adopting + not losing your sanity
I love adoptive mommas. I’ve loved their blogs, their honesty, their humility, and their stories for years now. Adoptive moms also kind of scare me.
The adoption process is one of so much emotion and investment. So much. (I honestly can only think of a few things that rival it.) Social media has brought it to a whole ‘nother level. Now, we can see who gets a referral when, who dislikes their agency, who freaks in times of uncertainty, who must know every. single. detail. of their future child’s life, who thinks they need more update photos, and who can’t wait a day longer.
I’ve been that kind of mom — a least a little bit — at various points throughout this process. But, with all humility, I must say this: I think I’ve done a pretty dang good job of not losing my sanity. Though Dan may disagree? (My dear, sweet husband is so extraordinarily laid back, he’s played a big role in my mellowing. I think the only two things that have ever made him feel any sort of anxiety were: 1) asking me out and 2) meeting my parents.)
So, ideas for staying sane while adopting:
I do things I love, including going on dates with my husband + spending time with my friends. Hobbies — distractions, if you will — are so valuable during this waiting. I’ve spent a whole lot of time not preparing for Theo + Elliot’s arrival, and I’m okay with it. Right now, my marriage is still pretty new, and I’m soaking up this time with my husband. I’m super excited to devote a lot of my time to Theo + Elliot as soon as they’re home!
I steer clear of information overload. There are message boards, Yahoo groups, and Facebook pages for just about every kind of adoption that range from broad to specific. If you’ve got any sort of tendency to worry or over think like me, these aren’t all good. I’ve bowed out of a couple of “info sources” just because the competition and negativity freaked me out a bit. Adoptive parents can be intense. I’m focusing on the types of online communities that truly embody “community” instead. There are also parenting books and blogs galore. There are a few topics I want to learn a lot about before Theo + Elliot come home, but there are a lot of things we’ll figure out along the way.
I haven’t made adoption an ultimate. I have a lot of other fun, exciting things going on in my life. There are a lot of things I enjoy doing more than I enjoy doing adoption stuff. I have a husband who is super fun to spend time with. I have a God who deserves more of my time than adoption does… He keeps me sane. Know the song lyrics, Sweet Jesus Christ, my sanity? (We had to get mental health assessments as part of our boys’ country’s requirements. The Christian therapist I saw asked, “Say you invest a lot of time and money into this and it doesn’t work out, you can’t adopt, how will you feel? What will you do?” Though the assessment was a pain, my conversations with this guy were a great way opportunity for me to step back + think through what could happen.)
I consider the bigger picture. I would love to get more pictures of my sons. I would love to see a video of them. I would love to know some information about their personalities, their likes + dislikes, and their schedules. I don’t get these things, and it’s okay. I truly believe our agency is doing as much as they can, and I believe my babies will be home quicker than I know it. Pictures, videos, and updates don’t match seeing them + knowing them myself. I’m just focused on getting to that point.
(I say all this, but you gotta know: I had many not-so-sane days early on. And I still have my crazy days. I didn’t leave my email out of my sight on Friday as we waited for some more important adoption documents.)