No one likes waiting. Here are some great ideas for making the
most of this anxious and exciting time. by Cynthia Teeters.
Doesn't it feel that waiting is an activity that is almost
impossible to do?
There's this very real sense of not being in control, of having
just too much anticipation, and having to constantly fight all
While you may not make the clock move faster, the waiting time
can present you an opportunity to reflect on issues and
challenges unique to adoption. If you haven't already developed
an extensive library, now is a good time. If you have the books
but haven't read them all, sit down with your favorite beverage
and get reading. If you've done your reading, share your insights
Any effort you make at this time in learning your prospective
child's language (no matter what the child's age) will be
rewarded. Your country hosts will be impressed and honored if you
arrive knowing some phrases and their correct pronunciation. Your
knowing some kiddie-speak is especially valuable for toddlers and
older children helping them with the transition to a new family,
new culture and new language. The demands on our children to
adjust are huge and the frustrations can show in all sorts of
acting-out behavior. It is a wonderful gift we give if we can
help them communicate in their first months in our home.
Also, don't forget to take the opportunity to practice your
parenting skills. Offer to babysit other children. If you are
adopting an older child, consider volunteering to be a mentor or
working with children from disadvantaged backgrounds. If you are
able to spend time with children observe their behavior and do
your own hands-on research on child development.
Explore your child-care options and make plans. Additionally,
explore early intervention for learning disabilities and why it
is so strongly suggested for post-institutionalized children -
even for the youngest of babies. If the child is school-age,
contact the school and make your concerns known. Discuss with the
school a) in what grade the child should be placed and b) getting
immediate evaluations for learning disabilities. Be warned,
though, that you may meet resistance from school personnel,
especially at the school district level. You may have better luck
if you are able to speak with a special education teacher or
school psychologist. If you feel that your concerns are not being
accepted by the school, become knowledgeable of federal laws
concerning learning disabilities and seek out local support.
Now, before new panic sets in about all that must be accomplished
during the waiting period, sit back and relax. If you are here
reading this article and feeling uneasy about the demands and
challenges, remember that parenting is not a one-time act; it is
a process. It is a process full of trial and error and very
rarely do we find that we are not given a second chance to do
You'll do just fine
By Cynthia Teeters.
In addition, I suggest making a photo book to show to your future
child. It is a hard transition and the more you prepare them for
what is to come the better. The book should include photos of
siblings, your house, grandparents and relatives (asking them in
advance what they would like to be called by your son or daughter
will also help introduce them ahead of time.), pets, your car,
their room and bed in your house if it is prepared, etc. You
don't want to overwhelm them, but it will be a lot of fun to look
through when you get bored of everything else, and a wonderful
way of preparing them.
If you learn the words for your photos in Russian you will be a
Take time to learn about your child's culture, food and heritage.
For an older child, this can give you a helpful peek inside
Slavic attitudes and world perspective.
Read up on traveling in Ukraine. You want to enjoy the trip and
not just sit in your hotel or apartment worrying or waiting. Get
out and enjoy and make memories. If you are adopting a toddler or
older child, the orphanage may allow you to leave the orphanage
premises. Get some ideas of activities you can do with your
child. Shopping, cafes, parks and carnival type areas are a
If you or someone you love want to welcome a child into their
lives and families, as my husband and I did, we can help.