Adoptive Families, the award-winning national adoption magazine, is the leading adoption information source for families before, during, and after adoption.


While You Wait...

Whether you’re waiting for a match with a birthmother, a referral, or a travel date, the days seem to stretch on forever. How to fill the time?

Over the years, we’ve published some great articles that answer that question, and you’ll find the best of them below. Our authors take you beyond decorating the nursery, so read on, and watch the time fly by!

Activity Ideas

"Writing Through the Wait," by Lee Tobin McClain
On the long journey to adoption, a journal can record the milestones and detours, as well as your first rush of love for your child


First Paperwork, Then Spring Rolls,” by Lyssa Friedman
Food has always drawn my family together. While I wait for my daughter, I’ll begin reaching out to her in the best way I know—through cooking.


In My Daughter’s Room,” by Lee C. Kemsley
The wait seemed endless. To fill the days—and focus my hopes—I painted, sanded, stenciled, and gradually gave shape to our baby’s place in our home.


A Quilt for my Daughter,” by Ellen Kahaner
By contributing squares filled with a prayer, blessing, hope, or dream, my friends and family became part of our adoption.


Planning for Parenthood

Belated Joy,” by Billy Cuchens
Despite a picture-perfect hospital experience, this dad couldn't let go of his fear that something would go wrong.


Preparing for Parenthood,” by Lois Melina
After years of disappointment, adopting couples have a hard time believing that parenthood is just around the corner. But now is the time to get ready.


Get Ready!,” by Jenni Colson
A list of lists to help you through the adoption process.


Taking Charge,” by Sharon Lind
Her homestudy completed, one mother filled the waiting time with support groups, networking and even a little shopping.


Waiting for Working Moms,” by Lee Tobin McClain
Yes, it’s about your new family. But don’t forget to focus on your work life, too.


Books to Read During the Wait,” by AF Readers
We asked our reader panel to recommend the books they found most helpful to prospective adoptive parents. Here are their favorites.


Pre-Adoption Education,” by AF Readers
We asked our reader panel: Do you think pre-adoption education for all prospective adopters is a good idea? What kind of preparation did you have? Here's what they said.


On Waiting

In the Eye of the Beholder,” by Scott Hollowell
Should I change my shirt? My hair? My religion? When you're waiting to be picked by a birthmother, you question every aspect of yourself.


Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda,” by Lisa Milbrand
In hindsight, these veteran adoptive moms would have done some things differently during the wait—but not others.


The Small Things That Count,” by Tracy Hahn-Burkett
As we marched through the approval process, my nerve was steady, my spirits high. But my fingertips failes me.


What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting,” by Lori Bolton Fleming
Find the joy in your pre-family moments, whatever they may be.


The Longest Mile,” by Deborah Regan
It's been almost five months and my husband and I are still in labor. The pregnancy was even longer—twelve months.


Motherhood In the Balance,” by Emalee Gruss Gillis
After the diagnosis, would I still be able to adopt?


Family and Friends

All's Fair in Love & Waahh!
by Corey Halls
After each losing a few battles on the way to our adoption, my husband and I both ended up winning.


Mother Knows Best?
by Jessica O'Dwyer
As I waited without my husband to bring our daughter home from Guatemala, our neighbors made sure I was never short on parenting help.


Emotional Support From Family and Friends: Why You Need It, How to Get It,”
by Jim Molter
Open communication can help create positive relationships with family and friends.


Announcing Your Decision to Adopt,” by Margaret Olander
A letter can deliver the news to loved ones in efficiently and affectionately. The key is to communicate how thrilled you are about adopting.


Friends and Family Plan
Share your adoption news with loved ones in a letter. Use these samples as a guide when writing your own.


Showered with Love,” by Lisa Millbrand
Whether you feel most comfortable holding it after completing your dossier, or when you receive your referral—an adoption shower is a wonderful way to celebrate your growing family.


Celebrating the Holidays While You Wait,” by Amy Rackear
It's tough to wait another year. Here are some strategies that will help you until your child arrives.


Celebrating the Holidays while Waiting for Your Child,” by AF Readers
Readers share their experiences.


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