December 6th, 2011
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CribI was reading an adoption blog the other day, and the author basically said, “Sorry I haven’t updated this blog for a number of months…We’re still waiting for our referral…It’s easier for us not to immerse ourselves in the adoption world while we wait.”

Huh. What a novel idea.

Imagine not spending all your free time reading adoption blogs. Imagine not checking your agency’s website for updates that you may have missed via email. Imagine not connecting with other adopting moms, particularly those from your agency, to share tidbits of information (which I’m sure the agencies just love). And if you’re waiting for a referral, imagine not making a little wish, in the hopes that THIS is THE CALL, every time your phone rings. I wonder what that would be like!

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Forgive my honesty, but I bet that woman feels…free. I bet she has all her Christmas shopping done. I bet she walks her dog religiously every day. I bet her adoption paperwork is neatly organized in a white binder with color tabs. I bet she bakes. I bet she actually makes that stuff that I repin on Pinterest and never actually intend to do. If she has kids, I bet she has never missed a minute of playtime to read other people’s blogs. I bet she has time to go to the gym. And while she’s on the treadmill, I bet she’s not thinking about her next blog post.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the adoption community. I enjoy connecting with other mothers who are going through this crazy adventure. But sometimes, as another week goes by and I’m still not on the waiting list, and I read about others who are getting referrals and court dates, I feel like a woman who is trying to get pregnant and has to go to lunch with glowing, expectant friends. And someday, when I’m waiting for a referral that should come “any day now”, I’m pretty sure I’ll feel like I did when I was 40 weeks and 4 days pregnant…”Nope, still no baby.”

Perhaps this woman, with her sparse blog, is on to something. Maybe distance would make the process easier.

For me, probably not. I would love to think that I have the will power to not obsess over something, but that’s just not me. I research everything. I do research before I buy sheets or even laundry detergent. I love poring over adoption information. I love sharing adoption information. I love reading people’s referral stories and sharing my journey with others, even if I’m a year behind where they are in the process. I love anything that makes me feel connected to the process, because I feel like I’m moving one step closer to my little girl. I suppose we all deal with this process in our own ways.

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4 Responses to “Dealing with the Wait”

  1. manoush says:

    Hello Lindsay,
    I’m new to the wesbite, but i just saw blogs about adopting from Lebanon. I was wondering if you could help me with a name of a good attorney/lawyer in Lebanon who could help me adopt from there. We’re an Australian-Egyptian, orthodox Christian couple, so hopefully we’re meeting the right criteria, but I do want to go all the legal path. I’ll appreciate any help. Thanks

  2. heartbrokenmom says:

    Hi, Lindsay~

    Here’s what you do, so you don’t go NUTSY!!!

    Make an adoption photo album with all the stuff you want to introduce your child to, about his/her new life. Make pics of home, cars, the child’s room, the neighborhood, schools (you may not know what age of child you’ll end up getting, so go broadly in topics)… take pics of your cars (our boys couldn’t believe we had TWO cars, even one for MOM!!!), take pics of your pets, your friends, your family members, your jobs, your kids friends (who will be your child’s friends). Put these all together in an album and made SEVERAL copies (in case you get a sibling group or the orphanage “borrows” your book and never returns it). Our one son had a grandmother who LIVED for him… she got a copy of the album, so she would know where her grandson was going to.

    Take the pics and make playing cards out of them (print the pics on cardstock and use clear contact paper to laminte them). Once you get to see your child, you can play “Go Fish” and other games (“Match Patch” or “Old Maid”… use a toilet picture -or some such- for the “Maid”). You can use these cards to pass the time AND to introduce your child to his/her new family. If you are headed towards an orphanage, you can play with the other kids and get a sense of your child’s orphanage- life.

    If you are traveling to a country with a different language, learn the language. There are loads of web-sites that can teach you the basics for free. Learn to sound-out their alphabet, this will help you AMAZINGLY with signs, schedules, maps and so forth!

    Find a “whole-text translator,” like the software sold by Instant Immersion, or the online bablefish or google translator. My favorite site is: online [dash] translator [dot] com (which I hope won’t be blocked out, remove the spaces and do the stuff in the brackets). Use these whole text translators to tell your new child about your life, your dreams, stories about your family (like when the sibs were born or how you got your pets… anything you think your child might be interested in). Label the pictures in your albums (in your child’ language… it’s called “transliteration” when words are just put, as closely as possible, in the letters of the other language). To be on the safe side, translate everything and then run it back through the translator to translate it back to English and make sure that what you said makes sense.

