Article by Nancy Murphy, MA, Director of Kinship Center’s Placement Programs, Central Coast and No CA

The adoption process is an exciting one, and a busy time in the life of expecting parents. You’ve been hustling around for months getting everything ready. But after all the paperwork has been submitted, the classes completed, the fingerprints cleared, and the home study beautifully crafted, it seems like there is nothing to do but wait!

Here are some tips on how to use this waiting period to take care of yourself:

1. Formalize your support network and make sure your everyone is ready and clear about what their role will be once your child comes home. You will need family, friends, church members, or others available to talk about your feelings, to support your decision to grow your family through adoption, and to offer respite when you need it. Your support network will be one of the greatest assets you have in building a successful adoption.

2. Attend support groups at your agency or online in order to gain a better understanding of what is ahead. Learn about some of the clinical issues your child may have. Take advantage of additional training you may need. Network with other foster and adoptive parents. Learn from other parents the importance of keeping a sense of humor during trying times. Discover resources that are available to your family once your child comes home.

3. Get your rest! You will need to be in tip top shape for your new infant or child or teen.

4. Read a parenting book. Become familiar with websites that will be easily accessible to you. Bookmark the most helpful pages.

5. Prepare and freeze a few extra meals for those days when you won’t have the energy to cook, but will need quality food.

6. Spend quality time with your partner to rejuvenate your relationship and talk about your family life to come.

7. Keep a journal of your thoughts and expectations so you can reflect later, and so you can share these thoughts with your child when you tell him or her (or them!) their adoption story. There will be nothing as powerful as notes in your own handwriting to convey the depth of your feelings about becoming your child’s parent.

There are multiple resources for you that can help ease the anxiety as you wait to become a parent. Take advantage of the knowledge your adoption professional has, and enjoy the many materials available in adoption magazines, on the Internet, and through other adoptive parents.

Kinship Center hopes you have a wonderful experience!

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