You have completed the adoption application and are finally on the list of approved prospective adoptive parents. That's exciting and wonderful! Now the waiting begins. This time, while you're waiting to be matched, can be very difficult for some parents. However there are things that you can do to manage the wait and prepare for a new baby.
Preparing for Placement and Support While You Wait
Whether or not this child will be your first baby, there is plenty that expectant adoptive parents can do to plan for their child's arrival.
- Read about raising children through adoption
Adoption Options can recommend a number of Adoption related books and resources to prepare you for the journey to come (see list below)
- Join the Adoption Options' Adoptive & Waiting Parents Support Group
This group meets monthly to support each other, discuss the challenges facing adoptive and waiting parents, and to create a community for their adoptive children
- Connect with other waiting or adoptive parents. You can meet parents at the support group meetings, or ask your social worker to provide an introduction to other parents. These can be a great support for you not only through the wait but as you raise your child.
- Purchase a car seat - and learn to install it
When the call comes that your baby has been born, you may have little time to prepare for bringing that baby home. This is particularly the case with instant placements! Even if you are not comfortable preparing a baby room or purchasing baby items, a car seat is one item you should consider purchasing well in advance. The hospital will not allow you to leave with the baby unless you have a certified car seat. Be sure to learn how to properly install it as well.
- Take a parenting workshop. Alberta Health Services runs a special workshop for adoptive parents which focuses on taking care of a baby (and not the labour and delivery). For more information >
- Take a CPR course
- Review your finances
- Think about who you want your child's guardians or God parents to be
- Create a website or a 'family journey' album or blog for your child and family, including details of your adoption process
- Get active! Healthy living helps to maintain a positive attitude and a quality lifestyle
- Prepare a short list of baby names
- Prepare a shopping list of immediate items required once you are placed with a child
- Do NOT put your life on hold. Continue with your plans. For example, travel or home renovations. Just make sure to get travel insurance for an adoption placement!
For Waiting and Adoptive Parents
Adoption Without Fear, Ed. by Jim Gritter. Seventeen adoptive couples describe their experiences with open adoption. Must read for anyone touched by adoption, it is particularly helpful for prospective adoptive couples just beginning the process.
Kids are worth it! : Giving your child the gift of inner discipline by Barbara Coloroso. This national best seller, provides parents with tangible methods and approaches in raising self-assured, responsible, and loving children.
Parenting your Adopted Older Child by Brenda McCreight, Ph.D. How to overcome the unique challenges and raise a happy and healthy child. This practical book is a must read for any parent who is considering adopting an older child.
Raising Adopted Children by Lois Ruskai Melina. Practical and reassuring advice for every adoptive parent. This book covers topics of international adoption, open adoption, attachment and bonding, and answers parents’ most frequently asked questions.
Recognizing and Managing Children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome / Fetal Alcohol Effects: A Guidebook by Brenda McCreight. For any parent or professional working with children exposed prenatally, this guide offers practical advice and information on dealing with FASD.
Toddler Adoption by Mary Hopkins-Best. This is a must read if you are considering the adoption of a toddler.
Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wished Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge. The voices of children who joined their family through adoption are poignant, questioning. And they tell a familiar story of loss, fear, and hope. This extraordinary book, written by a woman who was adopted herself, gives voice to children's unspoken concerns, and shows adoptive parents how to free their kids from feelings of fear, abandonment, and shame.
Silent Sorority: A (Barren) Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found by Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos.
Song I would have sung, Letters I would have written, Dreams I now have Realized: A Memoir of Pregnancy Loss, Adoption and Birth by Jayne H. Easley.
Unsung Lullabies: Understanding and Coping with Infertility by Janet Jaffe Ph.D, Martha Diamond Ph.D, and David Diamond Ph.D.
Beginnings: How Families Come to Be by Virginia Kroll. This is an excellent book to begin discussion about adoption and the different ways that families are formed.
Did My First Mother Love Me? by Kathryn Ann Miller. When young Morgan asks, "Did my first mother love me?" her adoptive mother reads her a letter written by Morgan’s birth mother. This birth mother’s love, concern, and caring for her child come through loud and clear as she explains the kind of life she wants for her child. Sadly, she explains, she cannot provide that life for her child, so she has given her a different set of parents. “My dearest child, to your parents I have given the precious gift of you,” she writes. A reassuring story, this book can be adapted to the reader’s family situation.
Megan’s Birthday Tree: A Story about Open Adoption by Laurie Lears. Another wonderful book to have and share.
Pugnose Has Two Special Families by Karis Kruzel. This 16-page, full-colour children’s book tells the story of Pugnose, an adopted mouse. This story will help you and your children explore their feelings about open adoption.
Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis. One of our favourites!
The Best for You by Kelsey Stewart. A lovely book for any family joined through open adoption. It is shared from a birthmother to her child and talks of the love birthparents have for their children in placing them with their forever parents, the adoptive parents.