What to do while waiting
Your paperwork is done and now you wait. Or, you have that wonderful referral and now you wait again – how can you keep from going crazy?! Here are some ideas. Be sure to re-read this list when you are planning your “familymoon”!
*Expect it to take longer than you hope! If it doesn’t, it will be a happy surprise.
*Maintain a good relationship with agency staff if working with an agency – they will help you as much as possible
*Network with other adoptive families – could be in local support group meetings or on-line. Www.yahoogroups.com is a good place to search for applicable groups.
*Read, research and educate yourself. Find out about attachment issues, transition ideas, adoption issues you may face now and in the future, your child’s country and culture.
*Connect with other groups in your area that honor your child’s heritage.
*Subscribe to an adoption magazine – or two or three
*Go to an adoption-related conference
*Check on all insurance issues – most companies require you to add a new dependent within 30 days for health insurance. What about life insurance for you and/or for your new child?
*Share your excitement with supportive family and friends!
*Create a scrapbook for your new child, detailing the adoption process BEFORE they came home
*Keep a journal – the more detailed the better
*Make a list of questions you would like answered by your child’s primary caregiver – favorite foods, bedtime routines, favorite provider, etc.
*Honor the spiritual dimension of adoption by planning rituals or celebrations that encompass your faith
**Find a pediatrician or family doctor, if you don’t already have one
*Find a pediatric dentist or one who is comfortable with children with NO experience visiting the dentist
*As appropriate for the age, research educational options for your new child – this could be a “MOPS” group (Mothers of PreschoolerS) or going to your local elementary, joining the local homeschool group or any other number of options.
*Prepare any siblings for the new child
*Expect there to be “bumps in the road” while waiting, just as there are with any major life event
*Pamper yourself – you may not be able to again for a while!
*Nurture your relationship with your spouse – see above!
*Gather humanitarian aid donations
*Make donations – cloth diapers, leper bandages, skirts, shorts, wooden toys and more
*Involve your family and friends in donation gathering
*Deep-clean your house – decluttering and cleaning is good for the soul
*Plant flowers or trees in honor of your new child-to-be
*Have a great garage sale – use the proceeds to help fund your adoption
*Freeze meals in advance for use after your child comes home
*Read parenting books
*Read adoptive parenting books
*Research adoptive breastfeeding if that might be an option for you
*Gently educate others in appropriate adoption language
*Educate yourself (and your CPA!) on the federal adoption tax credit
*Fill out the “With Eyes Wide Open” workbook or online quiz
*Find an adoption “mentor” who’s “been there, done that” and learn from them
*Paint a room in your house! (It doesn’t have to be for your new
*Let yourself “nest” – it’s OK and very normal!
*Keep a photo-journal of all your “while waiting” activities
*Plan a great party or open house for after your new child has joined your home
*Collect art and other artifacts from your child’s country – Ebay is a great place to check!
*Relieve some stress by planning a “laugh-fest”. Tell corny jokes, watch silly movies, eat great snacks (gotta have chocolate!) and feel the endorphins flow!
*Write an article for your local paper
*Plan something for National Adoption Month (November) for your community
*Educate people in your local church congregation about common adoption issues and specifically what you anticipate with your new child
*Let your friends plan a shower for you!
*Use affirmations: “I am patiently waiting for this adoption to unfold” etc
*Have a good cry every now and then
*Soak in a good hot bath, with candles and your favorite “brain candy” book
*Exercise regularly while you can
*Do “cathartic” exercise – really scrub that floor, or pound that pavement, or whack that ball – it really helps!
*Make sure you have a support network to vent to, even if it’s only one person!
*Learn a new skill – maybe one you would enjoy teaching your new child
*Read a new book
*Re-read an old favorite
*Put some great music on the stereo and do an active relaxation exercise
*Put on other great music and dance away
*Read only one chapter of a book if that’s all you have time for!
*Get a professional massage
*Keep a gratitude journal – even on your most stressful days
*Get a good night’s sleep (or two or three or four) and appreciate
them for the gift they are!
*Cook your favorite comfort foods
*Try cooking a meal exclusively with foods native to your child’s country
*Try a new, different recipe
*Eat chocolate – the darker the better (a little bit goes a long way)
*Volunteer some place that serves people needier than you
*Learn self-hypnosis – it’s a great skill to have!
*Nurture your spiritual side
*Sing – loudly
*Be a tourist in your own town and visit an attraction you’ve never taken the time to see
*Start building your personal “children’s library” – take your time to research and buy the best
*If anticipating adding your new child before a major holiday, get your preparations done EARLY!
*Learn some basic aromatherapy and use it
*Attend a sports event where you can yell and scream and jump up and down – it’s a great stress reliever
*Go swing on the playground swings
*Take a nap
*Find the perfect Christmas ornament to commemorate your child’s first Christmas home
*Fantasize about how life will be when he or she comes home – and then realize it won’t really be that way
*Make a paper chain in reverse – add a new link every week you wait for your referral, or you wait for your child to come home.