Making a connection with a prospective birth parent takes time – in some cases, lots of time. Think of adoption as a marathon, not a sprint. When it comes to reaching out to a possible birth family, being patient isn’t simply a virtue. It’s a necessity.
But that doesn’t mean you should just sit and wait for something to happen. Here’s a list of things you can do to generate more leads, make the time pass faster, and help you stay positive and proactive.
Join A Support Group. If you haven’t joined a support group already, now is the time to do it. Signing up with one will put you in touch with people who are just like you. They “get” adoption and know what it’s like to be in your shoes. Count on them for information, advice and support.
Find A Buddy. Adoption can be a lonely journey, even at the best of times. The only people you will really understand what you’re going through are people who have gone through the process or are going through it now. Hooking up with a Buddy or Mentor will give you a chance to compare notes, swap war stories, and help you find leads and inspiration.
Read Everything You Can. This is one of those things you can do anytime anywhere. Adoption books and guides can be incredibly useful. Just remember, the landscape is always changing. So if you’re looking for the most up-to-date information, check out resources online.
Keep A Journal. If you like to write, there’s nothing better than keeping a journal. It gives you a a change to put your thoughts on paper and keep your emotions in check. If you’re up to it, you can even share your observations through a blog. Not only will it be an inspiration for others, it could make a wonderful keepsake for your child.
Start Preparing for Parenthood. Becoming an adoptive parent is something that can happen at any time. So when it happens, you’ll want to make sure you’re ready. Don’t go out and buy a crib just yet. But keep your eyes and ears open for a pediatrician and other things you’ll need to do after you get “the call.”
Follow Your Passion. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do? Mastering an instrument or learning a new language? If so, his could be your last chance to do it for a quite a while. Once you become a parent, you won’t have the time or the energy to do much else. So make a list of all the things you and your partner always wanted to do and go out and do them.
Take a trip. Becoming a parent changes everything. If you have the time and financial resources, take advantage of them while you still can.
Look after yourself. Adoption can be stressful, no matter how strong you are. Try to stay relaxed and keep your expectations realistic. Exercise regularly, eat well, and get a good night’s sleep. And after you’ve taken care of yourself, take care of your partner.
For many parents-to-be, the waiting is the hardest part of the adoption process. Staying focused on your goal is important. But so is having a Plan B. So, if your search takes longer than expected, don’t be afraid to try something new. Being flexible and adapting to new situations is not only part of the adoption experience. It’s also great preparation for becoming a parent.
[Photo: Jason Gordon 11]