The adoption journey is full of preparation and waiting. Intitially there is the sometimes grueling process of the home study, with mounds of paperwork and lots of running here and there for physicals, background checks, reference letters, and so forth. Trusting the Lord for finances when it seems impossible. Then the agency application process... ugghhh! More paperwork!
Next, the Waiting Room.... waiting to be presented to a birth mom, waiting to see if she picks you, waiting for the next situation and the next... until you are MATCHED!
Many couples literally feel pregnant with expectation through this whole process with a huge array of emotions that follow. It's a journey of the heart and the heart feels deeply through this whole process. Longing for and loving a child you have never met, is an incredible experience.
THE MATCH! After the initial rush and excitement of having been chosen, once again you wait. It was very sobering during this waiting process to think that somewhere out there a woman had looked upon our family and decided that we were worthy somehow to raise this child she carried. I remember feeling so in love with this baby- and having a deep sense of longing in my heart for her. And I remember facing fear of all the what if's.
When faced with the "now what?" after the match, here is my advice.
1. Pray. Pray now more than you have up until this point. Pray for the birth mom and pray for the child in her womb. Speak the Word of God over their lives and believe that God's hand is upon them both.
2. Journal, if you like to write. I wrote almost daily to my daughter before I knew her, so that one day she would know how much I anticipated her arrival. I did this for each of my children, and I wanted our adoption to be no different.
3. Get ready! Allow yourself to prepare. For those of you that are waiting after being disappointed, I know this is harder. But if you are near your due date, I would prepare just as you would for any child.
4. Talk. Talk to others who have been in the waiting room before! Have a support system that really understand what you are experiencing.
When we waited for our daughter Elia, we spoke of her by name. Prayed for her by name. Prayed for her birth family daily. We bought baby clothes, painted her room, put her crib together, and all of the things that make anticipating a baby's arrival the celebration that it should be!
Were their days that fear hit me? Absolutely. Because I've carried children and adopted, I remember reminding myself that I had trusted the Lord with each of my children- and that I needed to do the same with this one. I miscarried one, gave birth to three, and carried one in my heart. I celebrated each and anticipated the arrival of each with all of my heart.
If you have been MATCHED and are in the Waiting Room, I'm praying for you today!