Sitting around the fireplace, hearing the crackling of the flames, and cozying up against one another while drinking hot chocolate is what you do during the holiday season. At the heart of it, the holidays are about spending time with the people you love and cherishing every moment with them. You will get to see friends, families, and more likely than not, children.
As a prospective adoptive parent, waiting for a birth family to select you can put a lot of stress on you. Especially during the holiday season. Seeing families with children can dwindle your hope and holiday spirit. No matter how much you love to spend time with your nieces or nephews, they will be a reminder that you are missing something in your life.
Don’t feel guilty for thinking this way. Your feelings are valid, and we understand that waiting for a family to choose you will drain your energy. Remember that your adoption experts at Adoption Choices of New York are on your side and are rooting for you to finally complete your family. In the meantime, here are some tips for waiting families during the holidays to lessen your stress.
Lean on Family and Friends
Since the holiday season is about spending time with family, you should focus on doing just that. Clogging your mind with thoughts of matching with a birth family will only stress you out, and you deserve some quiet nights with the people you love. Surround yourself with laughter and joy. Think of it as soaking in all the possible quality time with your friends and families before the baby arrives, after which you might not have that luxury as often as you would like.
You can also take this opportunity to learn more about what it means to be a parent. It goes without saying that you have put a lot of thought and preparation into your adoption journey, but it never hurts to learn more. Ask your parents to tell you stories of when they were waiting for you to arrive, how they felt and how they worked through the wait. If your friends and families don’t know much about the adoption process, take this time to explain it to them. This way, they will get a better understanding of everything you’re going through, and they will appreciate your future child even more.
The most important thing is to build your support system. Your friends and family will always be there for you no matter what. Don’t tackle every problem by yourself. You should never walk alone on this path.
Join Support Groups
Outside of your friends and familial support system, you might seek out support groups specifically for waiting families. While your own family will try their best to understand what you’re going through, it might be hard for you to put your own feelings into words. By surrounding yourself with family and individuals who are on the same journey, you can feel more at ease with sharing your concerns.
During the holiday season, you will have to rely on each other for moral support and to grow your hope. Talk to your adoption experts about information for local or national support groups that will be the right fit for you.
Make sure You and Your Home are Baby-Ready
There are a lot of preparations that need to take place before your baby comes home. One of the most crucial tips for waiting families during the holidays is to make sure that your home and lifestyle are baby-ready. This tip doesn’t apply to just the holidays, anytime is a good time to prepare.
It might be too soon to start buying baby supplies like a crib or diapers, but it is never too soon to look for a pediatrician in your area. When finding the right doctor for your baby, you need someone who you feel comfortable with and maybe someone who has experience with adoptive families. Ask friends, families, and adoption experts at Adoption Choices of New York for any referrals or characteristics you should consider.
At your workplace, begin making preparations by asking employers about adoptive parents leave. Similar to maternity leave, you will need time off to bond with your new baby. Check with your employer to see what choices are available to you.
Another baby-ready idea is to prepare your pets, if you have any. While you can’t make sure that they will adjust well to your baby, you can make certain that they won’t be hostile or aggressive. One thing you can do is have them socialize with other children of friends and family.
Self-care is the Best Care
The adoption process is a long journey, and you will start to neglect yourself. It’s okay to not be okay at times, but you can’t turn your back on your health or mental state. Take a walk. Go out to lunch with a friend. Treat yourself to a spa day. Whatever the activity may be, make sure that you feel good and happy while doing it.
The holiday can serve as a cold reminder, but it is also a great time to indulge in self-care. Decorate a tree with loved ones, snuggle up to a cheesy Christmas movie, or take a stroll under falling snow. Don’t put your life on pause while you wait for your baby because, when he or she arrives, you’ll have your hands tied.
The Most Important Tip for Waiting Parents
When things are delayed or don’t go as planned on your adoption journey, your hope may start dwindling like the flickering flame of an old candle. Do not let that happen. Grow your hope. This is the time when you will need optimism and support to get you through the wait. You have come too far and put in too much effort and time to give up now. Just like that last stretch of the mile, keep going.
Although this period can be hard, we promise that your wait will be worth it in the end. Your baby is just around that corner.
Adoption Choices of New York
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of New York.
About the Author
Lisa Truong is an undergraduate journalism major at the University of Denver. She is minoring in writing and Chemistry. She has been commended by professors for her news stories as well as creative writing.
During her freshman year, her essay “See Ya on the Other Side” was displayed at a writing exhibition sponsored by the University of Denver. That essay later went on to be published in Many Voices One DU, a book also sponsored by the university.
Lisa frequently volunteers to be a leader at the Daniels School of Business for their quarterly Ethics Boot Camp where students learn about the importance of character in business. In her free time, Lisa enjoys watching animated movies with her mother, listening to music, going for bike rides, and eating breakfast food.
Galbraith, Kristy. “Tips For Prospective Adoptive Parents: Holiday Season Wait.” Tips For Prospective Adoptive Parents | Holiday Season Wait, January 6, 2015. https://afth.org/waiting-holidays/.
International. “Holiday Tips for Waiting Families.” Lifeline Childrens Services, November 8, 2016. https://lifelinechild.org/holiday-tips-for-waiting-families/.
Rosenhaus, Nancy. “Waiting for Adoption: What to Do While Waiting.” Adoptions With Love, July 29, 2019. https://adoptionswithlove.org/adoptive-parents/waiting-for-adoption.