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WAITING FOR BABY: House cleaning, anyone?

By Ann Tatko-Peterson
Wednesday, July 30th, 2008 at 6:05 am in Adoption.

20080624-5-Kids-routine(“Waiting for Baby” is a closer look at adoption and my family’s personal experience as we go through the process. It will appear every Wednesday in the aPARENTly Speaking blog.)

My house has never looked this good. The towels are all neatly folded in the linen closet. My clothes are color coordinated in the closet. I’ve lined every single cabinet and drawer in the kitchen, bathrooms, even the laundry room. Next up: the habitually neglected garage. This has become my life since we officially went “live” in our search for a prospective birth mother. I’ve heard of nesting while expecting — who knew that adopting also would unleash the hidden housekeeper within.

Technically, we’ve been “live” only three months. Feels more like an eternity. And considering the average wait time is 10 months, we have a long way to go before we adopt a baby. Honestly, no amount of time would be too long. But that doesn’t make the process of waiting any easier. “Keep busy” was the advice other adopting parents gave my husband and me. And as is my nature, I never like to do anything halfway. Just ask my house.

Cleaning is a natural outlet. So is cooking, but considering that comes with a whole lot of calories, cleaning seemed a slimmer outlet. I’ve also worked on redoing our wedding photo album, begun looking for contractors to replace our kitchen and dining room floor, reorganized the pantry at least three times and helped my husband redesign his fantasy league baseball Web site. I’m in the middle of making my 1-year-old niece a cross stitch picture of Elmo, Oscar and Cookie Monster. I’m also looking forward to the start of school for my stepdaughter — homework, the ultimate brain-occupier.

The only thing I haven’t considered trying is decorating a nursery. I’ve read books and talked with women who found the greatest comfort in really truly preparing for the baby. They’ve painted the room, bought the cute wallpaper, even assembled the crib. They have teddy bears, blankets, bibs, the darling little booties. And when the room is complete, they go to spend a few minutes there so they can think about the baby that is coming. I admire them. They have a confidence that I have yet to find. It’s not that I don’t believe we will eventually find our child. I’m just not ready to stand in an empty nursery and wonder when it’s going to happen. Plus, if we put together the nursery now, that’s just one more room I’m sure I’d feel compelled to clean.

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One Response to “WAITING FOR BABY: House cleaning, anyone?”

  1. Lisa Says:

    While you are waiting you may want to meet others who are also waiting … Open Path is hosting a drop in support meeting for families in the “waiting” of their adoption. It will be held on Thursday, Aug 21 from 7-9PM and is free to those who attend and registration is required as seating is limited. This is another great way to share the experience of the journey to parenthood through adoption when meeting others on a similar path to share support and the journey. is our website for more details and location.
    Having been through the wait 2 years ago we found comfort in meeting others waiting too.

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