By Nicole, An Adopt4Life Community Parent
As an awaiting parent, each holiday brought with it a wave of mixed emotions. Excitement for the memories we would make and new joys that we would get to experience. But also present was anger that the wait has been so long, worry that our time would never come, and finally, hope.
In the past holiday seasons, we survived the wait by making it special for us as a couple. We tried a lot of different things that might be more difficult to do once we had a child. We booked dinners at expensive restaurants and got all dressed up. We enjoyed trying new places and sipping on fancy cocktails. We booked weekends away at Niagara on the Lake and indulged by sitting in robes all day by the pool and shopping in the little shops. We booked trips to Blue Mountain and learned to ski (more accurately, we watched each other fall on our faces). To be honest, if we hadn’t been trying to ease the feelings of the “wait”, I don’t know if we would have done all that we did. We had a lot of fun and became closer to each other as a couple.
We also started our own Christmas Eve and Christmas Day traditions. After visiting family on Christmas Eve, we dress in our Christmas pajamas and sit down to watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer before bed. The next morning, my husband makes us hot chocolates, sets the TV to the fireplace channel, turns on the Christmas tree lights, and I place our brunch into the oven. Then we spend the morning in our pajamas, opening gifts, playing Nintendo and watching Christmas movies. These traditions were built on the traditions our parents had started for us and they are traditions that we eventually wanted to share with our children.
In October 2014 we were deemed Adopt Ready. To this point we had kept our decision to adopt quiet, only sharing this with our closest friends and immediate family. For so many years, I had a vision in my head of sharing with our family that we were expecting during the holiday season; the big announcement! Therefore, we hired a photographer and did an adoption announcement shoot. We had chosen a cute poem about our family growing in our hearts, printed off some of the pictures and wrapped it up for the Great Grandparents on each side of the family. It was one of the best Christmases for us all.
Once we welcomed our daughter into our lives, the holiday season became a whole new experience. All of our hopes and traditions came to life. We started making new memories and doing something special each year as a family of three. Christmas light exhibits, visits to Santa, gingerbread house building and so much more.
Although the wait was long, it gave us new experiences and memories as a couple. Life doesn’t stop while you’re waiting, so we made the choice to live it to the fullest.