Have you ever said (or thought!) the words “after we adopt” when someone asks you when you plan on doing something?
Are you going to join the gym?
The adoption is really taking my focus now. I’ll get in shape after we adopt.
Should we look at life insurance?
Maybe after we adopt, I mean what’s the point right now.
Honey, I think we may need to talk to a counselor?
Let’s plan on seeing a counselor after we adopt. We need to save the money for the adoption.
Are you taking a vacation this year?
No, we will do something after we adopt. Right now we need to bank all the time off we can at work.
When are you going to get serious about quitting smoking?
After we adopt.
Have you found a new home church?
We’ll look after we adopt and have a new baby to bring.
“After we adopt” is probably the biggest justification I have heard in my 30 years of adoption work. It is a reason to not do something that people know they should do, but just don’t want to be bothered right now, or are fearful it may throw their adoption plans for a loop.
Let me share something with you that’s very important: A new child is one of life’s biggest stressors, and you may not have time and focus to do any of these things after you adopt. You will be wrapped up in your child’s needs, enjoying every smile and milestone, that child will (and should!) be the focus of your life. You will not want to take time away from parenthood to deal with issues that, quite frankly, you didn’t want to deal with when you had the time.
Now, while you are waiting to adopt, tend to yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Refresh yourself and your marriage. Remember, it should never be an “either or”, you can prioritize both at the same time.
Physically, you can get in shape or stop smoking without expensive gyms or cessation programs. Start walking or doing Pilates videos free on YouTube. Speak to your doctor about the best plan to stop smoking that may be covered by your insurance.
Emotionally, look for a lay counselor at church or through a local organization. Your insurance may have counseling benefits as well.
Spiritually, find a church that can be a support now and a cheerleader for you later. By giving and receiving support, your whole family will benefit.
Keeping your relationship strong means prioritizing each other’s needs and spending time together. A vacation doesn’t have to be a lavish tropical getaway. It can be as simple as a long weekend within driving distance. Or plan a “staycation” in your city, doing new things and eating out. Visit friends you haven’t seen in a while. There are many ways to spend time together, relaxing and doing something different.
Most of all, don’t use “after we adopt” for things that you know you should or could do today. Don’t put life on hold. Each day is too valuable – make the most of it as you prepare for the child God has for you.