9 Things you Can Do While Waiting for Adoption
By: Kelly Long, Adoptive Mother and Generations DFW Caseworker
We live in a culture that does not like to wait. We grimace when there are too many cars in the drive thru line at our favorite fast food restaurant. We sigh when we are forced to stop because we didn’t quite make it to the intersection while the light was still yellow. We seek the shortest line at the grocery store. We use Google Maps on our mobile phones to find alternative routes when there is a traffic jam to avoid the wait. In this world of instant gratification, we’ve bought into this misconception that waiting is bad. So why are there so many Scriptures that address the value of patience and the importance of waiting on Him? The Bible is full of stories of people having to wait on God – Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Joseph, Hannah, Daniel, Paul, the list could go on. The result of their waiting was a transformation of their character, and a dependency and intimacy with God. Their waiting became an act of worship. In “A Graceful Waiting“, Jan Frank writes, “Waiting becomes worship when our as-yet-unfulfilled hopes and dreams take a secondary place to knowing, loving, and trusting our God.”
As Mother’s and Father’s Day approaches, the wait becomes harder for many of us. The wait for dreams and desires to be fulfilled by the Lord can be an exciting time but also deeply painful. There are times the Lord asks us to wait, and the journey of adoption is inherently a process of waiting. Intellectually we can say that we know that spiritual good will ultimately come out of our waiting, but we struggle to be at peace with it because it is simply “hard.” We struggle during the wait with the uncertainty of how long it will be, resolving grief, comments and questions from friends and family, the cycle of holidays focused on children, feelings of being misunderstood, and even concerns about the adoption process itself. So, what are some practical things that we can do while we wait that help us in the process and draws us into a heart of worship?
- Pray: Use your time to pray for your child, your child’s birth family, the orphanage or foster home your child is living in, the doctors and nurses caring for your child, your agency, your caseworkers, friends and family who will have a relationship with your child, and your marriage.
- Read Scripture: Spend time reading the Bible and allow God to reveal himself to you through His Word.
- Deal with your Baggage: Ask God to reveal areas in your life that need work to help prepare you for parenthood. Perhaps you need to seek counsel from a friend, pastor, or counselor.
- Strengthen Your Marriage: Spend quality time dating your spouse, create special memories, write love letters, travel, and communicate about how you are individually dealing with your adoption journey.
- Journal: Express your thoughts and feelings on paper. Write letters to God. Write letters to your child that will one day join your family.
- Take Care of Yourself: Exercise, get plenty of sleep, and eat well. Find life-giving activities that you enjoy doing alone or with others.
- Serve Others: Volunteering to help others takes the focus off of yourself and ministers to those hurting around you. Serve in the community, bring a meal to a sick friend, mow a widow’s lawn, visit a church member in the hospital, collect items for an upcoming church mission trip, or bake cookies for new neighbors.
- Educate Yourself and Others: Read books about adoption related issues, attend adoption conferences, subscribe to adoption magazines, and collect children’s books about adoption to one day read to your child. If adopting internationally, learn as much as you can about your child’s birth country and culture. Learn how to effectively deal with language barriers. Talk to your family, friends, and church leadership about what you are learning.
- Attend an Adoption Support Group: Finding a community of people who will walk beside you, encourage you, and pray for you while you wait brings comfort. They will also become the support system that you will cherish as you encounter adoption related issues down the road as you raise your child.