Why We Didn’t Prepare A Nursery After Being Approved

Adoptive parent decisions.

Kenna Shumway October 16, 2014
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Adoption comes with many choices. All adoptive parents know this. A lot of these choices hit you before a baby even comes along! One of the big decisions is whether or not to prepare a nursery after approval.

Many do choose to prepare a nursery and buy diapers, outfits, and car seats. There is nothing wrong with this. I think it shows an amazing amount of faith. Faith to walk past the freshly painted nursery each day as you make your way to the computer to check your email. Praying that you will receive that email. Hoping that the time will come, soon, where you can put a new little human into the crib that took you hours to pick out. To hold that baby close as you rock them in the rocking chair your husband reupholstered so it would match everything just right. All while thinking your husband is a rock star for adding more comfortable padding to the rocker so you basically never want to leave it.

Those thoughts crossed my mind. All of them. I wanted to paint our second bedroom the perfect gray that would match with either sex. As I passed the baby aisles in Target, and trust me, I’m at Target a lot, I would see onesies, cute pacifiers, and a slew of other adorable baby things I wanted to take home to my own freshly painted nursery. Tuck those outfits into my future baby’s new dresser.

Except I couldn’t. A part of me wanted to, but a bigger part of me said, “No.”

There are many reasons I chose to not prepare a nursery or buy diapers,  formula, or anything of the like after we were approved. This was even before my husband and I experienced a reversed adoption (we had a baby girl for two weeks and then had to give her back due to the birth father) and a failed placement (I am so thankful we never met this little guy or I would have been crushed.)

In my mind, I’m thankful I didn’t prepare a nursery. I know how I react to hard things, and if there was a freshly painted nursery, my heart wouldn’t heal.

As we became approved for our second go with adoption, I faced this choice again. My choice didn’t change. It’s not that we aren’t excited or that Josh and I bicker about picking out colors for the wall, but we wanted to stay focused on what we DID have. I have a son who was adopted in December of 2011, and guess what, we didn’t even have a diaper when we stepped off the plane with him. Instant parenting is hardcore, my friends, but we made it work. Same goes for the second time around.

Either choice is a good choice. However, don’t let anyone tell you your decision is foolish, wrong, or anything of the sort. You will get to decorate a room. I did. When our son’s birth mother placed him in our home at 14 months old, he needed a room. So I  finally got to decorate a room, and I love it.

Make the best choice for you.

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Kenna Shumway

Wife. Adoptive mom. Writer. Photographer. Endometriosis survivor, infertility warrior & adoption advocate. Rock star on weekends. Currently calls Ohio home with her pharmacist husband and their ginger son. Read more from her on her blog.


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