September 27, 2022

Prioritizing Self-Care During the Adoption Process

Self care.

This phrase has become a bit of a buzzword in our society, and rightfully so. It's wonderful to carve out some time just for you, whether it's indulging in a bubble bath, treating yourself to a massage, getting a pedicure, or even satisfying a junk food craving with a large fry at the drive-through. With the pandemic and the heightened stress in our country, there's been a collective realization of the need to prioritize self-care.

However, let's be real—slowing down and actually putting yourself first can be a tougher task than it sounds, especially when you're on the adoption journey.

Whether you're adopting a child from foster care, an international program, or a set of embryos, the adoption process can be stressful for everyone involved. You get caught up in getting everything sorted, filling out paperwork, ticking off items on the checklist, and dealing with a rollercoaster of emotions—all while forgetting about yourself.

We come up with a myriad of excuses:

  • "My future child is more important."
  • "Making sure that this embryo sticks is more important."
  • "Ensuring my child has a smooth transition is more important."
  • "Having a spotless home for the home visit is more important."

But here's the thing: you're part of the family that this child is joining. If you're running yourself ragged, stressed out, and your relationship with your spouse is strained, the adoption process can hit rocky terrain. Unresolved issues before the child arrives might only escalate. You might start feeling alone and forget that your spouse is going through this with you. The excitement of growing your family might start fading away. And it's not supposed to be that way, right?

So, in the midst of your adoption journey, take a step back. Care for yourself. Bring back the excitement. Go on a date with your spouse. Take a spontaneous weekend road trip to the mountains. Enjoy ice cream after dinner. Take a leisurely walk around the park together. Keep an eye on your emotional state, and seek support from a friend or therapist when needed.

The journey to adoption, no matter the form, is stressful. Don't add to it by neglecting yourself. Taking these necessary steps will make it easier on you, benefit your child, and even improve how you handle various situations throughout the process. When you feel overwhelmed, take a moment for yourself. After all, you can't pour into others when your own cup is empty.

To learn more about the adoption programs Nightlight has to offer, visit

By Karli Adams


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