Kristin and her hubby have had quite the journey.
They're a New Jersey couple waiting to be chosen as a forever family, but I've watched them from afar and the way they're waiting is admirable you guys.
That's why I'm thrilled Kristin wrote about the WAIT!
I hope those of you in a season of waiting will be encouraged by her words...
Insider Tips on Waiting Well
You’ve spent the last few months stressing over paperwork, interviews and home visits.
You’ve finished your profile book and have taken classes that have prepared you for this moment. You are officially on the books and beginning your “wait."
You may be thinking that you’re in the home stretch.
You may think you’ve gotten to the part where you can take a deep breath and relax. I’m here to warn you about the “dangers” ahead. I won’t claim to be an expert on “the wait” (my 3 months waiting may seem like a drop in the ocean compared to some), but I have learned some things that I hope will put your mind at ease. (Or at least make you feel like you’re not alone!)
You’ve made it this far, and you should be so proud of that, but here are some of the things (GOOD and BAD) they didn’t tell you about “THE WAIT.”
1. Make Every Penny Count
Remember those $80 sushi dinners every week? Daily morning coffee runs? I consider those things special treats now.
Adoption is expensive, you know this, but because of this you will learn the meaning of a dollar.
Sure, parenthood is not cheap these days, but you’ve had to find 40k under your sofa just to become a parent.
You may have started an online fund, baked cookies, made t-shirts, started couponing or held a yard sale.
Whatever way you’ve funded your adoption you’ve become an expert on making every penny count.
So next time the customer service person at the grocery store rolls their eyes at you when you ask them to refund a coupon you forgot to hand to the cashier, just remember that you’re making IT happen, and there’s no shame in however you do it.
2. Expectations can Lead to Disappointments
I had big expectations when I handed in that profile book.
I dreamed of getting “THE CALL” that weekend.
If only my 3 month older self could go back in time.
We did get a call within a week, and the rush and excitement is REAL.
So is the disappointment when you’re told the couple pursued a different option.
Upon hearing our agency’s statistics it felt only natural to have certain expectations.
As we enter our third month of waiting I’ve finally learned that when you enter the wait it should be with no expectations.
I know that no two adoptions are alike, but the same is true of waits.
You’ve heard it before, but I’ll reiterate what you have already heard a thousand times.
Your child will find you in perfect timing.
Having expectations of when this may or should happen to you only leads to frustration.
Go into the wait with a clear head, and NO expectations.
3. Welcome to Adoption Advocacy
You’ve taken all the classes and researched until your head was about to explode.
You know the correct language to use, but the vast majority of the general public (or more specifically a certain co-worker or neighbor) has no idea that they are offending you by saying certain phrases.
You have many options based on the type of responses you receive to the simple phrase, “We are adopting."
I have encountered some that are just that rude where the nicest thing I can do is not respond and walk away.
However, the majority of the time I’ve taken to educating those around me.
This will become a part of everyday life, and sometimes you will struggle.
That’s why we’ve taken those classes and researched until our heads are full, to find the strength and grace in responding to those that don’t have the knowledge that we do.
4. Patience. Need I say more?
Every step of adoption calls for this virtue.
So does parenthood.
Congrats, you have a head start, consider yourself lucky.
5. So Long, Privacy
You thought you were gaining a bit of privacy back after you handed in your profile book? Take that back, before you know it you’ll be on your way to renewing your home study.
Say so long to privacy.
It’s no secret that adoption is all about digging deep and due diligence.
Wondering what those after placement home visits look like when you haven’t slept in a week and the dishes and vacuum haven’t been run in what seems like a month? (Yeah, me too)
This again is only preparation for when your two year old has become your shadow and all you want to do is go to the bathroom with the door closed.
6. Welcome to the "Family"
Whether you have a blog, Facebook page or Instagram account you’re bound to connect with others that are facing the same challenges as you.
This is one of the best gifts that adoption gives us (Besides the obvious greatest!).
Whether it’s the blog post that read your mind or someone that cheers you on when you post a “passing the time” photo, it’s sure to lift your spirits.
This support is exactly what we need in this exciting and confusing time.
It can build relationships that will last a lifetime and really that’s one of life’s greatest pleasures, right?
So blog, Instagram and Facebook your adoption journey away!
7. It's Worth It
This wait is a trial and a gift all at the same time.
It’s such a rush of every emotion at every turn or step of the way, and we all have those days where we have no idea if the system is working and all you need is your husband to hug you and tell you it’ll be worth it in the end.
Believe me, there’s lots of those days.
However, we wouldn’t trade this experience for anything all because we know someday we will have a family.
Plus, what’s a few bumps and bruises on the journey if for nothing than to make you stronger and more grateful in the end!
guest post for National Adoption Month? This Family's Journey is featuring your stories all month long! Contact me for more details.