Easier said than done, right? I’m writing this from the fetal position, eight months in to waiting for our referral. And, is it just me, or are babies literally everywhere I go? Babies at church. Babies at restaurants. Babies on Facebook, (or, as I call it, Photos of Acquaintances’ Babiesbook). And, I’ll admit, I’m jealous of these babies, or, more accurately, their parents. It’s as if the babies got together in a Google Hangout to map out my day: “at o-nine hundred hours he’s going to be at the farmer’s market. We need one of you to be there and be extra adorable.”
But I don’t want those babies, as cute as they are. I want our baby. Is that too much to ask? I’m starting to really identify with the Israelites and their wandering through the desert for 40 years. Scratch that. I’m starting to identify with the Chicago Cubs and their 105 year World Series drought. Here’s to hoping our wait won’t take that long!
In the meantime, I’ve compiled a running list of things Carrie and I are doing to attempt to stay sane (because staring at the phone for eight months waiting for your agency to call isn’t healthy):
- Nest. You can fix up some things in your house while you have the time. Carrie and I had a new deck put in. We primed our kid’s room. We’ve been finding some cool gender-neutral baby/kid things along the way like books, an art easel and a reading area/fort.
- Along with that, go to a store that sells paint and pick out paint colors. If you know the gender of the child you will be adopting, great. If you’re like us and you may get a boy or a girl, pick out boy colors and girl colors. Believe me, our rollers are ready to paint that room.
- Get out of town. Even if it’s just for a weekend, go to a lake cabin or to the next big city over. We went to Cincinnati for a quick day trip and, now that it looks like we will not be traveling to Ghana twice this calendar year, we’re using some vacation days to go to Boston in September.
- If you can’t get out of town, become a tourist in your own town. Do all those things that you don’t do because you live in your town. Go to museums, state parks, sports games, cool restaurants, concerts, festivals, and/or areas of town you haven’t explored.
- Do a short-term project. At the end of the day, these function purely as things to kill time, but you may just enrich your life. Here are some things I’ve done: join an adoption documentary promotional team, helped an organization in their rebranding efforts, written and acted in some dramas at church, and I’m currently on a team to help promote Derek Webb’s upcoming album, I Was Wrong, I’m Sorry & I Love You (which is fabulous and is coming out August 20, preorder available on August 6). Through these activities, I’ve done things I really enjoy and stretched myself.
- Find a new hobby. Get into geocaching. Learn to cook Thai food (if you’re into that kind of thing). Become a
- Go to the library. Read books or check out DVDs about the area from which you’re adopting.
- Go to the gym/work out. If you don’t keep yourself healthy you’ll definitely lose it. Exerting physical energy is a great release from all the pent up emotional energy you’ve been storing up.
- Get a massage. We haven’t done this yet, but we’d like to!
- Get into a new band…a cool local band or some funky indy band. For me, it’s been Rend Collective Experiment and Branches. Or, if you’re cool like that, start a band in your garage.
- Write. Keep a journal of your adoption process. Write poems. Write letters to your future child. This is so therapeutic. Here’s a great article about that on Adoptive Families.
- In the same way, doing visual art can be a great outlet, whether it’s drawing, painting, making collages, or creating digital art.
- Fundraise. We’ll be writing more about fundraising, but here’s our post about how we reached our fundraising goal.
- Meet up with others who have adopted or are currently in the adoption process. If you document these types of meetings, you may be able to get education credit from your agency. We’re planning on meeting up with one of the first families from Bethany to come home with their kids from Ghana in a few weeks.
- Find a restaurant that features food from your child’s region. I guess this is a little bit of a moot point for families adopting locally…although going into McDonald’s certainly can be a cross-cultural experience.
Protecting your sanity is key, because you don’t want to bring a kid home to a halfway house. Try some of these out and maintain your mental health.
Any other ideas or things you’ve done?