Do you remember the TV game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”? It was a dramatic, trivia game with multiple choice questions leading to big cash prizes. What made this game show unique was that the host provided three “helps” for the contestant to aid in the quest for millions. Players could choose to eliminate half of the answers by selecting the 50/50, they could phone a friend or ask the audience. By utilizing the support around them they became more confident and prepared to reach the next level.
Your quest to add a baby to your family is much more intense and the drama is much greater than any game show. Are you utilizing the “helps” around you? Here are a few steps to identify and build a support system that will stand with you through your journey:
- Eliminate the “extra” in your life. When you wittle down the excess, you’re left with what really matters. Get rid of material goods taking up space in your cupboards, basement and attic. Say no to activities that you’re doing to please others or fill time. Identify what activities seem to bring more stress than health and get rid of them. Examine your boundaries when it comes to all of the “extra”. Your baby will benefit from all of that freed up physical and emotional space!
- Phone a friend – create a list of support people to talk and walk with you through the adoption journey. These should be people that are good listeners, support your adoption decision, speak truth with your best interest at heart, respect your confidentiality, are encouragers who see the bright side and are available. You need to have people that you can share the good, the hard and the ugly of the adoption wait with. It’s a good idea to find someone who has been through the process or is waiting, in addition to your personal friends, coworkers or family members.
- Ask the audience – surround yourself with people and resources who are invested in building families through adoption and want to help you succeed. Count your caseworker as your #1 fan and utilize her knowledge and expertise as an aide. A support group or play group or online group of other adoptive families should be in your audience. Read blogs and listen to podcasts about adoptive parenting. Attend conferences and retreats to be with other people in your shoes and gain valuable tips.
While you wait, lean into the support system that you already have and add the helps you need to get you through to the next level.