    Pack, unpack, repack… expectant moms pack their bags and have them sitting by the door, waiting for that sudden call (when your brain WILL fly out of your head). Have a smallish bag that will travel with you (carry-on), with emergency sets of clothes and the allowable sizes of toiletries. Go to a party store or online quantity toy site (oriental trading [dot] com) and buy bulk toys for the other kids in the orphanage. My sons got to be the heroes for the day, when we gave them toys to give out to their friends. IF you get separated from your regular luggage, you should have AT LEAST one set of around-town clothes and one set of court-clothes (dress fancy for court, it’s respectful).

    DO check out the country you’re traveling to, search out blogs from recent travelers, and check US Embassy alerts. Try to prepare yourself as much as possible. I (for example) was SHOCKED to see that the “toilets” in the country we traveled to, were actually HOLES in the (co-ed) floors. More than once, I found myself squatting with all my glory shining as random guys would walk past… lovely. (URGH!) You may want to know about those little “surprises.”

    Finally, think about stuff that you would like to do with your child, both at the orphanage (for the long waits before court appointments and document errands, as well as the L-O-N-G plane rides home). Get games and activities for a broad range of kids. Look for games that DO NOT require reading or English. This will be rough, but I-Spy type games, card games, chess, checkers, chinese checkers, and dice games work. Oh, MasterMind works too, if you can find it (though, you can make up a pencil/paper version of this, too). Take all the stuff out of boxes and put them in zippy-bags to stash in your luggage. This will give you fun stuff to do with your kids when you visit. Orphanage staff will appreciate your thoughtfulness and you will learn LOADS about your kids by how they play games (fairness, competition, kindness, cooperation). Also, never underestimate the use of balloons and bubbles. Toddlers will run around, popping bubbles (while you can stay in one area blowing them), which will help them run off nervous energy. Bigger kids can play soccer or volleyball (even indoors) with balloons. Party stores have baloons that blow-up, up to 4 FEET across… these make great medicine-ball-type balls for the kids to play with. Again, these are cheap and pack easily to use with the kids… and the kids get a HUGE kick out of playing with these kinds of things.

    OK… so THESE should keep you busy while you wait!!! And, your nervous enegy will go to a GREAT cause: the great first-impressions you will leave with your kiddo!

    Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one last thing… If it’s taking forever for your documents to get where they need to go, CHECK on them! Many documents for your dossier have a shelf-life of around 2 years… THEN, they will need to be re-done! AND, countries differ about what they do, if your documents “expire” while you are in-country. You DO NOT want your adoption delayed or even canceled because of document problems… so get on it. Check with the government agency in your state to make sure your file is in their hands and on their list. It took me a LONG time to find the phone number that would connect me with my state’s department that handles documents for us to bring our child into America, but I did… and MAN was it worth it!!! We were told that we could expect to travel at Christmas time… then Easter… then, we weren’t sure if we would be able to travel during the summer. Oh, brother! It turned out that the state department LOST our paperwork and found it after they cleaned their office and moved a desk (it fell behind). After the call, I had our paperwork in 2 weeks!!! If your in-country facilitators are dragging their feet, check with their other clients… both happy AND ANGRY, because you could learn TONS! We lost about $10k to a scam-artist who we LOVED and were SO dedicated to. It turned out that she was a MESS! So, we had to change facilitators to get the job done. It was heart-breaking, of course, but the second time around, we were SO MUCH MORE wise! Our new facilitator was magnificent, in the long run. Again, if time is dragging far too much, get on it and figure out what you have to do to get the ball rolling. You’ll be glad you did, and it might just save your whole adoption!

    Possibly the best-ever advice that I can offer is this: HAVE FUN!!!

  3. heartbrokenmom says:

    PS~ Keep an adoption blog. START NOW!!! Make business cards with your web-site on it and hand them out to anyone who asks, “How are you doing? How’s the adoption coming along?” You can blog about where the process is and exactly what you are waiting for. IF you are religious, you can ask your faith-community to pray for you, your kids, the process. This will answer all those questions at one time.

    You might consider fund-raisers either for your adoption or for your child’s orphanage. You might make crafts and sell them. Host a bake-sale or yard-sale. Write and self-publish your own cook-book and sell it to all your friends for a “donation” to your adoption.

    If you have access to a faith-based community (or some such) you may want to get donations of clothing and medicines (tylenol, cough syrup, band-aids) for your child’s orphanage. We had a TEN bag “limit” for our travel, which was EIGHT bags more than we needed. So, we used those extra bags (boxes, actually) to get supplies for our child’s orphanage… before we even knew, for sure, which orphanage we would be donating to.

    THOSE are all the things I can think of, off the top of my head… but they will all have a HUGE impact on the quality of your time with your child.

    Take care!

  4. alina75m says:

    Please support our petition! Give a chance to the abandoned Romanian children to have a family: help us to convince Romanian Government to change actual adoption law!
    http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Guvernul_Romaniei_Ministerul_Muncii_Familiei_si_Protectiei_Sociale_Changing_of_the_actual_adoption_law_and_reopening_int/?nhgEugb

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