By THERESA DAVIS
Joy! Your adoption/foster care home study is complete and all your paperwork has been sent in and approved. The wait is on.
If you have gone through a private agency, you should have a good idea about the child you’re expecting (baby, school-age, teenager, etc.) so you can pretty well gauge how to physically prepare their living quarters. If you’re fostering, you’ve stated your preferences. So you know who you might be getting.
For example, my family preferred a child from birth to age 5, because that was our comfort zone. As to a bed, toys, books, car seat, etc., who knows what we would need? So when our child arrived, my husband needed to make an emergency trip to Wal-mart.
So while you wait, do what you can to prepare for your child’s arrival. As I said, private adoptions are more predictable than fostering to possibly adopting. You may have more time to get ready for your new arrival.
If you haven’t already done so, go to your home school district and inform them of your new child to make the transfer between schools as smooth as possible. There may be a snag for international adoptions because there may be little to no school records. If this is the case, the school will need to screen your child to determine placement. Make sure you and your child are all set with visas, passports and all pertaining documents. Find out about citizenship as well. An international adoption lawyer will help you navigate through this.
Other things to think about are pediatricians, dentists and therapists. Adoption is wonderful but also traumatic, especially for your child. Some professionals have experience with adopted children so ask around. In between all of this, breathe. Enjoy the downtime. Now is the time to gather your strength. You’re going to be first-time parents or expanding your family. You are going to need the energy.