Do you know what I hate?

Empty inboxes.

You see, we are a hopeful adoptive family, and we have an email account specifically used for our adoption search. I check it on a regular basis, and lately all it has been is empty. Not even any spam (though spam is almost worse. Whenever I see that little “1” pop up on my email folder, my heart starts to pound, only to be let down by the message that I have $1,000,000 waiting for me in a foreign bank account.)

Waiting is HARD. It requires patience. Adoption has taught me a lot of wonderful life lessons, but unfortunately, I still haven’t learned to be patient. I thought I would be better at it this second time around, but I was wrong.

Adoption has taught me a lot of wonderful life lessons, but unfortunately, I still haven’t learned to be patient.

So, what are some things you can do to make the wait more bearable? These ideas may help:

1. Join an adoption support group for hopeful adoptive parents. Having people around you who are experiencing similar things is very comforting. You can vent, share ideas, and make life-long friends.

2. Get educated on all things adoption. Attend adoption seminars, conferences, and birth parent panels. Learn appropriate adoption terminology. Squash any misconceptions you may have about birth parents. Hear and understand the benefits of having an open adoption. Use this time to learn all you can about the journey you are taking.

3. Work on your adoption profile. This is the place to share the details of yourself, your spouse, your family, and your lives! Personalize it to fit your style. Updating and perfecting your adoption profile can be an ongoing process. Have fun with it!

4. Set a goal for yourself that isn’t adoption-related. Redecorate a room. Work up to running a 5k, 10k, or farther. Take a class. Learn a new skill. Get excited about something that has nothing to do with adoption and let it be a welcome distraction.

5. Find ways to serve. Service is a great way to get outside of your head. Volunteer at a hospital, school, nursing home, or shelter. Take dinner to a neighbor or offer to watch a friend’s children.

6. Build a children’s literature library. Start with the books you loved as a child and go from there. There are some great books written specifically about adoption. One of my favorites is A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza. Grab some tissues. I get teary every single time I read it.

7. Pray. I’ll be honest, some days are just rough, and only God can help you get through them. Many hopeful adoptive parents find peace through a higher power during the months and years of waiting.

8. Most important of all, just keep living your life! Continue to contribute to the world in the ways only you can. Don’t let this agonizing wait overshadow who you are.

I have faith that one day, I will have a message in that inbox and my world will change forever. My circle of love will increase in dramatic and wonderful ways as we add another child and birth family to our home. But until that day, I’m going to do my best to practice what I preach and wait . . . dare I say . . .  patiently?

How have you handled the wait? Comment below and let us know what has helped you.

If you’re interested in adopting and would like to speak with an adoption professional about your adoption options, click here.