Waiting to adopt a baby is no less bewildering an experience than pregnancy. Time frames in adoptions are much more open, and you are much less in control of various extenuating circumstances - will you find a birth mother willing to put her baby up for adoption? Can you find an agency that will satisfy your needs? Just how long will it be until you can bring the child home? Successful adoptions happen every day, and luckily, many adoptive parents are visiting Parent Soup to help those who are waiting for their new bundle of joy and are facing these and other questions. Here is the best of their tried-and-true advice.
"When we were expecting to adopt our first child (three years ago) I kept an adoption 'expectancy journal' and wrote down everything I was going through -- emotionally and practically -- through the entire waiting game. Sort of like a 'pregnancy journal' if you will-- but it took more than nine months! It helped me so much to just write down all that I was feeling, and the advice/support others were giving me, and to write letters to my unborn child, and letters to our unknown birthmom, etc. Now it serves not only as a memory journal for me, but it is something truly special I can give to my adopted daughter some day so that she will know all about my 'pregnancy of the heart' as I called it. I would suggest to all of you expecting to adopt, to try it-- it sure helped me through the process."
"I have two adopted children from foreign countries. With our first, our family and friends all met us at the airport and videotaped it. Our daughter loves to watch herself coming off the plane, though she was asleep and very grumpy. There were over 50 people there to greet her, which pleases her to no end! When we left the airport, we left alone, and went home to start the bonding process (and honestly, to get some sleep - we had been in planes and airports for 27 hours!). People had also filled our home with balloons, signs, and groceries (which we were so thankful for). There is a really fine line between wanting quiet family time for bonding, but also needing contact. The calls from people were really helpful to me."
"Many parents who adopt babies from other countries try to instill a love of their children's birth culture into their family. If you know someone who is going through an international adoption, any gift that shows the beauty of Indian culture, music, cuisine, or the country would be treasured by the family. There are also some beautiful children's books that help children understand adoption. Although a nine month old won't understand the books, they would be nice to have because those questions come much sooner than you would expect!"