So, here you are in the waiting place.
But, not just any waiting place.
You are waiting to adopt.
I understand your waiting place because I have been there before. I know that some days feel hopeful and expectant, and some days feel long and lonely.
My husband and I spent several years as waiting adoptive parents with many ups, downs, twists, and turns. Our adoption journey included several profile views, three disrupted adoptions in one year, and a grievous stillbirth. Our adoption journey also included two precious premature babies who are now healthy school aged kids that run around our house every day.
In some of the earlier moments of the adoption wait, I did nothing else but sit and wait. I soon realized that there had to be a better way to spend my time. Whether you are new to the adoption wait or if you have been in it for a while, I have four practical tips to share that will help you live life while waiting to adopt.
Take That Vacation!
Vacation, to go or not to go? This is a question every waiting adoptive family wants to know. What if we book the hotel, the flight, the car and then we get “the call”? If that does indeed happen, that story will become the story you tell at every dinner party for the rest of your life.
Taking a vacation and leaving your daily life for a few days can be an effective way to refuel while waiting to adopt. A reprieve from everyday life, chores, and waiting will bring welcomed joy and many memories for a waiting adoptive family.
I fondly remember one vacation that my husband and I were on while a family was viewing our profile. We enjoyed long walks on the beach and talked through the specifics and all the” what ifs.” That family didn’t choose us, but I will never forget that vacation and those meaningful conversations.
Make a Joy List
I enjoy walking, running, long baths, nature, gardening, and a good meal with friends. Do you know what I did while waiting? All of these things!
Take a moment to make a list of all the things that bring you joy. This list are items that physically increase your “feel good” hormones. On a day when you are feeling particularly anxious or unsettled about the wait, take out your list and plan a joy date. Scheduling joy dates on the calendar will encourage hopeful adoptive parents to live life while waiting to adopt.
Get Some Rest
A good nap can fix anything! We all need a break from our mind’s running thoughts and numerous contingency plans. While waiting to adopt, our lives are filled with even more to-do’s, planning, and anxiety.
Although society has a certain expectation for our daily activities and production, we can choose to schedule mental and physical rest. What would a moment of daily rest look like for you? (a nap, a walk, time with a friend) Plan an hour, a day, or a weekend of rest. Put it on the calendar and commit to refueling yourself while waiting to adopt.
Engage Fully With Your Faith
Regardless of what your faith life has looked like in the past, now is the time to go all in! Waiting to adopt is an emotional journey that can be lived out in a hopeful way by turning to God’s promises for us.
Become actively present in church instead of just checking the attendance box, set aside time for prayer and devotion, build relationships with others who are strong in their faith. Taking the time to engage fully in your faith will bring you energy, peace, patience, and joy.
How Will You Choose To Wait?
How you live life while you wait is a choice you will make. Because our lives are filled with many seasons of waiting, it is invaluable to learn to wait well. Waiting well is when you consciously choose actions to live life while waiting instead of standing idle watching the world go by.
You will remember a lot and you will learn a lot from this waiting season of life. You will remember the hard days, and you will remember the good days. But, my hope for you is that you will ultimately remember that you chose to live life in the wait.
Excerpt from Refuel Your Wait: Find Hope and Overcome Fear While Adopting:
So much waiting can be paralyzing for a person. In some of the earlier moments, I did nothing else but sit and wait. Once I realized that the Lord gives purpose to a wait, I was able to lean into him, to seek him, to need him, while I waited. When we wait on the Lord, he will continually renew our strength, supply our patience, and refuel our energy. Just when we think we can’t endure one more moment of waiting, that is when we will find him. He will show up, pick us up, and push us forward. Because we are all waiting on something at any given moment, we cannot let wait paralyze us. Joyful moments exist within the wait, but we must be actively looking for them.
“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.”
-Isaiah 4 0:3 1 NLT
Laci Richter was born and raised in Southern Louisiana and now lives in Georgia with her husband and two daughters. She is the author of a book called Refuel Your Wait: Find Hope and Overcome Fear While Adopting available on her website www.lacirichter.com and on Amazon. She is passionate about creating community by supporting fellow moms in the challenges of waiting to adopt and parenting. You can find her on Instagram @lacirichter or on Facebook at RefuelbyLaciRichter.