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Tips for the Wait: Making the Most of the Time Before Adoption

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You have completed the home study process and are waiting for placement! Now what? The Cradle has put together suggestions to help while you wait for the newest member of your family.

Waiting for placement can be an exciting but challenging time. Read our guide for how to nurture and care for yourself while preparing for the next chapter in your life. 

Prepare Your Home

  • Create a list of the items you will need/want when the baby comes. Everyone will have a different comfort level for how much or little they would like to prepare their home for a child’s arrival. Some families do not feel prepared to decorate a nursery or purchase baby supplies until they are matched or take placement. However, there are still ways to start thinking about preparing for parenthood, such as creating a private registry or a plan for obtaining important baby items such as a car seat, bottles and a crib. 
  • Research adoption announcements, baby books or how to make an Adoption Life Book. Look into how to announce your child’s arrival or how to record and share your child’s adoption story with them by finding styles or retailers you like. 

Prepare Your People

  • Share your news early and often. Share that you are planning to adopt as much as possible and continue to remind others now and again. If you have an online profile, make sure it is up to date with your latest photos and information, and consider consulting a profile professional. Contact your adoption counselor for more information. 
  • Connect with other waiting families. Meeting families who are sharing the same experience can be helpful. Join a Hopeful Adoptive Parents Facebook group, attend events at The Cradle or connect with those you met in your adoption classes. 
  • Choose an attorney and pediatrician. Begin doing research now to find a competent, adoption-supportive physician and the attorney who will handle the adoption. For help finding an attorney, check out The Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys. 

Educate Yourself

  • Read, Read, Read. Keep learning! Check out books, articles, podcasts and blogs about adoption. For recommendations, see The Cradle’s list of resources and blog suggestions. If you are approved to adopt transracially, continue to research transracial adoption and cultural resources in your community. 
  • Research prenatal risk factors commonly seen in adoption situations. Stay educated on how to support a child with prenatal substance exposure or a family history of mental health issues. The best step is to speak with a neurodevelopmental expert or pediatrician who has expertise in adoption medicine. 
  • Connect with a mentor family. Ask your counselor to put you in contact with a family who has been down this road and can help you along, even if just by listening. 
  • Sign up for infant care and parenting classes. There are lots of classes on the market, with topics as broad as basic infant care and as specific as different ways to wear your baby carrier. Check out Adoption Learning Partners for their catalog of on-demand webinars related to adoption. 

Care for Yourself

  • Embrace your free time. Take time to do things that will not be as easy once your child comes home. Plan a vacation, have a spa day or spend time wandering around a museum! Prepare a list of fun things to do on days you feel down. 
  • Nurture your relationship. If you are a couple waiting for adoption, you may find it more challenging to have quality time with your partner when you become parents. Use this time to strengthen your relationship and enjoy each other’s company. 
  • Get help when you need it. If you find yourself struggling with the wait, seek outside counseling with a therapist who specializes in adoption. This will help you move forward in your adoption process in a healthy and positive way, which will ultimately benefit your child. We find those who stay connected are able to stay more positive during the wait. Take the suggestions above and keep an open dialogue with your adoption counselor. 
  • Be expectant. Make sure to get plenty of rest, eat healthfully and relax. Be gentle with yourself and have faith that you can become a parent.

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