The adoption journey is full of emotional ups and downs, and the long periods of waiting can heighten these feelings. Whether it’s waiting to hear from a birthmother, for paperwork to be finished, or for home study results, soon-to-be adoptive parents often find themselves having trouble thinking about anything else during these periods of lulled waiting, and may develop negative feelings when things don’t seem to be moving along in the process. While these feelings are completely normal, there are ways to combat them and remain hopeful when playing the waiting game. The following tips will help you have some peace of mind while waiting for the next steps in your adoption.
During certain steps of the adoption process, it may sometimes feel like things are at a standstill. While it can be stressful, adoption is an exciting journey. The most important thing to remember during these stressful periods is to stay positive and focus on positive rather than negative emotions. You can also focus on other positive aspects of your life. Maybe you finished cleaning out the garage, got a promotion at work, or are celebrating an anniversary. Remember the things that are going right in your life- even the little things- and celebrate them.
Sitting at home, twiddling your thumbs and dwelling on every little aspect of your adoption will only make the process a more stressful experience. Distract yourself from your adoption worries and keep doing the activities you enjoy. Go to book club, volunteer for an organization you feel passionate about, or pick up a hobby, new or old. You can also go out and spend time with friends and family, or something else to get out of the house. Just find a way every day to get out of your own head and focus on something other than adoption and waiting.
Regular exercise is proven to have a profound impact on feelings of anxiety and stress, so get out there and get those endorphins kicked into gear! Whether you want to take a brisk walk through the park or tackle five miles on the treadmill, getting out there and moving, and maybe even find a new hobby along the way. If strenuous exercise isn’t your thing, try yoga or meditating. Deep breathing is another great way to relieve feelings of anxiety.
Keep a journal
The adoption process and waiting trigger a wide range of emotions, and having a place to sort out and chronicle the emotions you experience can be extremely helpful. While staying positive is extremely important during the adoption journey, negative, fearful, or anxious feelings do arise, and you should not just push them down and ignore them. In a journal, you can confront these emotions and work through them.
Join a support group
While keeping a journal is a great way to sort through the emotional ups and downs of adoption, sometimes you need someone to talk to. In support groups, you can talk to people who are going through what you are, or people who have gone through it and come out on the other side. Members of your support group can show you that you are not alone and help you take comfort in the fact that the feelings you are experiencing are completely normal.
When it comes to remaining happy and hopeful during the adoption waiting game, the best thing you can do is surround yourself with positive energy, from friends and family to your own thoughts and feelings. Though the process can be long, you will come out on the other side with a new addition to your family, making the wait well worth it.