Rarely in life do happiness and fear mix as dramatically as during the time when adoptive parents are waiting for the birth of their child or for the adoption to become irrevocable. Here are some suggestions that prospective adoptive parents have found helpful, emotionally and practically. Choose and check the ones that work for you.
- Get support from other adoptive parents who have “been there and done that.” You can find them online and/or in your community. Ask your agency, attorney or facilitator for other adoptive parents in your area.
- Start shopping for age-appropriate items. Create a list and have fun buying the items either at stores or online.
- If you’re adopting an infant, start thinking about names. Create a short list and finalize your selections.
- Check Amazon, American Carriage House Publishing, and other online sites for books on parenting subjects that capture your fancy or about which you should know more.
- Enroll in a class of some kind: parenting, CPR, early childhood. Make yourself feel comfortable and more prepared for your new role.
- If you will be hiring a nanny or using day care, investigate and narrow down your options.
- Review your finances. Think about both the present and the future. Insurance, education and medical coverage are just a few of the items that should be on your short list.
- Determine who you want to be your child’s guardians and/or godparents. Make sure and discuss it with the people involved.
- Get your child’s room ready. However, if you’re adopting an older child, it’s best to wait and let him or her make the decorating choices.
- Make a videotape of “THE WAIT” as a future birthday present for your child. Include your and, if married, your spouse’s hopes and dreams as you waited, as well as messages from immediate family members about their eager anticipation.
- Research hotels and airlines if you plan to travel to pick up your child. If possible, book sufficiently in advance to enjoy lower rates. Be sure to check online booking sources that often offer low rates, even at the last minute. Also mention you are adopting. Some airlines and hotels offer added discounts.
- If you are so inclined, purchase gifts for the various intermediaries involved in your adoption – attorney, agency, facilitator, and if allowed by state law your birth mom. However, ask your adoption professional first, lest there be any chance of misinterpretation by the courts.
Another way to educate yourself on the adopting and placement experience is by hearing from adoptive parents who have adopted successfully. You can hear their stories at AdoptionWebinar.com.
Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).
Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.
“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!
Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.
I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.
It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”