Preparing Too Early for an Adoption?

I went to college in New Orleans. I ran away from hurricanes every year. I had a flashlight, extra batteries, cash, medical cards, clothes and snacks ready to run away with every August. I felt prepared. After college I lived in Japan where I kept a similar bag by the bed just in case there was an earthquake. I currently keep a fully stocked medical kit both in my house and my car. I even keep extra socks, underclothes, a blanket, snacks and more in the car. Being prepared is the essence of survival as an adult.

Yet when we began the adoption process, the agencies were constantly saying

"Do not prepare too early." 

I was shocked because I finally felt that this is the time to prepare. We got tired of trying for a child and only breezing past the baby section of stores. We felt like we finally deserve to walk into the section and pick up whatever we want. We felt like it was our right-of-passage to finally browse the variety of bottles and mattresses and car seats. Yet two years ago, we were sitting in a meeting with the fourth adoption agency, trying to pick whom we trust and the only thing  that rang out of their speech was "Do not prepare".

See, I had a problem with this notion. We kept getting mixed messages from random people:

Last summer, hubby and I picked up out CSA from our lovely farmer and she went on to tell us that she was matched to a set of twins only a couple months before they were born. She said that it was a very tight schedule to run around to purchase everything for twins in a dozen weeks, but they made it. Her story was a bolt of energy to make sure that I knew what I wanted. 

A month later, Hubby and I were in a popular baby store when an employee overheard us knocking over signs while trying to reach a stroller. He came over to joke with us and we learned that we are using the same agency he used 10 years ago. Both of his children were matched to him and his wife within a month! The hair on my arms stood on ends. 

At the end of August, while saying goodbye at the airport to my Chinese exchange student, another host family came up to me. They joyfully expressed their love to us for our adoption process. The family told us "Make sure you prepare now. I was matched in two weeks and I had nothing! I had to borrow my sister's car seat just to get home with her." The 'her' was a 16 year old that stood proudly beside her. 

The scariest story was told by a couple from my agency at a meeting. Their profile went live for birth mothers to see and eleven days later they were match to a baby that was born the day of the call. They had to go to the hospital the next day! Because they were unprepared, they were in Target with a half dozen of employees and carts, one hour before closing. The wife told us that she had a break down in an aisle because she didn't know which formula to buy. She told us "Do not wait to prepare."

Fast forward to last month, December 2016 and I finally began to prepared. My very anxious and excited mother flew into town to make sure we were ready to accept a bundle of joy. After all,

Our home study is complete!

We got the very basics, out the way. We purchased crib mattress, sheets, bottle warmer, pacifiers, a few sleepers, undershirts and wipes. We bought a car seat on a Black Friday deal. We are also cloth diapering and made sure to order a dozen diapers. Want to see our stash? We cleaned the nursery, the furniture and even organized the items. We PREPARED, and quite well if you ask me. Even though we only have about 10 changes of clothes spread out over three sizes, we can at least avoid a break down in the middle of Target, 12 hours before we bring a baby home.

So I say to potential mothers out here, adoptive, foster or biological, there is no such thing as preparing too early. The agency is trying to spare the emotional turmoil that a missed adoption after preparing can cause. But I say stand strong and alert. You never know when the baby will come. You might have to hold on to the items for 2 years, 10 months, 3 weeks or 2 days. A least you will be prepared!

When did you prepare for your Baby/Child?


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