Thursday, February 23, 2006

Enjoy the wait

There is a lot of talk on other blogs about the long waiting period for adoptions. If you are unfamiliar with adopting from China, let me explain. Once you have completed the paperchase phase (which on average takes between 31/2 to 5 months) then your documents are sent to the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs. Once they log you into their system (log in date or LID), then the real wait begins. I think the average wait right now is 8 months from LID, but that can fluctuate. As you can see, there is a lot of time between your LID and when you get to travel to China to bring your little one home.

The reason for this post is to encourage my fellow bloggers and others who are going through the adoption process to try to sit back, relax and enjoy this time of their lives. If you already have a child, then you can relate to my advice.

Your life is about to change forever. Appreciate the things that you can do, right now, which will become more difficult once you have your child home. I guess I just want to tell people to value life and the situation you find yourselves in at this moment in time.

Here are a few things that you can do while waiting to bring your child home:

Sleep in – trust me on this one, it is important. Until you have a child (or are some kind of insomniac), you can’t imagine what lack of sleep does to your body and your mental health. If you are currently getting a full night of uninterrupted sleep, savor it.

Read a book, uninterrupted – Pick up that novel that you have been eyeing at the bookstore. Get into your most comfy clothes and take an entire Saturday afternoon to just sit back and enjoy a great read.

Go out to dinner – My daughter has always been pretty good when going out to eat (except for maybe a handful of times). Still, a lot of my time is spent looking for crayons under the table and trying to bribe her into being quiet. It is hard to really enjoy your meal when you are constantly worried that your child is going to flip out at any moment (they are fickle creatures, you know). So, go out to eat and savor the yummy food and peaceful atmosphere.

Take a trip – I used to love flying. Having hours of uninterrupted reading/sleeping time was like heaven to me. Now my flying time is spent trying to keep Leah happy. In reality, I don’t have that much reason to complain. My daughter is like a little world traveler and has survived two trips to Hawaii and one really long flight to Hong Kong. She is a champ when it comes to air travel and has always been very well behaved. Still, it would be nice to sneak in a little shut eye in!

Be spontaneous – Now when I want to go out with my husband, I need to line up a babysitter usually a few weeks in advance. Gone are the days when we could just grab a quick bite out and get in an early movie just for fun.

Don’t worry, be happy – A classic sign that you are a parent – the constant worrying. My Dad says that this never goes away, that to this day he still worries about me and my sister. I used to worry about a lot of things before Leah was born (work, friendships, mortgage payments). Now my list has expanded and contains things like my daughter’s health, her preschool, saving for college, etc. You get the picture.

I have not written this post to minimize the emotions that each and every one of us feels while waiting to get our children. Let me tell you, I can get as stressed out as the next person when it comes to the anticipation of adoption. Having said that, becoming a parent has taught me to enjoy the little things in life. Children can and will bring the greatest joy into our lives. And soon, we will all know the great happiness of adding to our family through adoption.

Now, go and grab a bite out and have a drink for me!

16 comments:

Juliet said...

I hear you, girl! I remember, when I was pregnant, my mom kept telling me to relax and enjoy the last monthes of freedom I had. Unfortunately, I don't think I really relaxed enough. If only I had a time machine...Oh, but I would never change a thing. As you say, parenthood is a wonderful thing. Despite the loss of freedom. LOL

Kim M. said...

We are sponsoring an infant with Half The Sky. It's been great for the kids we know her name and what orphange she is in. I thought it might help with the wait. Hmmm, maybe I'll have to post that idea.
Thanks Again, Kim

Viv said...

This is a great post that I can so relate to! The sleep thing, ugh. My daughter no longer wakes up regularly at night, but by the time I get her to bed (after working all day) that is the only time I get to myself (or with hubby) and I end up staying up later just for some time to read and knit.

And the worry, yes. It just becomes part of your life, doesn't it. But wouldn't trade it for the world.

savymanda said...

Thanks for the perspective shift.
Already have a 20 month old at home, but I was getting pretty wrapped up in the wait angst nonetheless. I just need to enjoy our little family of three for now.

Kristin said...

such good advice... when we were waiting for eva, we (tried) to always just enjoy our time with the boys... i don't think i officially went batshit crazy until the september referrals... once i knew we were next i was a total and complete disaster!

stephanie, i just really enjoy your blog. i think i, like so many others, will have to swipe the "corners of my home" post topic!

Kristin said...

hi stephanie,

please do link or blogroll to me! thanks for asking! i shall do the same with forks and chopsticks (SUCH a great title!!).

Jodie said...

Sound, wise advice! I've been fine for months. But, being a Mom is what I do. Have been doing it for 10 years!(Holy crap!) It's just lately...probably since I originally thought my referral would be here this month, I'm going "batshit crazy"!!(Kristin!)
And, once you go batshit, there's no turning back...

Katie J said...

Stephanie,

What a great post. We have been asked by our adoption agency to come and speak at their next travel meeting. I will bring this list from your post if that's ok. Yeah, I wouldn't change a thing, but I might have videotaped a lazy Saturday to remember what it was like!

~Katie J

M3 (Mary-Mia) said...

Great advice! The "don't worry" one is almost a physical impossibility for a little stress puppy like me, so I'll focus on the other ones. :-)

Sean and Gen said...

Thank you!!! I am not yet at that anxious stage...I have too much to do still. I understand the anxiousness, but I can't do that...I would literally drive myself and everyone else crazy. So instead I try to keep busy by making many lists of things to do. So instead of going crazy over waiting, I am going crazy being overwhelmed..doesn't make sense does it? :)

Eileen said...

I love this post Stephanie! It is so what I have been saying all along. Oh I have my crazed moments with the best of them, but I try not to stay in those moments. And the sleep thing! I'm going on my church's women's retreat this weekend and what I'm most looking forward to is 2 straight nights of good sleep! I was joking to my husband today that when the retreat is over, if I slept good, and all night, both nights, I just might give them another $100 and say thank you! :-) Thanks for the encouragement!

Joannah said...

Oh, that was like a cup of tea - very soothing, and now I feel better. I will try to enjoy the months ahead. Thank you for all your support and encouragement.

Ford & Alyson said...

Excellent post. I'm taking your advice and grabbing myself a good book. Know what you mean by a little peace and quiet.

Both of our kids are grown and have families of their own but we're ready to do it again with Alyzabeth An.

Once again, great post...

Andie D. said...

What a fantastic post. Waiting for a child can be so difficult - whether you are waiting to get pregnant, give birth, or adopt.

And what a lucky child you will have once she realizes how much she is wanted and appreciated. You already sound like the kind of mom every adoptee wishes she had.

Kim M. said...

Okay Stephanie I will tell people to look at your blog when they what to know what I'm doing during the wait. You send people to mine when they ask questions.

Ava Baby said...

Good advice, I'm sure. Although I rarely sleep throught the night now (definitely fall in that insomniac group), I'm sure my weekend lazy mornings will be changing.

You're daughter, Leah, is so cute. I'm also a graphic designer. I enjoy your site and would like to add a link to your site on my blog.

Have a great day.
Michele