When my husband and I were matched with the twin’s birth mother we were so excited! We couldn’t believe it! However, I quickly noticed fear creeping in and my mind began to go through all of the “what-if” scenarios. As an adoption consultant I have walked with many families through the adoption journey. As an adoptive mama I’m also privy to some of the emotions, thoughts and fears that families may experience as they navigate the process. Waiting to be matched can be a very overwhelming and exhausting time, especially families who continue hearing no after no. It can be very discouraging. But it may surprise some to learn that the time between being matched and waiting for the baby to be born can be difficult as well. In fact, I have had many families tell me how shocked they were at how waiting for the baby to be born was an overwhelming time, filled with even more uncertainty and unknowns.
My CAC families realize and respect that until the expectant mother signs consents nothing is official. But I think carrying the weight of that uncertainty with them is what causes doubt and worry to set-in. Perhaps you are in this season right now, overwhelmed with all of the “what-ifs.” Maybe you have spent countless hours worrying about the situation. But I want to challenge you with a question. How do you want to spend the next few months? Do you want to spend them constantly worrying about all the things that could happen? That is an option. But wouldn’t you rather use this time to choose to believe that God called you to present your profile to this situation for a reason? Choosing to believe that God called you to present your profile to this situation for a reason isn’t a guarantee that this precious child will be yours, but I much rather spend my time enjoying this season than being worried about all of the “what-ifs.”
Here are 5 helpful things to consider as you wait from match until birth:
1. God is with you. “…Do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand…” (Isaiah 41:10). When we have a million thoughts running through our mind, sometimes it’s easy to forget the most important thing: God is with you. Say that outloud right now. “God is with me.” Whatever you are going through right now, remember that you are not alone. Whatever comes in the days ahead, there will never be a day where God is not with you.
2. Remember why you chose to present to this expectant mama. You didn’t just enter into this situation flippantly. You spent a great deal of time looking through and praying over the situation. Don’t forget that. I love this quote by Elisabeth Elliot and I think it’s quite applicable here, “Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.” Our thoughts have the potential to lead us in a million different directions, so take charge of them by reminding yourself that it was the Lord who led you to show this mama your profile book in the first place.
3. Start a prayer journal. This is one of the first things I encourage my families to do when they are struggling with the wait. Instead of letting worry fester in your mind, pour out your heart to the Lord. Tell Him that you are struggling and ask Him to help you. Use this time to pray for the expectant mother and her child. Pray that God would protect her mind, body and spirit. Pray that God would help you find ways to love this expectant mama well as she is navigating through this difficult time. Pray for the child she is carrying in her womb. Pray that God would give you peace regardless of the outcome. Pray that God would use this time of unknown and uncertainty to draw your heart closer to Him. Our prayers matter to God. He is a good Father. And He is the best listener.
4. Make an encouraging playlist of music to listen to. “Where words fail, music speaks “(Flans Christian Anderson). Music is a sweet gift to us and as Christians it’s a special way for us to communicate our thoughts and emotions to God. In our home we have praise and worship music constantly playing, as it’s important to our family to fill our home and hearts with reminders of God’s promises.
5. Steer clear of adoption content or stories that evoke fear or cause you to worry. With the accessibility of social media and the internet it is very easy to become a professional “researcher” of an array of topics, but please trust me with this. If the adoption content you are reading is causing you to worry, it’s not worth investing your time in. We are pretty good at worrying all on our own without any “extra help” from the internet, so why would we knowingly seek out information about worst case scenarios?
These are not quick fixes by any means, but I pray that they have provided you with some helpful tools to navigate the remaining stages of your adoption journey!