Patience

Top 10 List of Things to Do While Waiting to Adopt

hourglass-vector-237661Waiting for ‘the call’ telling you you’re going to be a parent?  How often do you refresh your email, make sure your phone is on and check in with adoption agencies to make sure you haven’t missed ‘the call’?   I know I’m guilty of all of the above but also knew I had to keep myself busy while waiting for the call or I would go crazy.

Here’s my top 10 list of things I did while passing time waiting for ‘the call’. We got the call 6 days before our son was born so I was definitely glad I’d done some of these things ahead of time.

10.  Research daycare options – you might not have much notice and may need to go on waiting lists as soon as you bring your little one home depending on how long you take off and where you live.

9.  Make a list of the necessities you’ll need to make it through the first few weeks – as we went down the private adoption route and knew the birth parents could change their minds during that first month, we tried to buy as little as possible and only focused on the necessities.  Even after the first month, we found we really didn’t need to buy a lot and took all the hand me downs we could get.

8.  Read books on parenting and/or adoption – my favourite was ‘No Biking in the House without a Helmet’ as it was a real-life story about a family who adopted internationally and was quite comical.

7.  Update your adoption profile book.   Have you been on the market longer than planned?  It never hurts to get some advice on your adoption profile book and make some updates.

6.  Research playgroups or classes you may want to attend.  There are a lot of free groups to join so look it up on the internet or ask other moms in your area.  Only being able to take 9 months off for adoption leave, I wanted to enjoy every minute of it and get to know other moms.

5. Network with other adoptive parents or people waiting to adopt.  Waiting for ‘the call’ knowing you’ve done all you can do is has so talking to others in a similar boat or hearing success stories can be a great way to pass the time.

4.  Work out – build up your core muscles.  This was a mistake I made – I hadn’t worked out in a while and all of a sudden carrying my 10 lb son up and down stairs every day did a number on my back.

3.  SLEEP IN!!!  I was told this a thousand times but it’s so true so enjoy it while you can.

2.   Go out on dates (if you’re saving money for adoption, find inexpensive dates such as going for a walk, playing a game while drinking some wine, cooking a nice romantic dinner).

1.  Enjoy life and know that everything happens for a reason. 

Hang in there – your ‘HAPPY’ is coming! Staying strong during the holidays.

The holidays can be a really hard time for people trying to have a baby or adopt.  I know – I went through it for 4 years.  My dream had always been to announce Chris and I were pregnant at Christmas by people unwrapping a picture of our ultrasound or an ornament saying something about Baby’s First Christmas with the following year on it.  I’d also had the dream of telling Chris on Christmas Eve somehow (not wrapping the pregnancy test though as that would just gross him out lol).  I was one of those people who thought we’d get pregnant on the first shot and I could plan every step of the way – wait, that’s not how it works?!

I knew adoption could happen fast but if you’d told me at Christmas last year that I would be a mom in less than 4 months, I’m not sure I would have believed it.  I know everything happens for a reason and a lot of time I think our journey happened the way it did to throw a curve ball at me and teach me you really can’t plan everything. This is our first Christmas with Jackson and looking back at last Christmas, I can’t believe all of this happened in less than 1 year!  We are so lucky and blessed to have the most beautiful, amazing 8-month old son.

Have you ever had those moments in your life where all of a sudden it dawns on you how lucky or happy you are?  I’ve been happy since the day Jackson came into our lives but it was in August when it really hit me.  On August 26th, 2013 I was sitting on the lawn of the Molson Amphitheatre (Toronto) listening to my favourite band Mumford & Sons perform my favourite song ‘I Will Wait’ and in that moment I knew life was perfect and I was the happiest I’d been in a long time. I Will Wait was my theme song when I needed a pick me up during the adoption wait.  I still smile and dance every time I hear it.

To those of you waiting, I hope 2014 is your year and that you have a special song to get you through the tough days!

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Everything Happens for a Reason – Our Adoption Success Story

My Grandma Gard has always told me everything happens for a reason and things are just meant to be.  It just so happens that 4 years to the week, our time had come for us to finally fulfill our dream of having a child.

It’s hard to believe that as I’m writing this everything unfolded in just under 3 weeks from the time we received the agency call to the time we brought the baby home.  So in 3 weeks we had to assemble a nursery, I had to wrap things up at work and we had to figure out things like formula (luckily we had the amazing expertise of a foster parent couple to guide us) plus our family and friends.

