Monday, May 18, 2015

Adoption Stress and Your Marriage

There's no doubt the adoption process can add stress to a marriage. The high emotions, the hard work, and the wait of the adoption process can easily take a toll on your relationship.

So how do you nurture your relationship with your spouse while on the adoption journey? 

Do things outside of adoption 

Admit it. Much of your time has been spent focusing entirely on prepping for the baby. You've spent hours filling out paperwork and meeting with a social worker. You've registered for baby items, painted the nursery, and put together the crib. You've talked through birth parents and openness and discipline strategies. But there's a need to put everything adoption aside and enjoy things that bring you joy outside of your plans to add to your family.

Extend grace to each other

Adoption is hard; it can be emotionally and spiritually exhausting. When you're drained it's easy to be short with each other. Not to mention that most couples experience different emotions at different times. Fear, anxiety, and stress can hit us differently. Extending grace and kindness during these times will be critical to your home during this time.

Take care of yourself and each other

Self care is critical when you're on the road to adoption. Make sure you're doing what you need to to take care of yourself and pour into your marriage. Take long baths, read a good book, take a long run. As a couple plan date nights, take on a new hobby together, and maybe even take a babymoon before your little one arrives.

Remember what's important

Even when you add a child to your family, you'll have to take care of yourself and your marriage. There's truth in the reality that you won't have anything to give your child if you aren't taking the time to pour into yourself individually and as a couple. And there's tremendous peace in finding contentment right where you're at. Completing the paperwork, waiting on a match, sleepless nights with a newborn, and on and on life goes. No doubt adoption isn't the first struggle you've faced in your marriage and likely won't be the last. Learning how to do hard things together, side by side, will not only get you through the adoption process, but life.

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