Tuesday, April 3, 2018

If I Could Say One Thing...About Caring for Your Marriage During an Adoption

So often in the adoption process there's a focus on learning about the process and preparing for adding a child into a family. We talk about the home study, creating your family profile, getting through the wait, and building a relationship with the birth family. But what about caring for your marriage during the adoption process? It's no secret that adoption can be an incredibly draining journey, and ensuring you take the time to build into each other as a couple will be priceless. I asked families who have been through the adoption process to share their insight on taking the time to care for their marriage. I love their practical and helpful thoughts!

See the wait as God’s encouragement to grow closer together and closer to Him.  - Caroline

Sometimes it's okay just to sit together in the hard and not talk through every possible scenario that could play out. Sometimes just sit in the quiet and let the Spirit speak to your hearts. Find out each other's love languages if you haven't already and act on them! Get it established before the baby comes home. You will fall more deeply in love with your spouse through this journey but you have to be purposeful to turn towards each other in the hurt rather than away from each other.  - Casey

Don't let every conversation be about babies or the adoption process. Talk about other things; keep doing other fun things.  - Ashley

Don’t put your life on hold waiting for your baby. Go on dates. Plan fun little over night trips. Embrace the time you have before you add another little person to the mix. Don’t forget to keep enjoying each other.  - Leigh

Give each other time and space to walk through the different stages (agreeing to pursue adoption, the home study, the family profile, etc.). You might find that some of the steps require a little more discernment for one of you. Be patient with each other - make adoption a portion of the big picture of your marriage, not your whole world.  - Tracy

Sometimes you need to forget about the paperwork or personal deadlines you have made and have a normal weekend! Get out in nature. Go to brunch. Invite friends over. We often felt like we had too much to do to enjoy life and felt guilty doing anything else other than adoption stuff. Getting your home study or profile done quicker doesn't necessarily speed up your adoption wait time, so find a balance that works for you. Something that has worked for us is to reserve at least one full weekend a month to keeping your computer closed and just enjoy each other without having any other distractions or lists of things you need to get done! It has been our time to reconnect and just have fun together.  - Kayla

Trust each other. It was hard when I wanted to say yes. And he wanted to say no. And we had to be able to be free to say the yes and the no's with no judgement from each other. And sometimes there was no real explanation. The leaning into and trusting each other was hard. Hard! But we grew so much closer through it! We ended up at an 80% truce. We both had to feel 80% certain before we presented.  - Joy

Lean on each other through the bad news and celebrate together through the good news. You are going through this together, so you should experience it together. Support each other (be present in the moments) so the stress of unexpected news (good or bad) brings you closer together instead of driving you apart.  - Nathan

Take a break every now and then and spend quality time together. Do something out of the ordinary to refresh yourselves as a couple. Reminisce on what brought you together and talk about the early days, dating and falling in love. I’ve found that helps keeps us from talking about adoption during our quality time and brings us back to why we chose to do life together.  - Michelle

Be cognizant of your limitations and those of your spouse so you can hold each other in check. Sometimes he needed to be pushed and sometimes I needed to be pulled back. Walking through this process as a team is essential!  - Kim

For more in this series:

If I Could Say One Thing...About Beginning the Adoption Process

If I Could Say One Thing...About the Cost of Adoption

If I Could Say One Thing...About the Adoption Home Study
If I Could Say One Thing...About Expectant and Birth Families
If I Could Say One Thing...About the Wait in Adoption

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