As the subject for this week’s Adoption Talk Link-up is “Anything Goes”, I want to discuss getting through one of the toughest parts of adoption – the wait. The timeframe between home study completion and actually bringing your child home can feel like torture. Here is an idea on how to survive it.
We were fortunate. Five and a half years after we started out journey to having a family we were contacted about an expectant mother looking to make an adoption plan. We had not even started the adoption process. Suddenly, we had only four months before we would possibly achieve parenthood.
One would think four months would seem like a breeze compared to the years we had waited. Instead, each day felt like a thousand years. We were in limbo between hoping our dreams would finally come true and not wanting to get our hopes up for fear of the grief we would have to endure if the expectant mother choose to parent.
I had to do something. I needed to focus my mind on something other than the agony of the situation.
I decided to do something that was radical for me. I was determined to become a runner. Given the chronic pain issues that I deal with that the endometriosis left behind running had been out of the question. I wanted to break free from the limitations the pain had placed.
I found a training plan and signed up for a race to motivate me. The race was two weeks after the expectant mom’s due date. I was more than happy to not complete the race if my dreams of motherhood came true, but I also knew it would be nice to have a distraction up to and past the magic date.
The running schedule increased in week by week increments. I was now ticking off work-outs instead of solely focusing on gestational weeks. Plus, running was a great outlet to burn off my anxiety!
Our match with the expectant mom ended in a failure to become parents, but a success in learning a vital life tool. I completed my first 5K and developed a newfound love of running! Five years later it is still something I enjoy.
My advice to anyone enduring the unenviable wait that prospective adoptive parents find themselves in: try a new hobby. It does not have to be running. Learn to write or knit; anything that you can gain periods of time where your thoughts are derailed from the anxiety of waiting to see if you will become parents.
Have an endpoint that you are working toward, something that you can take pride in. Avoid having it focus on anything to do with parenthood. That way if your dreams end in failure, the new pastime can be enjoyed untainted by grief.
For me, taking up a new hobby helped keep me from feeling like the wait was going to suffocate me. When I run I listen to music. My body often screams for me to stop. The music helps distract me from the agony my body is trying to convince my mind of. Running was my “music” while I was caught in the torturous wait to find out if our dreams were to be realized.
I encourage you to find your “music”! If you can find a way to distract your mind, it makes the wait almost tolerable. Almost… not totally!