Going into adoption, you knew that there would be a waiting game — awaiting the home study, approval from the agency and the adoption match. You prepared for all of these moments. But holidays come with events, lots of little moments and lots of large expectations. You may feel discouraged. This is completely normal.
The holiday season is all about family making memories and traditions together. It can be especially difficult for adoptive parents who are trying to enjoy time with family while still feeling like part of their family is incomplete. You are not alone if you have started the adoption process and are awaiting a match during the holiday season.
How to Get Through the Holidays
1. Continue doing Holiday Things
Continue doing your ‘normal’ holiday rituals and events. Even if you feel like a part of you or your family is missing during this time. Remember why you celebrate with the traditions you do. What makes them so important? What do you want to share with your future son or daughter? How will you teach them?
Don’t forget this holiday season is meant to be all about family. Spending time with your loved ones. Not only will it help you keep your emotional and mental state in balance, but it will also help you stay connected with your support system. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating as you normally would. Hang decorations. Go ice skating. Buy a Christmas tree or menorah. If you send out a holiday newsletter, do that.
Let everyone know how excited you are for your new son or daughter to join the family. But don’t let the waiting period ruin your holiday. Do everything you can to revel in the joy of the season. Your child will arrive when they are meant to, and then you can create new traditions with them.
No matter how you practice self-care, make sure you have healthy and realistic expectations in place. Both how you’ll care for yourself right now, and how you will continue to do so once your child is around. Keeping up with a normal routine pre and post adoption will help you stay balanced.
Not everyone will be understanding and compassionate, and may give you a difficult time with your choice to adopt. In cases like this, it’s completely ok to have a select set of responses ready to go. These will provide you with an emotional barrier and a way out of an awkward or unpleasant conversation if need be. Unfortunately, having this exit strategy in place is necessary. But know that it’s also ok and healthy to limit your time around those who will not view your decision positively. Because, if you allow too much negativity into your world, this can cause undo hurt and stress to your health.
3. Self-Care Ideas
Along those same lines, here are some ideas on how you can practice self-care. This list is non-exhaustive, but can help you become inspired. If you think of something else that would work for you — go for it:
- Pray or go to church
- Join support groups
- Pamper yourself
- Schedule regular appointments
- Ask about adoptive parent leave
4. Time Spent doing Non-Holiday Things
When it comes to the waiting game, there is a laundry list of things that you can do. You can volunteer (i.e. clean up trash, be a part of a soup kitchen, hand out presents in foster homes or shelters, etc.) or donate toys and clothes to shelters or other organizations. You can also do things you wouldn’t normally do. Learn a new skill or language. Catch up on scrapbooking. Create a book of family recipes. Whatever you feel works best for you. But remember: it is not a requirement to do holiday things during the holiday season.
Other non-holiday items are things that you’ve put aside for a rainy day. Things you won’t have time for once your child comes home. This could include: organizing your space, completing half-finished projects or cleaning the house. Another thing could be stocking your freezer with prepared meals.
The Holiday Wait
Waiting is never easy. Yet, in the end, it will be worth it. The most important thing is to have a positive attitude. Focus on celebrating with your family instead of anxiously wondering when your baby will arrive. This will be the most beneficial way for you to get through the holidays. You never know what the New Year could bring. Parenthood could be right around the corner!
Adoption Choices of Colorado
For more information on adoption please contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can be reached via our website or phone 303-670-4401.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Taylor Tsakopulos, the bestselling student. She has interned locally in Denver and internationally in Dublin, Ireland, taken classes/workshops and worked odd jobs and yet always comes back to being a student and the desire to learn or create.
She is a jack of all trades i.e. a Gemini (the sign of the twin; easily adaptable and has several different views and opinions, has a multitude of abilities and interests). She is a Denver based writer, creator, artist and student. A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver.
When she isn’t creating content she’s off dancing and hiking 14ers. Always chasing after new things and experiences. After living and working in Europe she is hungry for more…
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