Proactive Ways to Pass the Time for Waiting Families

By Meredith Shepard
May 4, 2021

Waiting prospective adoptive families often ask about ways to help speed up the waiting time and shorten their wait to be matched. While I often talk about opening up comfort levels to situations we see the most, including drug exposures and mental health issues, I also suggest other things.

The number one suggestion I make is to complete the video profile. In a world where so many people watch TikTok, YouTube, and other video outlets, it just makes sense to meet an expectant mother where she feels comfortable in terms of technology. The second thing I suggest is to provide a few updated photos and to use the journaling (blogging) option in Parent Finder.

As you can imagine, the question I get asked next is always: What should we journal about? Here are a few ideas that may help prompt you to use this feature more often. Remember, we aren’t suggesting you write a dissertation, rather a paragraph or two and a few photos to support what you wrote about. Forgot to take photos? No worries! You can still journal as it is an important tool at your disposal.

Fun Journal Topic Suggestions:
  • Holiday events- think family or neighborhood Easter egg hunts, 4th of July BBQs, Christmas cookie baking, Labor Day or Memorial Day trip to the beach/river/lake or any other holiday traditions
  • Birthday Celebrations- whether yours, a family member’s, or a close friend’s- a party is a party to share!
  • DIY/home improvement projects
  • Recent trip or vacation
  • Updates on jobs/employment changes
  • Share a favorite recipe
  • Your Love Language
  • Charity events or activism you participated in whether it’s a fun run or helped out with a park cleanup
  • Upcoming events you are looking forward to
    • Bonus if you follow it up with another journal entry after the event
  • Share part of your bucket list
  • List your guilty pleasures- (Personally, I admit- I love make-up and have way too much! I also am addicted to my Jeep, and I could live on Baskin Robbins Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream!)
  • What are you reading or wish you had time to read?
  • What was/is your favorite children’s book and why?
  • What is one item you can’t live without and why?
  • Who do you admire?
  • How do you stay creative?
  • Dream ideas for a nursery?
  • The baby name game: why you like certain names? Are you more into unique names or family names? Have you thought about jointly naming baby or using a birth name as a middle name?
  • If you could only use one social media site what would it be and why?
  • Share your favorite childhood memory
  • Favorite toy/game as a child
  • Share your funniest memory you have with your spouse
  • If you could invite any 5 dinner guests (dead, alive, or fictional) who would it be and why?
  • Talk about your favorite character in a show or book- why are they your favorite? Do they remind you of yourself, someone else?
  • Create an A-Z post about a specific topic- you pick the topic but try to be adoption-related if possible!)
  • What’s on your Spotify Playlist?
  • Our favorite app and why

Remember, the idea here is to stay connected to the process and allow an expectant parent to learn more about you in a fun and individual way. You will be surprised how an expectant parent connects with something that may seem trivial in the grand scheme of things. Maybe they have the same item on their bucket list, share a guilty pleasure (ice cream anyone?), or have similar ways they stay creative.

Meredith Shepard
Meredith Shepard joined Heart of Adoptions in August 2013 as the Adoptive Parent Coordinator. She works closely with waiting adoptive families handling day-to-day needs and assisting with matching adoptive families to birth families. In July of 2020, Meredith became the Director of Programs for the agency. She is responsible to coordinate and supervise agency staff, volunteers, and handle day-to-day operational duties. Meredith has worked in the area of social work for over 20 years and has experience working within the fields of child development, adoption, foster care, and developmental disabilities.