Congratulations!!! You have finished all the paperwork. All the hoops have been jumped through. Let’s see that baby glow! Bring on the diaper parties, the showers, the new clothes, the nesting, and the contagious joy!

Yeah . . . None of that is probably going to happen.

You are probably getting your first experiences of inappropriate adoption questions, lack of support, and you’re probably an anxious mess. You’re checking your email every 15 minutes and wondering if your phone still rings. Getting to that HAP (hopeful adoptive parent) status is a huge accomplishment! It also kind of sucks. You are going to have to find that very special  bada** warrior princess part of yourself to get through the HAP status, and  all the way to AP status with grace and your drinking in check ;)

Here are the ways I rock and have rocked my HAP status.

1. Always have nice nails.

Chipped and rundown nail polish makes me crazy. I never get professional manicures. I put all of my faith in quality base coats. It’s my fail proof recipe for a 10 day at-home manicure. Start with a quality base coat, allow them to dry and follow with 2 coats of cheap, trendy, sale colored polish with a sassy inspirational name. Base coat again, then clear coat. Total time: 30- 40 minutes. It’ll last about 10 days. That’s at least an hour of distraction from planning to execution. The end result leaves you with birth parent perfect nails should you get the ‘Call’.

2. Find a sarcastic and witty friend to drink wine with (or coffee).

Bonus points if this is your HAP status other half. No one can handle this alone. You will be a less anxious worry bear if you can see the humor, obscurity, and downright demeaning parts of this process. You’ll be laughing at the difficulty of finding a drug drop phone, the pure lack of sex that will build your family, and the joy of misfiled paperwork. Find someone to commiserate with, or be someone who listens to another HAP status warrior in need of a good vent. Stick together and build each other up. It will lessen the load on your shoulders. This too shall pass – like the years it took you to get to this point. lol

3.  Share your HAP status journey.

Share it, remember it, and own it. Maybe it’s in a journal. Maybe it’s in weekly Facebook post comparing your growing wine belly to fruits. I would love to send you a weekly email to inform you about the progress of your growing child. A weekly reminder that you haven’t met them yet.

What you are doing isn’t typical. It is a really hard, sometimes isolating, journey that will lead you to the rest of your life. The HAP status is temporary. The memories of getting though it will last a lifetime. It’s part of you and your children. Let it break you and allow yourself to become someone new. This person will have a league of supporters, the best nails, and a book deal.

You can do this! I believe in you. You will cross the line to AP status . . . hopefully in the next 12-18 months ;)