One of the most difficult things about adopting a child can be all the waiting involved. You might be waiting to be matched. You might be enduring a long waiting period before your adoption finalizes. Perhaps you’re even waiting for your child to be born. It can be hard to get through your own adoption waiting period. But there are some things you can do to make the time pass faster and keep you mentally and physically occupied.
One of the best ways to spend your adoption waiting period is to educate yourself on parenting and raising a child. There are many excellent ways to educate yourself during your waiting period. Here are a few of the most popular.
- Read adoption and parenting books: There are many books and online resources that detail aspects of the adoption process and how to be an adoptive parent. Reading these books can help prepare you for the realities of parenting and adoption. They’re a good way to learn before you experience problems for yourself.
- Find an adoption support group: Look for other parents who are going or who have been through the adoption process. They can be a good way to learn what to expect. Many groups for adoptive parents exist both online and in person.
- Attend parenting classes: Many adoptive parents are new to parenting. A parenting class can teach you everything from how to change a diaper to how to handle tantrums and adjustment issues in older children. No matter what age of child you’re adopting, a class can make you a more educated and prepared parent.
Get Your Mind and Spirit Ready
Adoption is a journey. Yet you shouldn’t expect to be 100% ready for the realities of adopting right away. You’ll need time to mentally prepare yourself before your child arrives. The waiting period can be a good time to achieve this preparation. Among other things, you can do the following.
- Enjoy time to yourself: Once your new child arrives, you’ll find yourself with much less time to do the things you enjoy. Hobbies, work, and simple downtime will all take a hit as you adjust to your new life. Make sure to take some time to relax before it’s not an option. You can also use your waiting period to spend time with friends, family, or your partner.
- Get some exercise: Your physical condition plays a big role in your mental health. Taking care of a child can also be physically and mentally taxing. Make time to exercise and get in shape before you adopt. This will make it easier for you to keep up with your adopted child down the line.
- Create something for your child: A journal, some letters, or a special keepsake can be a good way to connect with your new child before he or she arrives. Writing or creating can also provide an outlet for stress and help keep your mind active and sharp.
Preparing Your Home and Life
Along with preparing your mind for adoption and parenthood, you’ll need to get your home in child-ready shape as well. There are plenty of errands and tasks to perform before your adopted child comes home. You’ll be sure to stay busy and active with all you need to do.
- Get Your Child’s Room Ready: One of the most important things you’ll need to do before you bring your child home is to get the nursery or bedroom ready. A prepared room will make life with an infant easier. It will also be a “safe space” for an older child. Prepping the room is also a good way to mentally prepare for your adopted child’s arrival.
- Childproof Your Home: If you’re adopting a younger child, you should take some time to childproof your home before he or she gets there. There are many guides and resources you can use to help you keep your home safe. Here is one good guide you can follow.
- Pick Out Toys, Books, Clothes, and Necessities: Bringing a child into your life requires preparation. You’ll need lots of supplies and accessories on hand from day one. Make sure you have essentials like a car seat, stroller, and some clothes ready. You’ll probably also want some toys, books, games, or other items as well.
- Find a Pediatrician: If your child gets sick or injured, the last thing you want to do is scramble to find a reputable doctor. It’s easier and less stressful to find a good doctor ahead of time. Be sure to find out if they’re accepting new patients.
- Take Advantage of Other Resources: When you go through an adoption agency you get access to lots of secondary resources. These include classes and support groups, counseling sessions, and childcare help. Make sure to learn about what your agency offers and take advantage of these resources as you need.
Waiting for your adoption to finalize can be tough. By occupying your mind and body you’ll pass the time faster and be more prepared when your child finally joins you. For more adoption advice and resources, contact us today at Deaconess Pregnancy and Adoption Services in Oklahoma City. As Oklahoma’s oldest and most experienced adoption agency, we can help you and your family through your own adoption journey with care and compassion. Call (405)949-4200 today or visit us on Facebook to speak to other adoptive parents and learn more.