"...suffering is one of the universal conditions of being alive. We all suffer. We have become terribly vulnerable, not because we suffer, but because we have separated ourselves from each other." -- Rachel Naoimi Remen

Friday, March 28, 2014

Nesting while Adopting

Just the other day, my husband and I ate a soup from my deep freezer dated September 5, 2013.  Yes, that is seven month old soup.  Yes, I cooked it about a week or two after we signed the contract with our adoption agency.  Yes, I made soup deliberately so we'd have leftovers to save for when the baby comes. 

I guess we have to start eating them sometime... I think there are five or six more containers from throughout the fall and winter down there.... I'm running low on tupperware...

No, I'm not the obsessive compulsive type.  But, I do have the luxury of already having one kid and I know just how hard it can be to get dinner on the table with a new little on at home.  Freezing meals ahead of time is the best advice I can give an expectant new parent!

Interestingly, much of what I find online to guide adoptive parents about the process of adopting is geared towards first time parents.  Recently I stumbled upon an article about what to do during the adoption wait and I excitedly opened the link!... just to find recommendations like "take a long hot bath."  I do think I've done that once in the last three and half years so I guess that counts.

So it's not just the soup that I have to confess, I've also been doing some spring cleaning spurts.  I just realized the basement carpets need to be cleaned so I'll be adding that to the list.  A few months ago now, we painted the room.  It is decorated and ready. 

No, I have not washed the bottles.  I am not that crazy.

But yes, I want to Nest.  It must not be hormonal despite what you might read.  So what it is it? 

Dictionary.com says that Nest can be a noun or a verb.  My favorite of the noun definitions:
a snug retreat or refuge
The verb, to nest (my most favorite definition):
to fit together or within another or one another  
A few days ago, my son and I watched a bird pick up some dried grasses and fly up to a telephone wire, only to drop the nesting material when he landed.  My son was upset watching this and determined the birdie's load was just too heavy.  Yes, nesting can be heavy. 

After a lengthy search on the topic of nesting while adopting, I only found one good story, linked here.  I found a few articles written by women in other countries, but little except this one from an American, and the article I linked is actually written by a daddy which made it even more special!  Sadly, most of the rest of what I found is recommendations from many about not nesting before bringing home an adopted child.  These recommendations are based in fear; fear of a failed adoption.  Families who suffer from infertility and especially those who've endured the tragedy of neonatal loss, are reluctant to prepare their homes.  Women and men who have had baby showers only to lose their precious miracles know that heartache all too deeply.  And, I can't say I've been there, I'm thankful to have only read and heard about that kind of pain.  But, I do have decorations leftover from my second pregnancy which now adorn our new nursery; they are over two years old now.  Yes, nesting can be heavy. 

But what I do know, is that every baby needs a snug retreat or refuge

And I also know that every mother wants to create that for their child.  Biological or not, my child's home will be here in my home.  It needs to fit together with ours.  We need to make space.  Since we have the resources, we ought to be prepared. 

When I was pregnant, nesting, like virtually every other part of pregnancy was something to be celebrated.  Something to be ooo'ed and ahh'ed over.

So, I wonder, instead of instilling and propagating fear in men and women who have to or choose to adopt to grow their families, why don't we encourage joy? 

Call me wreckless, but I think we Americans are too full of caution, and not full enough of optimism.  Contrary to natural childbirth, I know adoption will bring my family a baby.  It may take two or three times as long as the typical duration of a pregnancy, but it will happen.  Prospective adoptive parents just need to be patient. 

Making soup keeps me occupied as the weeks and months drag on.  Making soup gives my nest an extra layer of safety and security so we know we'll be prepared when our big day comes. 

Nesting doesn't have to be hormonal, it's instinctual.  I shouldn't have to refer to my nesting as a "confession," when pregnant women get to boast about theirs on social media.  Adoptive parents are no different than any other kind of parent; we want, we need, we must, prepare a safe, healthy, beautiful, loving home for our children!  Plus, it's fun! 

I for one, am going to continue being excited to nest. 

My baby is going to love this snug retreat!


  1. I agree! We are "nesting" for a child (3-5yrs) to be adopted, and have one child already. Most of what I'm reading and finding is written for couples without any children. But I like the idea of preparing your snug retreat for one more.

  2. Thanks! Yeah I was reading your blog yesterday and thinking I should share mine with you. I have a long story with miscarriage as you can see here. I have been thinking a lot about the similarities and differences between pregnancy and adoption which I think we have a unique vantage point to appreciate. It's interesting! Often I wish more of adopting felt like pregnancy but I'm just trying to focus on the positve and enjoy the moment. Thanks for writing :)

  3. This is such a good perspective. I love it. Nesting is definitely something to be celebrated. You and Mike and L will definitely provide a snug retreat for baby p when he or she arrives!