While You Are Waiting to Adopt

Now that you have selected an adoption method and an agency or attorney, and completed your home study and your paper work, what do you do while you wait to adopt? Remember that if you are waiting to adopt, you are an expectant parent. You need some time to prepare and learn.


Following is a list of some suggestions. Some of the ideas below are also fun and will help you endure the waiting time. Think about which of these suggestions you would like to use. You may also come up with some other good ideas yourself!


The IAC Center recommends that you take some time to:

  1. Deal with some of your emotions. Get Support


Becoming a parent through adoption is emotional. Keep in mind that is it very difficult for friends and family to understand what you are going through, unless they have been through it themselves.   Take some time and go back and process the emotions related to your decisions to adopt. Think about what brought you to this point in your journey. What were the losses? What are the related emotions? How does this affect your current life? Try to deal with these complex emotions.


Join a pre-adoptive support group    
Identify where you are on the Grief Continuum and take time to do some healing    
Join a pre-adoptive support group    
Learn about the grief process    
Learn resilience skills    
Educate family and friends about adoption.
A good book to share is “In on it” by Elisabeth O’Toole
Think about how you will deal with the holidays this year    



  1. Get (even more) Educated.

It is likely you had to take some adoption education courses or read a book or two during the Home Study process. This is just a drop in the bucket of adoption education. There are endless resources out there. Some include:


Read books about adoption from all three triad members perspectives    
Read Adoptive Families Magazine    
Attend a workshop or an adoption conference    
Learn about how children understand adoption at different ages and stages of development    
Learn about aspects of adoption you are interested in:

–        open adoption

–        transracial adoption

–        communicating with birth parents

–        older child adoption

–        How and why to start a memory book/Life Book for your child

Call or visit adoptive parents and families    
Study the language/culture/arts and food of your future child’s heritage    
Study travel books and history of the country where your child will be born    



  1. Prepare for Parenting.


Although it may feel like becoming a parent may never happen; keep in mind that if you use a legitimate provider and stick with the process- it will! Think and act like an expectant parent, because you are one.


Imagine adoption timelines: Ideal, Instant Baby situation, in a month, etc.    
Attend an IAC Center Baby Care for Adoptive Parents Class    
Research baby supplies    
Register at the store    
Learn about parenting styles and techniques    
Consult with a pediatrician    
Consider child care options    
Think about how you will handle being away from work    
Discuss baby names    
Get the house/room ready    
Learn about hospital issues in adoption. How is it handled, how you can participate, and handling emotions, decisions, gifts, etc    



  1. Take care of yourself.


As we have mentioned many times, becoming a parent through adoption has the potential to be emotional and stressful. Make sure you are taking time to enjoy yourself and have fun!


Eat healthy    
Find time to relax    
Learn a skill    
Take a vacation    
Make a list of 10 things you would enjoy without a child. Do as many as you can!    
Make a list of 10 things you want to get done before your child arrives. Do as many as you can because your adoption will work out if you stick with the process and are using a legitimate provider. Once your child is here you will be too busy!    



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Based in Pennington, NJ