Out of respect for the birth families, I will not be mentioning any details of the adoption but do want to say they are some of the most amazing people we’ve ever met and felt an instant connection to them.  We are so thankful to them and their families and are very excited our son will get to know all of them and how much they love him through an open adoption.

Birth parents sign consents approx. 8 days after their baby is born and from that date there is a 21 waiting period where the birth parents can revoke consent.  During the waiting period we kept the news of our son very quiet so the below are some excerpts I wrote throughout the waiting period.  You’ll note I keep using the word surreal as it really is.

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THE DAY – Bringing Our Son Home

My darling son, we are about to bring you home which makes this one of the best days of our lives (and now I have Summer of ’69 playing in my head lol).  It was 4 years ago exactly when we first got the call about you that we had been trying for a family and we couldn’t be happier with how things worked out.  You were meant to be with us and were born in our hearts.

It’s a bit surreal knowing that today we officially become parents (although there’s still a week and a half left of the waiting period so we can’t shout it from the rooftops yet).

First Mother’s Day

Today is surreal – it’s my very first Mother’s Day.  I wish I could shout it from the rooftops but unfortunately the waiting period for the birth parents to change their mind isn’t up yet so we are staying pretty quiet until then.  Only 3 more days and things are looking good.  I can’t believe we’ve had him home a week now and how every passing second I feel more and more love when I didn’t think I could love him anymore or my heart might burst.  It’s also my first Mother’s Day in 4 years where I haven’t felt sad.

It was such a special moment when Chris wished me a happy mother’s day this morning and gave me a card from my little munchkin.  I was overcome with emotion.  Ok, so now that I’m a mom why is it I get overcome with SOOOO much emotion over everything? Haha.  I can’t even blame it on hormones.

The First Few Weeks

We are 2.5 weeks in and things are amazing!  Our son is perfect in every way and a really good baby (not that we’d care if he wasn’t).  I know there will be days I’ll want to pull my hair out but I’m shocked at how calm things have been and how easy it’s been to completely change our day-to-day lives.  We’ve had lots of visitors which have definitely helped as well.

The first week was a bit stressful as our dog Marvin got bit by a cat and got quite sick with infection.  He was in and out of the vet 6 times in 3 days which was pretty stressful.  He’s back to normal now and loving our son.  Marvin makes it to him first if he’s crying and gives him lots of licks – oh and he checks on him when he’s napping by peeking in the crib or bassinet.  It’s really cute.

The big accomplishments for this new mom so far are walking the dog and pushing the stroller at the same time (sounds easy but you don’t know my dog haha) and changing a poopy diaper without dirtying a 2nd one in the process!  Oh, and not letting J pee on himself as I’m changing the poopy diaper!  The cutest thing J has done so far is when I go to kiss his cheek he turns his head so I get his mouth – priceless!

On that note, I must go find J for his bedtime feeding and snuggles.

Until next time!

“The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.” ― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

IMG_0067 According to Wikipedia, ‘Patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can take before negativity.‘

Chris and I are coming up on 4 years of trying to be parents.  Looking back, in a 4-year span a lot of things can happen.  Someone can get a university degree; meet their perfect someone, fall in love, get married, have 2 kids;  switch jobs – a couple of times; move cities – a couple of times – you get the picture.  When I think of our 4-year wait in this light, I’m pretty darn impressed with how patient and positive we have been :-).  Luckily we have a lot of people in our lives giving us awesome support during this dreaded waiting period.

To help me with the wait, I recently reached out to fellow parents (bio and adoptive) on Twitter to ask them for advice on how to pass the wait and what Chris and I should do while we’re still childless.  Here’s what I heard back:

  • ‘Sleep in and sleep lots’ – heard this one A LOT!!
  • ‘Go out for dinner’
  • ‘Travel’
  • ‘Get my MBA’
  • ‘Learn to cook’
  • ‘Do a marathon’
  • ‘Spend time with hubby and friends’
  • ‘Read success stories’
  • ‘Document the journey’
  • ‘Be an advocate for adoption’

Tim Elder who I follow on Twitter has this great blog on passing the wait – http://www.infantadoptionguide.com/7-things-while-you-wait.

All great advice although not sure doing a marathon will ever make my list things to do – I’ll settle for a 10km :-).

Thanks again to our family, friends and journey followers for their great advice and support.