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!