Bringing a new member into your family can be a very exciting and magical experience, yet it will also present a wide range of challenges as well. The entire adoption process can be stressful for prospective parents, from the time the first application is filed until your new child has grown. It’s important for both you and your family’s sake to find ways to cope with the stress that accompanies the adoption process.
This article is going to discuss some ways you and your partner can learn to cope with stress — and don’t worry, stress is a totally normal emotion to feel during this time!
Why am I stressed?
There are many potential stressors for individuals looking to adopt. You’re probably in a situation you aren’t used to and may even feel overwhelmed at times. Throughout the entire process, you are undergoing a life changing experience, and merely knowing that can be a heavy burden on you.
During the pre-adoption process, there are plenty of background checks, interviews and home visits that make the process quite lengthy. It’s normal to feel frustrated and stressed during this time, which can feel extra long because you are so anxious to get the adoption process started.
You may be feeling pressured to keep up appearances as the perfect parent with the perfect household for a child. It’s important to remember that no one is perfect, and that all is required of you is your love and hard work.
You may also be stressed about the birth mother’s pregnancy. All stress can have negative effects on your health as well as communication with your partner or loved ones. Do your best to recognize the signs of stress so that you can find ways to cope that work for you.
How to Cope
As emotions whirl during such a momentous time, it’s important to take some time to step away. Try using some of the following coping methods to deal with adoption-related stress:
- Keep Living Your Life It may seem at times like your entire life is revolving around the adoption process. And while we know you are anxious, excited or stressed, realize that you have other things in your life. Keep working, exercising and communicating with loved ones and friends.
- Record Your Thoughts and Experiences If you haven’t already, consider buying a journal to recount your journey through the adoption experience. It can be very therapeutic.
- Connect With Others Chances are, you have gotten to know someone who is adopting, and even if you don’t, there are support groups available for people in similar situations as you. Keep in contact with those going down the same road you are.
- Share This can be a time marked by many different emotions, and people will experience them all differently. Don’t keep those experiences to yourself. If you feel sad or depressed, talk with a trusted friend or family member about it.
- Do Your Best to Prepare Try to get ready for the baby, so that when he or she arrives, you know you’ll have done all you can.
- Find Time for Self Care It’s important that you don’t forget about a very important person throughout all this: you! If you can, book a massage or a day at the spa to relax.