In the adoption info booklet we got when we became officially active with our agency, they told us that waiting for a birthmother match is a very stressful time for adoptive parents and that we should take care of ourselves and try to relax. But one of the things that has surprised me about our wait so far, is the lack of stress and anxiety I’ve been feeling. Mainly, I’ve been feeling excitement and anticipation because I know there is a baby in our near future. This is much different than being consumed by trying to conceive. Now that we are well on our way to adopting, I’ve realized that we should take full advantage of this time before the baby comes to enjoy life and each other while it’s just the two of us. Because just the two of us is pretty darn special, too.
Our agency gave us a list of things to do while waiting for a birthmother match. Mainly, the list consisted of sleeping, keeping busy, sleeping some more and taking vacations. Well, we’ve been busy, gotten sleep and taken a couple great vacations to Vermont and California and will be going to Chicago for Christmas. But there are a lot of other things we’ve been up to that are making the wait pretty enjoyable. I’m trying to make sure we have fun doing all the things we love to do together that will get trickier, or impossible, once the baby arrives. And I’m also taking some time for myself and the things I love because I know my me time will soon be limited.
1. Hiking. We both love to hike and some of our favorite days ever have been spent on a trail somewhere, just us and the dogs. We can still hike when the baby gets here, but it will be a much different experience. For one, we probably won’t be going as far as fast. And right now if we’re just going for a day hike, Jamie can usually carry all the water we need (he says he feels like a mule) and I can get away without carrying anything (lucky me!). Well, those days are numbered. As soon as we have a baby, Jamie will have to wear the baby in a backpack and I’ll have to carry the water (and diapers and whatever else a hiking baby needs). So I’m trying to get in as many backpack-free hikes as I can while the gettin’ is good, haha.
2. Running with the dog(s). I love to run and particularly love it when Jamie and I go on a “pack run” together with the dogs. But I have also gotten quite attached to trail running with just my dog, Gracie. She’s the best running partner I’ve ever known and it’s so easy – she runs right beside me, is always up for it, doesn’t need anything and is always in a good mood. I know Jamie will let me sneak out for solo runs after the baby comes and will be sure to get a good running stroller so I can bring the babes with, but I know my easy breezy just run-out-the-door-and-go days are numbered. So, I’m trying to relish them.
3. Spontaneous dates. Maybe it’s because I work at home and spend the majority of every day alone, but I love an impromptu happy hour or dinner out. Saying yes to all of them these days because I won’t have this kind of freedom for much longer.
4. A writing workshop. Signing up for a winter writing workshop at the local nonprofit writing organization I discovered when I moved to Charlottesville. It’s a small group that meets once a week for three hours to discuss writing and critique each other’s work. I really enjoyed this last year, but it’s a lot of work and time that I probably won’t have once the baby gets here (at least for awhile).
5. Volunteering. I’m looking for a new volunteer opportunity now, but need one that doesn’t require a long-term commitment as I’m not sure what will happen once the baby arrives. But I definitely have time and energy to offer now.
6. Joining support groups and adoption forums. I’ve found some great online adoption forums and groups to join and have been learning a lot. It’s great to be able to reach out to people–even if it’s just online–who are also experiencing the gift of adoption. I’ve also been trying to find a live (in-person) group in town but haven’t found one yet. Maybe I should start one! (Or maybe I am being too ambitious!)
7. Going to the movies. We love seeing movies on the big screen and I have a serious addiction to movie theater popcorn. I’ve been known to buy popcorn and take it home, nevermind the movie. But I know you can’t really go to the movies with a crying baby (or a baby who might cry at any minute with little warning). And you especially can’t go see scary movies, which I happen to love.
8. Wine tasting. Not being pregnant while expecting has its benefits! We live in a pretty amazing wine region and wine-tasting is a fun way to spend the afternoon. The vineyards are beautiful. Can’t do that with a baby. Better get it in now.
9. Sleeping in. We already touched on this earlier, but not sleeping is one of the things that scares me the most about having a baby. I can sleep in as late as I want on Saturday morning now. Which isn’t very late these days, but I have a feeling it’s later than our baby will sleep. Zzzzzz….
10. Concerts. Jamie and I love seeing live music. We don’t do it as much anymore but we did get to see Pearl Jam, one of our favorite old-school bands about a month ago. Charlottesville is a great music town, so we need to take advantage of that now before we put our rock-n-roll lifestyle to bed with the baby.
Tom Petty always says: The waiting is the hardest part. Only it’s not really, or hasn’t been for us so far. Sure there are days when I nearly burst with anticipation, but we’ve actually been having a pretty darn good time waiting. I feel confident that some time soon we will be enjoying a whole new phase of life and feel free now to send this one out with a bang.