The adoption journey is tough on paper and tough emotionally. Even though many of your feelings may be just that – feelings – they aren’t any less difficult to get through than the physical obstacles in adoption (like endless paperwork.) Here are three ways you can help control your emotions during your adoption journey:

1. Talk to professional.

Before adopting, I had never gone to a psychologist or psychiatrist; however, during our adoption journey, my social worker suggested it to me. I’m glad she did. I found a psychologist who I went to talk with once a week for about four months. She then referred me to a psychiatrist who could prescribe medication for anxiety. I now go to her for the medication, but we don’t really discuss much. I think the medication was something I should have been taking a long time ago for anxiety. The adoption process just amplified the anxiety already there. You can research online to find someone who has experience with family and adoption. Just make sure your insurance covers it.

2. Take care of yourself.

When you have something added to your plate like the stress of an adoption, you need to make self-care a priority. This can come in the form of meditation or exercise. It can also mean going to church and praying at home, if that’s something you do. More generally though, it means trying to be present and positive. Positivity was hard for me my whole life, but during the adoption process it was something I would say I put effort into “practicing,” and it has made a difference. Remember, self-care is hard when you’re a parent, but it’s also hard when you experience a failed adoption or are never matched. You want your life to go on in a healthy way, whether or not adoption is a part of it.

3. Stay productive.

People may advise you to stay “busy” as a means of distracting yourself from how long the adoption wait is. Instead of “busy,” though, try to think of it as “productive.” There are plenty of things to do, but focus on things that help your family and your future. Taking extra shifts at work can help financially for your future, whereas playing games on your phone won’t. You may be distracted, but it’s not helping you.

Learning to better control your emotions will not only help you, but help any future baby you’re raising. Let your adoption experience not only grow your family, but grow your confidence in taking care of yourself.

Are you ready to pursue a domestic infant adoption? Click here to connect with a compassionate, experienced adoption professional who can help get you started on the journey of a lifetime.