Adoption is tremendously exciting. Few things begin to compare to bringing a child into your life and building a family. Once everything is in place, the anticipation of the wait can take over. You’ve worked so hard for this moment. This new, thrilling, frightening, wonderful chapter in your life is about to begin. You can’t help but count the days until you meet your new baby.

With so many thoughts and emotions running through your mind, how do you help make the time go by a little faster? Here are five ideas to help you and your partner survive the adoption wait.

Do Your Research

One of the emotions you may start to experience is a slight sense of fear. This is completely natural. No one ever feels 100 percent ready to have a baby. There is really nothing else in life that can prepare you for this experience and the responsibility that it entails. Reading up on newborn care and connecting with other parents may help ease some of the anxiety.

Decorate the Nursery

This is one of the more fun things you can do. You have the time to put a lot of thought into decorating your baby’s new space however you wish. Look up unique design elements that you can do yourself to make this a truly special, one-of-a-kind project that reflects your love. Consider documenting your progress with photos.

Prepare Your Home

Bringing a newborn baby home means there are a lot of safety measures you need to take around the house. If you prepare beforehand, it won’t seem so overwhelming when the baby arrives. This can also be a task that reminds you to cherish every moment. You will be protectively cradling your little baby when they first come home, but it won’t be long at all before they are crawling and exploring on their own.

Have Some ‘Me’ and ‘Us’ Time

Your life is about to change drastically. While you have the time now before everything is all about the baby, do some things for yourself or with your partner. Go out for those nice dinners, indulge on those shopping sprees. Take a trip to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. It may be a few years before you’ll have the same flexibility.

Keep a Journal

Writing about the adoption wait can be extremely cathartic. Putting your thoughts down on paper can help release them from your mind. It’s also a great way to reflect on this exciting new experience. Another idea is to write to your baby, preserving your joy and plans for their future in a compilation of writings that you can share with them when they’re older. This would make a genuinely special gift someday.

While the time leading up to your new baby may be difficult, it doesn’t have to be unbearable. You will be incredibly busy as soon as your baby comes home, so try to enjoy this period of relative calm. Use the time you have now to rest and prepare, big changes are just around the corner.