Whew! Your home study is finally done – now what? After an adoptive family is done with the home study process, it can feel like it was a case of “hurry-up-and-wait”. During the home study process, you were likely busy with paperwork and appointments to complete. Now that you are in the “waiting pool” it can be hard to know what to do next.
None of us like to wait, but often, there can be personal growth that occurs during a waiting period. Some adoptive parents have shared that they grew in trusting God through the waiting process. Some have said that they were mindful about savoring the time they had as a couple before a child entered their family, so they are able to look back and view their wait as a special time of building their relationship. No matter how you spend this time, having some clear steps during this time can be helpful. Here are some ideas of what you can do.
None of us like to wait, but often, there can be personal growth that occurs during a waiting period.
Wait On God
Most importantly, wait on God. He is the One sovereignly in control and knows the timing of each step of your lives, including the adoption process. Turn to His word, pray, and seek His guidance during this time. Journaling can be a helpful way to process your thoughts and emotions. It is also good to ask those in your support system to pray for you.
Speaking of prayer, pray for the child who may be placed with you and his or her birth parents during this time. Past adoptive families have been able to share that there were certain milestones in the birth parents’ decision-making process and in the child’s life that happened at the same time that they were lifting the baby and his or her birth parents to God in prayer.
There may be practical steps to begin preparing for a baby to enter your world. This could include attending an infant care class offered by a local hospital or preparing the nursery in your home. We caution you, however, to only prepare as much as you can emotionally handle. It can be difficult to have everything ready for an infant and then continue to wait, experience a disruption, or adopt a child older than you originally planned.
We caution you, however, to only prepare as much as you can emotionally handle.
Continue Your Education
Education is an important part of the adoption journey, and there are many educational opportunities for you as you wait. You can read books from a list provided by your social worker as well as completing online courses through Adoption Learning Partners or other online resources. New Life Adoptions also regularly offers seminars and blog posts on important adoption related topics. Educating not only yourself, but also your family can be important during this time as well. Contact your social worker for more ideas to further your adoption and parenting education.
Talk with family, friends, and other adoptive parents as you wait. This can give you support and help you process the many thoughts and emotions you may be experiencing during this part of your journey. Also, networking often happens organically by talking with people in your support system about adoption. There may be potential connections to an expectant parent or birth parent who is considering adoption—and this just may be the child that God has been planning for your family all along!
Also, networking often happens organically by talking with people in your support system about adoption.
Live Your Life
Continue with your life! Some families start to put everything in their lives on hold when they enter the waiting pool “just in case” they may be chosen right away. While you never know when you may be chosen, stopping your life for these “what ifs” can become really draining. When waiting gets hard, focus on the things that you are able to do during this time that you won’t be able to do when a baby is added to your family.
Again, waiting is never easy, but there are many ways to use this time well. If you are struggling during your wait, reach out to your social worker. We are here to offer support and guidance. We can’t help you if we don’t know how you are feeling! Our hope is that every client can be supported throughout their full adoption journey.