Waiting for Your Adopted Child
When you make the decision to adopt, things can get really busy – from signing up, completing the paperwork and starting the home study to choosing an adoption program and completing the registration requirements. However, once you are registered and waiting to adopt, the time can go slowly and it may feel that the adoption will never happen.
Adoption is not a fast process and there are many steps involved to ensure an ethical and legal process is occurring and that everything is done in the best interests of the children being adopted. Once you meet your child, the wait will have been worthwhile, but in the meantime there are also some things you can do to stay actively involved in the adoption process and make use of the waiting period.
- Learn more about your future child’s culture. This includes the customs and traditions, the celebrations and the language so that you can incorporate this into your family life and teach your child what you know. Reach out to the local cultural community and find out ways that you can get involved and ways that you can stay involved when your child comes home. Knowing some of the language will be important for travel, communication with your child and for your child’s future.
- Learn more about adoption and use this time to make connections that will likely be lifelong. Connect with the local adoption community, such as through the Adoptive Families Association of BC (AFABC). Find local or online groups of adoptive families who have adopted through the same program or adopted children of a similar culture. Ask your agency to connect you with other adoptive families in your community. Attend courses, webinars and conferences. Read books, online articles, blogs, and find other sources of information.
- Learn more about parenting a child in the age range you have requested. This may include learning more about the developmental stage of a child that age, child proofing your home, finding activities that a child that age may enjoy or spending time with families who have children of a similar age.
- Become an adoption advocate. Reach out to your family and friends and teach them what you have learned about adoption so that they are respectful about an adopted child’s experiences and can be a strong support for your family. Teach them about positive adoption language and the important differences between biological and adoptive parenting. Make sure they understand the importance of the transition period for your family once you are placed with a child.
- Start your child’s lifebook. Your adoption process during this time is all part of the child’s story and may be something that they are interested in hearing about or that you would like to include in a Lifebook.
- Stay connected with your agency. Ask for article or book suggestions on topics that pertain to your particular situation. Get updates on the program you have applied to. Ask for further advice on what you can do to prepare for the adoption.
- Live your life! Stay connected with friends and family and enjoy your hobbies and interests.