The adoption process can often be one heck of a roller coaster ride for its participants. With so many moving parts and parties involved it is all too easy to become overwhelmed, and to feel like you’re losing your mind. Thankfully, there are many things you can try to help you retain as much of your sanity as possible during these challenging days, weeks, and months.
One, find your village! Seek out those around you who are supportive of your adoption journey. Surround yourself with them whether they be friends, family, coworkers, or neighbors. These will be the people you can turn to when you need to vent about the challenges, rejoice about the progress and any good news, or just have a conversation completely unrelated to adoption to distract yourself.
Two, turn to your faith in whatever way feels most comfortable to you. Some may find that reading scriptures, quiet pondering, and praying provides the ultimate comfort. Others may find that rousing worship hymns or a powerful service, sermon, or testimony is the spark they need to keep going.
Three, listen to uplifting music. Whether it be rock, rap, country, or jazz put on the tunes that bring a smile to your face and jam away.
Four, hold on to hope. This can be one of the hardest things to do, especially during the most challenging and heartbreaking moments, but it is probably the most important. Along with this is also the wisdom to remember that you are not alone on this journey.
Five, find a support group. There are a variety of adoption support groups out there both online and in our local communities that focus on everything from infant adoption, older child adoption, international adoption, and more. Search out the one that suits you and your needs the best. Can’t find one in your area? Create one!
Six, if you need help, ask! There is no shame in asking for help or attending therapy when you need it.
Seven, invest in your relationships. Make it a point to reach out and connect with loved ones in whatever ways are most fun for you. Girls’ nights out? Spontaneous weeknight dates with your spouse? Focus on filling those relationship bank accounts for the days ahead where you might not have the same amount of time to invest in them once your family grows.
Eight, try out a new hobby. Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn or try your hand at? Now is the time! Sign up for a class or teach yourself.
Nine, prepare yourself and your home in ways that bring you comfort. For some this may mean reading adoption and self-help books, or attending workshops. For others it may mean journaling and meditation. Some may feel that deep cleaning and “nesting” are choices that bring them peace.
Ten, get moving! Exercise is a great way to boost your mood, distract yourself, and work out any frustration, anxiety, or sadness you may be feeling. Blast some tunes or listen to a podcast while you’re exercising to double up on some of these tips, and make the most of your time.
Eleven, don’t stop living your life! It is all too easy to become fully consumed with the process, and to just think about the next steps or all the things your want to do when you bring your child home. Participate in activities that bring you joy; travel, create, stay out late. Make a bucket list of things to do and work though the list crossing items off as you go. Try to focus on positive options that might be difficult to accomplish after you bring home a child, and relish in those moments as you create new memories.
While the adoption process is certainly no picnic, I think it’s worth remembering that this time “in the wait” can be just as special and sacred as the other longed for moments on this journey. It’s all a matter of your mindset and how you choose to fill your days! Hopefully, the eleven suggestions above will be a good starting point to get you on your way!!