Depending on your adoption preferences, being chosen by a birth mother and then matching up might take awhile. We understand that it can be challenging to suddenly have to sit back and wait, after months of research, paperwork, profile creation, and a home study.
Many hopeful adoptive parents struggle with this wait and feel like their life is on hold. So Lifetime has created a list of both fun and productive activities to do during the wait. We hope that these activities not only get you ready for parenthood but also help to pass the time more quickly!
1. Ask About Your Employer’s Parental Leave Policy
Many companies are starting to provide leave for adoptive parents, just as they do for employees who become parents biologically. Your adoption wait is a great time to inquire at your company’s HR about parental leave for adoption. If your employer doesn’t offer it, we recommend using this time to create a proposal for your proposed leave.
Look into the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. This organization provides a free kit, “Adoption Benefits for the Workplace.” Visit DaveThomasFoundation.org to find out more and request a kit. The information in this kit can be passed along to your HR department.
2. Hire a Pediatrician
Spend the time during your adoption wait wisely, to find the perfect pediatrician for your future baby or child. You might ask your friends and relatives in the area with young children for their recommendations. We also encourage you to do some online research and scour moms groups for reviews and suggestions. Next, you can schedule interviews with your top picks to ensure that the pediatrician is adoption-friendly.
3. Read Adoption Books and Articles
There a variety of diverse books and articles written by adoptive parents. In these books, experienced adoptive parents share about their adoption journey or give you practical parenting tips. By reading such books, you’re sure to learn something that will prove useful when you bring your baby home.
4. Investigate Child Care Options
If you and your spouse plan to work full time after you adopt, you’ll need childcare in the future. Why not be proactive and look into your options now? Since popular childcare facilities could have long waiting lists, right now may be the best time to get your name on it.
5. Get Children’s Books
Since it’s never too early to start reading to your baby, having a few children’s board books on hand is a great idea. Look into popular children’s books on Amazon, and purchase some with adoption themes. In addition, purchase books that were special to you during your childhood. Some waiting adoptive parents have even said that picking out books allowed them to begin bonding with their baby, even though they hadn’t yet met!
6. Stay Active
Keeping active and busy will make your waiting period move faster. In addition, it can help you maintain a positive mindset.
You might tackle jobs on your to-do list that you’ve been putting off for a while, revisit an old favorite hobby, or try something new. If you enjoy arts and crafts, you might begin a creative project such as a blanket for your baby.
7. Have Hope
Although waiting can be difficult, remember that in the end, it will all be worth it. Avoid putting your life on hold. Instead, use this time of waiting period to enjoy some “me time,” tackle projects, or prepare yourselves or your home for your new bundle of joy.
About the Author, Mardie Caldwell C.O.A.P.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is a nationally-recognized adoption expert and the Founder of Lifetime Adoption Agency. She has been working in adoption since 1986 and is also an award-winning author and speaker.
Mardie knows the sorrow of coping with infertility, and is an adoptive parent who experienced many of the challenges adoptive families might face. In various media appearances worldwide, publications, and her podcast, Mardie important steps that must be taken to complete a safe and secure adoption. Having adopted her son, Mardie knows firsthand the joys of raising an adopted child.
Mardie’s life mission is to help adoptive parents and birth parents find each other. With Lifetime Adoption Agency, she seeks to build happy families and provide precious infants and children with a loving and secure future.