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 by clicking below: