Sunday, April 10, 2011

Preparing for Baby

    Open Adoption involves the process of waiting.  We, the prospective adoptive parents, don't know how long that wait is going to be.  For some the wait is short.  Some couples are chosen by a birthmother quickly and have to scramble to gather all the necessities needed in caring for their new baby.  For others, like us, the wait is a little longer.  Over and over again, we've been told- when you meet YOUR BABY, you will know why your waiting time was the time that it was- You were waiting for the baby meant for you!  And while no one, including us, likes to wait, we have tried to put the time to good use preparing for baby.
     One of the first decisions we had to make was whether or not to set up the nursery.  Many have very strong feelings on this subject.  On one hand, a set-up nursery can be a hopeful promise of the baby to come.  On the other hand, it can be a painful reminder that the wait isn't over yet.  We decided that for us the right decision was to "go all in", and so we began preparing for our baby.  We set up the crib, purchased the basics  and a few extras that we couldn't pass up, and arranged the stuffed animals and decor for the Noah's Ark theme that we decided on.  We gathered both boy and girl clothes (just in case)  in a variety of sizes.  And we both started on personal projects for our baby.  Jim built a beautiful wardrobe and stained it a deep rosewood color to match the crib.  Amy stitched together two quilts (in boy and girl colors) and made some receiving blankets.  Our family and friends also joined in the excitement.  Amy's mom crocheted enough baby blankets and booties to outfit her future grandchild in style.  Jim's sister, Becky, also sent us a few beautifully hand-crafted blankets.  One friend gave us money to purchase our changing table and gave us a cute Noah's Ark rug.  Another friend gifted us with many items that her little boy had outgrown.  Many, many friends (too many to list) gave us gifts that both touched our hearts and encouraged our spirits.
     We've also been preparing in other ways.  We've read several books on adoption and raising children in open adoption.  We bought the book What to Expect the First Year and read through the newborn sections.  Jim has saved up four weeks of vacation time to spend bonding with the baby.  Amy is currently going through a "nesting" phase and cleaning out closets and getting everything organized and ready.  We've also taken time for ourselves.  We've taken a few trips together and spent time talking about our hopes and dreams as a family.  And we've been praying.   Praying not only for the wait to be over soon (although that topic does come up often), but also for the birthmother we will match with and the baby that will someday be ours! 
     So although the wait has been hard, we have learned a lot through this time of preparing.  We look forward to the day when the wait is over and we meet the "baby that is meant to be ours."   We are ready to welcome our little one into our hearts and our lives!

Baby wardrobe that Jim built

Two of Amy's baby quilts

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