I do NOT like to wait. I always try to find my hidden Christmas presents. I use Amazon Prime Now like it’s going out of style. I also ruin my nails every. single. pedicure because I just can’t sit there that long. Soooo needless to say, this waiting process has not been easy! Josh and I are learning what it means to be patient. Below are some things we’ve done to help us get through the wait. I think they could be applicable for waiting adoptive parents and expecting parents alike.
- FOCUS ON YOUR MARRIAGE. It’s no secret that children require a lot of time and attention. Using the time now to focus on each other and your relationship can help build the foundation you need to keep your marriage strong throughout the child-rearing years. Make a commitment now to have date nights even once the baby is here.
- GO ON TRIPS TOGETHER. This goes along with #1. If you have the funds available, I highly recommend traveling to places you’ve always wanted to go together, or even just taking weekend getaways to spend time just the two of you. I will post about one of our such trips soon!
- SAVE UP PARENTAL LEAVE TIME. This depends on your employer’s policy, of course. For us, we decided to take more weekend trips and fewer big vacations, and let Josh save up his PTO days for a longer paternity leave. This is a plus side of a longer wait (glass half full, people!).
- SHOP FOR THE BABY. Josh doesn’t really like this one so much. 🙂 But in all honesty, it helps me feel like I’m actually doing something when, in reality, I can’t do a single thing but wait. I try to buy things that are gender-neutral, and that won’t go out of style if it takes a good while longer. I will say, though, that this may not be good advice for you if you will have a hard time seeing these baby things in an empty nursery. You have to know yourself, and know what’s best for YOU.
- TREAT YO’SELF. Go get a massage. Buy yourself a new Anthropologie candle. Not like I need an excuse to shop more, but sometimes waiting is just hard. I try to remind myself to do something fun like this occasionally because it helps me stay positive when I have little things to look forward to.
- TACKLE THE HOUSE PROJECTS ON YOUR LIST. Let’s be real. You will not have time for this kind of stuff with a baby around, so try to accomplish the things that you have been putting off. Organize your closets, paint furniture, etc. It helps you keep busy AND feel productive.
- DO CRAFT PROJECTS. Do a crazy thing and actually MAKE the things on your Pinterest boards! Like #6, it will help keep you busy and feeling productive. Plus, it’s a cost-saving alternative to #2!
- GET READY TO BE A PARENT. I am a big nerd and want to prepare myself as much as possible. It helps to pass the time if you read, not just adoption books, but also regular parenting books. You will be a regular parent, after all, once this process is complete. You can also attend CPR and other parenting classes that are offered at your local hospital for even more preparedness.
- PRAY. If you are a believer, as I am, praying is a huge part of the wait. It provides comfort, and peace, and helps you remember you are not doing this alone. This is something friends and loved ones can do to help in your journey, too.
- BUILD A COMMUNITY. This can be done in lots of ways. See if your adoption agency has meetings you can attend and meet others in your situation. Maybe there’s a Waiting Families support group in your area. There are also lots of adoption and foster parent forums on the Internet, and several great conferences throughout the country (like Empowered To Connect right here in Nashville!).
Whether your wait is 2 days or 2 years, it is not an easy thing to go through. Of course it will be more than worth it in the end, though. I would love to hear other ways you’ve gotten through your wait; please let me know in the comments!