“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
– Isaiah 9:6
The stores have been decorated for Christmas for weeks, and your Facebook feed is full of pictures of kids sitting on Santa’s lap. As a waiting adoptive parent, the Christmas season may be extra emotional. You’re dreaming of the days when your child makes a wish list and rips open their presents. You imagine them shouting out “look at this”, and as well as all the activities that make family traditions.
At the same time, you’re surrounded by parents who have all of your dreams as their reality. During your journey to parenthood, turn your attention to the Lord. Although everyone is getting ready to celebrate Christmas Day, the real Christian season that is about to begin is Advent.
The word “Advent” comes from a Latin word meaning “coming.” As Christians, we celebrate Advent as a time of joyful anticipation for the celebration of the Christ child.
As a waiting adoptive parent, you’re also in a season of “advent,” in that you’re praying, hoping, and longing for the joyful day that you welcome home your child. So perhaps as Christians, the best way to “survive the Holidays” while you’re waiting to adopt is to embrace Advent. As you prepare for your future child by updating your home study, attending webinars, and getting the nursery ready, it’s important to also spiritually prepare for the coming of Christ and for parenthood.
Here Are Three Ways To Embrace Advent:
- Care for Your Soul
In our culture, the holidays can be stressful and over-stimulating. We taste, see, hear, and smell Christmastime in one way or another. At the same time, the Lord asks us to “Be still and know I am God”.
Care for your soul by taking time for yourself: go someplace quiet and pray in silence. There are many advent books available, which give you daily reflections that you can use as guidance for prayer. Once you take a moment like this every day, you’ll feel peace and gain the strength in your heart to really appreciate your “present.”
Opportunities to volunteer and to give are advertised everywhere this time of year. Giving back gives people joy, regardless of their struggles or stage of life. Consider collecting toys for children in need, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or visiting a nursing home. Let your spirit be lifted by giving more of yourself.
- Start an Advent Tradition
Before you’re blessed by adoption, think about the advent and Christmas traditions you’d like to establish. These special traditions will create precious memories for many years.
Maybe your Advent tradition will be a calendar filled with chocolate or small toys, to be opened each day leading up to Christmas. An “Advent Wreath” is another tradition to consider, along with reading the Christmas story and a devotional.
Have faith during your adoption wait, and stay dedicated to the hopeful longing and joyful expectation you feel about the arrival of your child.