This guest post is by Marvin and Vaughn, hopeful adoptive parents.
We are waiting…and waiting…and still waiting.
When we started the adoption process almost two years ago, several people told us the hardest part is the waiting!
And, boy, were they right!
You hear all sorts of coping mechanisms from friends or folk who have already adopted: “Go on vacation.” “Pick up a hobby.” “Spend more time with friends and family!”
All great suggestions and things we’ve done to help fill our time.
What they don’t tell you is how much the waiting can chip away at your self-esteem.
When you’re up for an opportunity and you’re not picked, or you hear nothing for months, you inevitably go to this place: “Something must be wrong with me, or us, or our profile or…or…or…”
Here are a few ways that I’ve learned to deal with those nagging doubts.
1. Choose the Stuart Smalley approach: you’re good enough, you’re smart enough and doggone it, people like you!
Never underestimate the power of positive reinforcement.
Sometimes the best way to counter a negative thought is with a deliberate, positive thought!
2. Listen to your spouse/partner, friends or adoption counselors when they tell you nothing is wrong!
It is easy to dismiss the advice of those closest to you since you know “you” best.
Sometimes you need to have faith that your allies can perhaps see things more clearly. Trust them!
3. Don’t let the small stuff get in the way of the big stuff.
It is easy to obsess over what word you used or that particular turn of phrase in your profile. And while important, it is better to talk from the heart and allow expectant mothers to see you, not your writing style.
Do your due diligence and be thorough with your details. But remember the big picture and the end goal.
It will help you not be so worried about every little thing when you remind yourself there is a beautiful baby at the end!
4. Be proud of your situation and life!
You have a lot to offer a child!
You may not have the biggest house, or live in the greatest neighborhood, or do the perceived right “activities,” but those are traps and unfair comparisons.
You have love and commitment to raise a child in your home and provide them with everything you can!
If you love [fill in the blank] activity, but are afraid it might make you seem too [fill in negative perception/emotion] you should definitely include it in your profile!
It might not be appealing to some expectant mothers, but it is definitely a core aspect of who you are as a family. And it might be the exact thing that resonates with an expectant mother!
5. Exercise your faith!
Go to church. Do more meditation. Take a yoga retreat. Or visit your temple or mosque more often!
However you exercise your spirituality, now is a good time to double down and find that inner strength that often comes from practice.
Tapping into that place of faith can do you, your heart and your spirit a ton of good!
6. Remind yourself daily: It will happen!
Make it your mantra! Say it over and over, because it is true.
I used to shy away from adoption success stories because it made me feel sad that our story wasn’t successful yet.
I’ve learned that there is hope embedded in each celebration, so read up and share in their joy as it will soon be yours!
When you feel yourself getting down or feeling unworthy, think about engaging in one of these 6 ideas!
Remember: You’re good enough, you’re smart enough and doggone it, people like you!
Marvin and Vaughn are a married couple in New York City looking to grow their loving family through adoption. With a great home near a huge park, a love of cooking, two energetic dogs and lots of extended family, they are ready to welcome a baby into their lives! Learn more at their adoption profile.
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