Having a child through pregnancy and having a child through adoption are two very different processes. However, adoption and pregnancy actually have a few things in common. Pregnancy is a time of great change. Typically, parents spend nine months preparing to bring a new life into the world, preparing to give their child the life that the little one deserves. While there may not be any physical evidence, adoption is similar. Adoption and pregnancy are both characterized in some ways by preparation and waiting. Birth parents are pregnant, while adoptive parents are paper pregnant.
Adoptive parents’ preparation is different, but real indeed; there are emotional ups and downs, waiting periods, and preparation that come with the stages of the adoption process.
Similar to pregnancy, the process of adoption is full of emotions, ranging from sheer excitement to fear. Many of these feelings stem from waiting. During pregnancy, parents await ultrasound appointments, the passing of trimesters, and, obviously, the due date. Adoptive parents have waiting to do as well. Many couples must wait years before they find the right match. Along with the waiting that is inherent with building your family through adoption, many families feel an overwhelming sense of having lost control,that their life is waiting to get started and they do not possess the power to kick start life into gear. There are preparations to make, paperwork to be filled out, and home studies to be completed before the adoption can be finalized. When it comes to adoption, the waiting is not limited to nine months.
The best advice we can offer is to be active in your wait. If you are adopting with a spouse, nurture that relationship and remember that together, you are already a family. And, as you wait, actively prepare for your child by reading adoption related books, listening to podcasts on Creating a Family or joining an online adoption community. The waiting is part of your preparation for parenthood.