Hi Mardie! I have to confess, sometimes it’s so hard for me to stay positive during our adoption wait. It’s easy to get depressed when all our friends are having babies, and my sister is pregnant with her second child.
I believe that we will adopt; we’re on top of all our adoption items, and we’ve had some interest from birth moms. Still, staying positive is challenging right now. Do you have any tips?
What you’ve shared is experienced by so many waiting adoptive families. It’s natural to feel negative when you don’t have that much control over something you’re so emotionally and personally invested in. Here’s what worked for me when I was adopting:
Protect Your Heart
Right now, it’s OK to decline invitations to events that would be too difficult emotionally for you. I forced myself to attend many baby showers, only to have a tearful evening at home afterward. It’s normal to struggle to be happy for your friends when you want so badly to have a baby. Instead of going to baby showers, I decided to send a thoughtful card and a gift. I even skipped my niece’s baby shower, but I needed to do what was best for me.
Skip Family Gatherings
Many holidays, such as Easter and Christmas, have traditions for children. Eventually, my husband and I got tired of relatives asking when we were going to have a baby. “What are you waiting for?!” they asked. Then, once we were waiting to be chosen by a birth mother, they’d ask why we hadn’t adopted yet.
We decided to make different plans for just the two of us. These plans still honored a few of our family traditions while creating new ones. By avoiding kid-heavy events like the annual Easter egg hunt, we also avoided the difficult (and downright nosy) questions from relatives. We enjoyed sneaking away, just the two of us, for a romantic weekend!
Expose Yourself to Positivity
Pay attention to what you’re reading, watching, and listening to. Everything we expose ourselves to has the chance to influence our mood and point-of-view. Here are a few ideas to add positive encouragement to your conscious and subconscious:
- Listen to podcasts from uplifting people, such as Joyce Meyer, Jess Lively, Tony Robbins, Gretchen Rubin, or anyone else with a positive, motivational message. Instead of listening to political shows with fighting hosts, tune into podcasts that share positive messages.
- Avoid stressful TV shows that are so emotional you feel drained after watching. Ask yourself if you’re feeling sad or stressed out by what you’re watching. Instead, watch shows with positive messages. Sometimes, a happy ending just isn’t always worth all the stress to get there!
- Consider whether your friends are lifting you up or dragging you down. Distance yourself from toxic friendships!
- Listen to uplifting, positive music, even if it’s just in the background as you wash dishes or drive to work. A good choice might be simple relaxation music with nature sounds.
By changing up small things in your life, you can make your adoption wait a more positive one. It’s normal to feel more sensitive right now, and just generally more on edge. You’ll be able to remain calm and collected by effectively managing the other stressors in your life.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on September 1, 2018, and has since been updated.