Many parents-in-waiting find Thanksgiving to be a challenging time of year. Everyone counting their blessings when you are still waiting for the blessing you most desire: a child to call you Mommy or Daddy.
There’s no doubt about it – it can be difficult to pause and give thanks when you feel like your prayers are not being answered, like you will be thankful when you adopt your child, or complete your family. The longing is real, and there is a great temptation to think “I will be grateful when this adoption is over.”
Waiting is a difficult thing, but I want to encourage you to not lose the beauty of these days while waiting for your final outcome. There is always something to be grateful for, even in a time of waiting.
Be thankful that you have the opportunity to adopt. If you have read my story of Grace in Getting Started, you know that there are many people who have remained childless for any variety of reasons. Perhaps they didn’t know where to begin or they couldn’t afford adoption. You are in the process, you have choices, including choices to adopt a waiting child if you so desire. There are also many families who have pursued a biological pregnancy to a place where adoption is no longer an option financially or from a time perspective, meaning they spent too much time on fertility treatments and feel too old to begin an adoption journey.
Be thankful you have hope. Being in the process of adoption, means that you are moving forward toward your goal. You know what to do, you know who to go to if you have questions.
Be thankful you have the opportunity to help others. Through your adoption activities and your daily life, you have the opportunity to help and bless others. One of the greatest ways to feel better about where you are at is to help someone who is less fortunate. Whether it is feeding the homeless, visiting the elderly or dying, or simply volunteering your time at church, when we serve, we usually find we are rewarded by being of service to others. Find a nonprofit to offer your time and talents in this season.
Be thankful for your faith. God is walking with you, step by step, day by day. If you need hope or reassurance, I encourage you to start a new devotional or join a Bible study group. In our seasons of life, we all have struggles, it is normal. If faith is your struggle today and you are not experiencing a closeness with God, step back into your faith. One of my favorite devotionals is Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. It is like a daily love note from our Heavenly Father just to you.
In closing, it is okay to set boundaries. Maybe you don’t want to stay for board games with the whole family or hold the baby. Perhaps this year you choose to spend the weekend doing something different than tradition, or not go all out with Christmas decorations. Do things that make you feel happy and hopeful, and avoid the things (or people) that bring you down. Remember, this may be your last Christmas without a new little one.
Maybe this year the holidays look a little different – that’s okay! Make this season special for yourself in a way celebrates the many blessings you do have, in anticipation of a new little one to come.