Do’s and Don’ts: Waiting to Adopt
The paperwork rush is done. Now what do you do? You wait! How long? There is no definitive answer, and the waiting can seem like the hardest part. The anticipation can cause a new layer of stress on top of the anxious excitement you are likely already feeling. Ultimately, the birth parents are choosing the adoptive parents. Your agency has no control over the choices made by a birth parent. We do suggest being as prepared as possible. This article will outline some do’s and don’ts that will help to alleviate the anxiety that may come when waiting to be matched.
Things to do while waiting:
Research, research, research
- Look for pediatricians in your area and schedule an interview. You can also look at reviews online from other patients. Check to see if they offer weekend visits, emergency walk-in visits, if they accept your health insurance, and if they’re currently taking new patients. Find out if your potential future pediatrician shares your views and is adoption-friendly.
- If you think you will need one, check reviews for daycare providers in your area, set up interviews, and request background checks. Create a list of interview questions to take with you when you meet face to face. Ask if there is a waiting list, and if you need to pay a deposit to reserve a spot.
- Look into your family leave policy at your place of employment so you can plan your leave.
- Look at product reviews for car seats, strollers, and educational toys.
- Review different parenting techniques such as baby massage, sign language for children, and different styles of sleep training for infants.
- Call your health insurance provider to find out what documentation you need to provide to add the child to your health insurance policy.
- You can register for a CPR/First Aid class for infants and adults
- See if your local pool offers swimming safety classes
- If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask your county’s Job and Family Services office if they know of any upcoming stress management courses you could take
- Contact your local pediatrician/hospital/red cross and ask about local parenting and health classes
- Read adoption books and articles to gain a better understanding of the perspective of all parties involved in adoption.
- Diaper Bag – pack with unisex clothing, diapers, wipes, creams, thermometer, a changing pad, a swaddling blanket, pacifiers, infant nail clippers, etc.
- First aid kit – it is a great idea to have a small kit with essentials in the diaper bag and a larger, more complete kit in your home
- Prepare some meals and freeze them for those busy and sleepless days
- Find some of your favorite children’s books, maybe titles that you remember enjoying when you were young and stock up a bookshelf. See if there are any books with a theme of adoption that can help you normalize the subject with your child.
- Complete household projects that have been left undone
- Organize your closets; once you are a parent, you will be hard-pressed to find the time!
- Create a Will and decide guardianship
- Travel! Take a vacation or two to enjoy life before becoming a parent. You won’t be able to get this time back after the child arrives.
- Take care of yourself mentally and physically. Read a book you’ve been meaning to start, complete that craft project you thought looked interesting. Get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors and fresh air.
- Don’t lose hope! Don’t put your life on hold; use this waiting period to tackle odd jobs, prepare your home, or enjoy some precious “you” time while you can. Waiting to be matched can be difficult, but in the end when you are matched with your baby, it will certainly be worth it.
Things not to do while waiting:
- We do not recommend decorating the nursery. This causes much heartache if a failed match or longer matching time occurs. Let’s face it, babies do not need decorated rooms! They just need a safe place to sleep and have their needs met.
- We do not recommend a baby shower. The heartache involved if your situation does not work out is tremendous. Wait until the baby is home for a couple weeks and have a welcome home party! This way your friends and family can see your newest addition.
- We suggest you do not share negative thoughts about adoption or the process online. Just remember a potential birth mom or your birth mom may find your comments. This could deter her from contacting you or staying matched. Remember what you post online really never goes away.
All information provided is for reference purposes only.