To Nest or Not to Nest?

That is the question

Meghan Rivard April 11, 2015
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Here you are, watching all of your pregnant friends going to their doctor appointments, buying cute baby clothes, having baby showers, buying baby furniture, and designing the baby room.

How do you cope with that humongous void? All of a sudden, does your living room need to be rearranged? Does the pantry have to be reorganized? The grout needs cleaning in your bathroom? Nesting is the joy experienced when preparing for a new child in your home. It includes the physical preparation, the medical preparations, and the interactions between you and your mate. And of course, there is that to-do list that needs to be completed before time schedules with a new baby will be impossible to get done.

Were you able to nest while awaiting your adoption? Unlike with a biological child, there are many additional unknowns with adoption. In International adoption, the countries’ governments could change their regulations or policies, and just the distance is a negative factor. In a domestic adoption, the biological parents can legally change their minds until the surrender papers are signed, which only occurs after the baby’s birth. You may have been picked as the adoptive parents. You may be at the hospital and seen the baby. You WILL be devastated if the birth mother and/or father change their minds.

So how do you balance your excitement and hesitation? How do you buy the necessities you will need without going overboard?

It will affect everyone differently. For some, it would be hard to fully decorate the nursery, but for others, it might be therapeutic. How was it for you?

I think nesting is more about preparing for the baby and preparing to be parents than being pregnant. We are all awaiting a baby, and he/she will be loved as ours. I definitely think parents who are adopting can nest. I think it affects moms more than dads, but both can be active in the welcoming process.

If you are waiting and it seems that you have no control as it is, these preparations are one of the few things you can control. You hope you are going to be one of the “exception” families—one that gets matched in days—but in reality, you know that does not happen very often.

But if you don’t feel the need to nest or feel like you are setting up false hopes, that is okay, too. You may have been waiting for too many years or a potential adoption that did not happen. You may have a nursery that is ready but still unfilled, and the door does not get opened to that room.

There is a scene from the movie “Juno” where the adoptive mom, Vanessa, and her husband, Mark, are painting their future baby’s room. Vanessa is talking to Mark about what color to paint the walls and related that preparing the nursery is called “nesting.” Then Mark replies: “Nesting, huh? Are you planning to build the crib out of twigs and saliva?”

How was the waiting/nesting time for you?

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Meghan Rivard

Meghan is an adoptive mother and a big advocate of adoption and foster care. She resides in Indiana with her husband, their one-year-old daughter who is the center of their lives, and their dog Max. She has a Bachelor's and Master’s Degree in Social Work. Meghan stays at home with her daughter but is so happy she found this outlet to share her personal adoption story and educate about adoption!

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