From the beginning of the adoption process we knew we would need to do things to help make the time go by while we were waiting to adopt. There are people that adopt fast (less than a couple months) and those that take years to adopt so we tried to prepare for any situation to lessen the amount of stress we might feel. As the wait continued on farther than either of us thought would happen (past 2 years) we found ourselves looking for other ways to keep busy and feel like we were still accomplishing goals in different areas of our life. Below is a list of some of the things we have been doing this year and hope to continue doing not only through the rest of our wait but after the wait is over too!
1. Started a daily list/note of something good that happened or that we are thankful for:
This list is not something that we post anywhere or for anyone specifically to read but it is a way to focus on something each day that makes us happy or that is going well in our lives. It can be something small such as having a great time watching a new movie or it can be something bigger like buying a new car that will come in handy once we adopt. Once we do finally adopt maybe I will take a top 10 or so from the list and put it in the baby book to show some of the great things that happened while we were waiting.
2. Take trips and have visitors:
We have taken multiple trips during the wait and this has helped us to stay busy and not feel like we are putting our lives on hold while waiting. This summer we already had one trip and have 2 more to still come this summer. The next one is for my family reunion in Pennsylvania and a short road trip leading up to the reunion. We are really looking forward to it though since we will get to see some friends and family on our way up the east coast as well as do some fun things like visit Biltmore Estate. The second trip is mostly work for me but it is hard to be in Vegas for work and not have fun too! Hopefully this will be our last party vacation before becoming parents.
3. Joined a church:
This is a more recent development but we have really enjoyed the church we found in our community. It is exactly what we were looking for and have already met some great people there that we love seeing every Sunday. We are hopefully going to become official members of the church later this month or early next month. The church back great memories for Andy when we first started attending of the church he grew up in and we love our pastor there.
Over the last several years we have both gotten a little out of shape and we decided that this was the year to turn that around. Not only are we getting in better shape to be healthy or keep up with an eventual toddler running around, we are also working out some of our frustrations. After a couple months of a few days a week working out we can both already tell a difference in our energy and how we feel. Another added bonus is that any weight we have put on from extra stress during the adoption wait is getting under control.
5. Allow ourselves to be upset and to talk about the feelings we are having:
Holding it all in and not talking about the wait and the struggles/frustrations just tends to make us even more upset and frustrated. We have really been leaning more on our support network of friends/family/adoption support group/counselor/etc. more in recent months but it has definitely helped to have such great support. Although we sometimes don’t talk to people about what is going on we always talk to each other and through this we both know that as a couple we are strong and that we can deal with so much.
6. Stay Busy:
Whether it is going outside and enjoying the warm weather in the pool, having dinner with friends, or going to different events around town we have always enjoyed staying busy. During the wait it has been even more important to stay busy and keep our minds thinking about other things besides the adoption. Surprisingly most of our summer is starting to get booked up with different things so if you want to try and get together we will find a way it just might take a couple different dates before we find one that will work for everyone :).
7. Work on projects for the house or baby room:
The house has a never ending list of projects that we want to get done and accomplish so whenever we have a little spare money we are finding different things we can work on there. On the other hand, the nursery is getting close to being completed. We are working on a couple small projects over the next couple weeks and then the room decorations and furniture will all be completed and ready for a baby to arrive!
8. Work Work and more Work:
It’s hard to stress about the wait if you are so busy working all week long. Plus both Andy and I love our jobs which makes the work not seem painful and like the weeks never end. I stressed over changing jobs during the middle of the wait and although it will mean that I won’t get as much time off post adoption as I was going to get before it means on a week by week basis I am happier.
9. Work on adoption networking:
No matter how much networking we do it still feels like there are other things we could try. We try to add new things every once in a while to see if something different might bring us closer to being parents. New ideas and things that we have either done recently or might be doing in the near future are: pass along cards, redo website, update pictures, work on our blog, take pictures for instagram, work on an adoption video, etc.
10. Go to support group:
Even if we have been to the topic before it helps to socialize with those going through the same thing and to validate that how we are feeling is totally normal. Having people to talk to that know the pain and heartache makes venting so much easier. You don’t feel like they might be judging you for having your thoughts and feelings and they can agree that they have been in the same place.