Monday, June 23, 2008

Things I Can See With My 20/20 Vision

They say that hindsight is 20/20. Since I've been through the waiting stage before with our first adoption, I've got some hindsight to work with. Though the wait was much shorter, I'm trying to remember the good things I did during the wait and the things I wish I had done. Please chime in with your ideas!

Things I'm glad I did during the first wait in no particular order:
1. Read a bunch of books about adoption and the country from which my child was adopted. Specifically, I would read about attachment.

2. Filled out a book for my child about our family, her adoption story, etc.

3. Set up a web page so that my family and friends could follow our adoption journey. Their comments to us when we first met our daughter and were struggling with our sick, scared new child were very comforting! I have printed out hard copies of the hundreds of comments from family and friends that I hope will be precious to my child when she is older.

4. Met other adoptive families. We used an agency in our state, so we had other families nearby who traveled with us. We were able to meet ahead of time which helped me feel like I already had friends on our trip. Also, we joined a local adoption support group and went to some of their functions before we completed our adoption. It helped to tangibly see that it will happen!

5. Prayed in my daughter's room. Of course we did all the normal stuff, like painting and decorating and buying too many clothes. One thing that really helped me feel connected to her was sitting in her room and praying for her.

6. Made lists. I searched out other people's online packing lists for travel and tweaked it for our needs. I also made a list of all the things we wanted to shop for in her country. You might not get to go back, so don't forget anything! I treasure every single thing we bought. We also bought our daughter a small gift for each "gotcha day" until she turns 18.

I'm sure there were more, but that's what hits me off the top of my head.

On the flip side, things I wished I would have done while waiting:

1. More dates with hubby. We tried to do this, but looking back, I would have planned out better, more romantic dates. The kind we can't do now easily. Our dates back then were a trip to Lowe's and dinner! I know, the romance is killing you, isn't it?

2. Read more about the places we were going to see in our daughter's country. We were so tired and so anxious when we were doing our sightseeing, that I couldn't really take it in. I wish I had read more ahead of time, so I could have appreciated what I was seeing.

3. 100 Good Wishes quilt. This is common in the adoption world. Friends and family contribute a quilt square and a note for the baby. You put it all together and you have a keepsake quilt for the baby. Just never got around to it the first time! Now, I feel like since our daughter doesn't have one, I can't do one for the next kid.

4. Stocked up the freezer and pantry. We are lucky that our Sunday School class provided us with meals for a week or so when we returned. I still wish I had frozen some dinners ahead of time. I know the foods I specifically craved the last time we traveled and I will be sure to stock the pantry with those for when we return!

5. Spent less time following Internet rumor sites. Though I am an advocate for staying informed, there is a limit as to how many web sites you need to read each day (hour, minute). I still struggle with this one a bit!

That's a few ideas. What do you wish you would have done while waiting? What did you do that was good? This time around, I know that I need to spend as much quality time with my daughter as possible. Her life is going to change dramatically once her sibling arrives. We need to enjoy life as a family of 3 until then!

Leave a comment and share your ideas with others!

1 comment:

Rhonda & Kristin said...

I stumbled upon your blog! We're adopting from Ethiopia and I had did a post of things to do during the wait:

http://rkturgeon.blogspot.com/2008/03/while-we-wait.html

Good luck with your adoption!

Rhonda