big take-aways our happy and thoughtful adoptive parents shared are:

Do not put your life on hold! Book that trip, take that vacation. (Let your agency know, so that they can reach you!)

Believe in the process, because it does work! Adoption Connection has been helping clients adopt for more than 30 years. Unfortunately, we do not have a crystal ball and cannot tell a particular family what the journey will look like, but we can assure you that it will be worth the wait.

Take workshops, read books on adoption, go out to dinner and talk to with other adoptive parents.

Contact us, come in to meet with a caseworker, and/or attend waiting support groups.

Tell your loved ones about your adoption plans, even if it means letting them in about your infertility or struggles to grow your family. Although it can be hard at first, families are relieved to have the support and care of loved ones rooting for you.

Nurture yourself and slow down a little. Take that walk, meditate just five minutes a day, enroll in that chi gong or yoga class. You will never regret that weekend away with your family and friends.  Do your best to relax and continue to live a full, rich life and believe that the birthmother and baby will find you when it is meant to happen.

Ultimately, after you are holding your baby in your arms, you will think back on this period as a relatively short period of time. It will be overshadowed by the wonderful, rich, incomparable experience of being a parent. The wait will have been so worth it.

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