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.

Managing the Achiever in Me

Yesterday we finished the last home study meeting.  This one took place in our home, and lasted the morning.  R’s Dad was met with for a one on one, as he will be living in the house and therefore must undergo the same process, back checks etc.  Leading up to the visit I was conflicted as to whether or not I should do an insane cleaning of the house or would that look like we were neat freaks who would have challenges dealing with the disorder and mess that having a child brings.

Truth be told we did clean, but nothing over the top, a typical dusting and a vacuum. Our house is rarely “messy”, but rather we end up with a couple of spots where things are left until we find time to find them a home. So we found time to find a home for those items.

The visit with “Meredith” our home study Social Worker went well, and as per usual she made us very comfortable and took us through our final meeting, clarifying some points and asking questions about safety, smoke detectors, number of fire extinguishers and the like.

As we ended the visit, “Meredith” began to talk to us about preparing ourselves for the wait.  She spoke about how this can be difficult for individuals who are used to putting in the work, planning for outcomes and then if you don’t see results it can become disheartening and lead to disappointment.  She spoke of how this can be especially difficult for those that are accustomed to usually “achieving”.  I explained that intellectually I get it, but I know that if after a year and our file hasn’t been looked at by birth parents, or we aren’t seeing results I’ll be heart-broken. I was being honest.


After “Meredith” left, R said to me “You do know that when she was talking about it being difficult for people who are used to achieving, she was talking to you”.  I had to think about it for a bit and yes he was right.  I am used to a certain formula. If you follow the steps, work hard, put your best foot forward at the end you achieve your goal.  This formula has always worked for me in all aspects of my life.  Set a goal and then do everything you need to do and you achieve.

I have enough self-awareness that I know I need to find congruence between my thoughts and feelings.  When I speak of congruence I mean that what I think and what I feel are in alignment.  I tell myself that I am prepared for a long wait and potential disappointment, however, I battle my inner feelings that things will move quickly, and we’ve done all the steps, we are going to match in no time.  So I speak of congruence not fully in the Psychologist Carl Rogers definition, but rather that inner battle that many of us deal with which is how do you get your heart to listen to your brain and vice versa.  What we think, what feel and what we do are in full alignment. Easier said than done.

An ideal state
An ideal state

Yes, I have been an achiever.  Yes, I have been goal oriented.  That will not change, regardless of the situation.  What I can do better is be self-aware enough to understand that not everything is in my control, and that sometimes you just have to keep your feet on the ground know that you have done everything you can do. Trust in the process, trust in the universe and just manage the achiever in yourself.