On the Edge of the Box

For the last 6 months I have been so focused on working through the check list of items that we needed to complete in order to reach the point of approval.  At Adoption Options they refer to it as “in the box”. This essentially means you are a waiting family, and your profile is literally in a box waiting for a double match and to be selected by birth parents.

We are in a limbo period right now. We have completed our home study, medical reports, criminal record checks, education session, and our letters, references and photo packets are now all complete. Currently our social worker is writing her report about our home study, and making recommendations and observations. Once that is submitted, barring any issues we will officially be approved and considered a waiting family. It has been pretty quick actually, if you think that we first started this process in February with our first info session.

We are on the edge of the box right now… just a couple more weeks hopefully.  Then the true wait begins.

I picture the actual box at Adoption Options being prettier.
I picture the actual box at Adoption Options being prettier.

It is a strange feeling right now though, no further tasks to complete or next steps to focus on. It is like we are now just releasing that balloon into the universe, hoping it lands at the door step of our birth parents.

I find myself kind of feeling like “Now what?”. There is nothing I can do to move the process along, not a lot I can do to find our match and no more steps for us to complete. The other night I literally googled, “What to do while waiting for your adoption match”. I quickly realized I was not the only one that was feeling the same way.

The themes and advice on all of the posts are very similar:

  • Believe in the process, because it does work! No one can say what the journey will look like, but they do all say that you will become a parent.
  • Do not put your life on hold! Book that trip, take that vacation. (Let your agency know, so that they can reach you!)
  • Take workshops, read books on adoption, go out to dinner and talk to with other adoptive parents.
  • Contact your adoption agency, meet with your case worker, and/or attend waiting support groups. 
  • Nurture yourself and slow down a little. Take a walk, meditate just five minutes a day, enroll in that yoga class. You will never regret that weekend away with your family and friends. Do your best to relax and continue to live a full, rich life and believe that the birth parents and baby will find you when it is meant to happen.

Good advice, but the trick will be putting it into practice!

R and I are registered to start attending a waiting families adoption group in September. This is a new group started at Adoption Options. We’ll see how that goes.

This summer we have been spending a lot of time at the lake, relaxing with friends.. and R even took the entire month of August off work. I think he has the nurture yourself and slow down concept mastered.

Here are some of my plans while we wait..

  • Lose weight.  Become more active and run more. I’ve been thinking about a winter activity, so I may buy some cross-country skis.
  • Upgrade my CPR (and get R certified) to include infant and children.
  • Blog more often.
  • Try new things.  This summer I attended two Paint Nites, and also tried stand up paddle boarding for the first time.
2nd Paint Nite of the Summer
2nd Paint Nite of the Summer
Had a great time paddle boarding!
Had a great time paddle boarding!

In the mean time, we will just trust in the process and focus on relaxing and getting in some final “me” time, before our baby arrives.

What is the sign for poop??

 

As we prepare ourselves for adventures in parenting, I have spent a lot of time researching local baby and parent swim classes, sign language and playtime groups.

One class in particular that I think is great is baby sign language. They say that your baby can begin to sign and communicate with you by the age of 8 to 12 months of age!  The theory is to be able to better understand your baby’s needs before they can verbally speak. I think key words would be great like Milk, More, Full or the ever important Poop.

I don’t think I would take it to the level of a complete song every time I changed a diaper like in this video…

but you get the idea.  It could be very useful

There are many great things out there, but the one thing that is consistent is that nearly all are targeted toward the Mommy and Me crowd.  What about Daddy?

They either all have cute titles like “Mommy and Me” or the descriptions and photos are very “Mom” specific.  What happened to Dads?

Fortunately for us we are confident enough that we would participate in playgroups, even if we were the only Dads there.  Would everyone?

To me this speaks to the need for inclusive language. As our society evolves, so does the look and dynamics of families. Many more Fathers are taking paternity leave to care for their child. Or in our case.. you have two Dads.

One great example of inclusive language used to describe baby classes is by a local private swim academy called Aqua Essence. Under the brilliant leadership of Rishona Hyman, Aqua Essence provides one on one or smaller classes.  One class offered is  Aqua Babies.  Definitely a class that we will be taking when our time comes!  When you read the description, Aqua Essence has taken a gender neutral approach in their language and avoided gender specific pronouns or Mommy specific references.  This is so easy to do, yet all baby marketing plans are targeted just at Moms.

I get it, I get it.. the number of Moms that participate in these classes out number the Dads.  Maybe that would change if we changed how we communicate and use more inclusive language?

In the mean time we will just do our thing…  and I now know the sign for Poop.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWwqyU8-yWo