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Activities While You Wait for Your Adoption Referral

By Jennifer Brizzi

For those of you waiting for referral, too, here's a list of the activities that were suggested to me by parents on the APV list for passing the time. I received lots of advice and plenty of plain old-fashioned encouragement that made me feel much, much better. I don't think I'll try them all, but that trip to Paris sure sounds tempting.

Keep in mind that the wait to travel once you have your referral is TEN TIMES as excruciating as the wait for a referral.
Have anxiety attacks. Think, "Will I ever get a referral? Will I lose my job? Will Vietnam shut down?"
Do a lot of crying.
Increase your dose of Zoloft.
Read every email message from every international adoption listserv you're on.
Join a local adoption support group.

Take a $2500, 10-day trip to Paris.
Buy a new house, but look at 150 first.
Make a major purchase.
Do a home project, like remodeling your kitchen.
Take a soak bath by candlelight.
Go on dates with your spouse.
Read a book or two.

Shop, shop, shop for baby things.
Go to garage sales.
Get the nursery ready.
Buy lots of the stuff you'll need for the trip.
Buy all the birthday, anniversary, and wedding cards you'll need for the next six months.
Gather things for your child's life book.
Buy gifts for the birthmother, officials and the orphanage workers and children.

Read a couple extra chapters in your Bible each day.
Write daily in a journal.
Make appointments with dentists, doctors and eye doctors for your yearly check ups.
Address the envelopes for your child's adoption announcements.
Take a CPR class.
Baby proof your house.
Read "What to Expect the First Year."
Pick up schedules for story times, museum hours, mom/tot swims, baby music classes and local playgroups.
Meet with different pediatricians.
Check out Early Intervention's free services.
Pack and repack.
Cook and freeze meals for when you return.
Keeping busy on many tasks is good but it doesn't take your mind off the baby.

"Waiting is the build-up, the expectation that makes a fine steak delicious, travel more exciting, the joy of parenthood worth the angst that leads up to it."
"Just hang in there and know that your referral will come. It will be here and it will be just the right child for you."

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