Hopeful adoptive couple take a break while getting their future baby's nursery readyAn expectant couple gets nine months to ready their home, to have a baby shower, to pick out baby names, and to wrap their minds around becoming parents. This preparation is a joyous rite of passage for Christian adoptive couples too. The timeline may differ, but the need to nest and prepare for your growing family remains the same.
The right time to assemble the nursery is a concern shared by many hopeful adoptive parents. Underneath the excitement of choosing paint colors and a theme for the nursery, there may be a current of fear. What if something goes wrong? Some Christian couples can’t bear to look at an empty nursery as they wait to be chosen by a birth mother. Others want to be as prepared as possible for the moment they receive that life-changing call. It’s a personal decision that will be different for each family.
Consider these benefits and drawbacks for assembling the nursery as you wait to be chosen by a birth mother and trust in God’s plan for your Christian adoption.

Benefits of Decorating During the Wait

1. It shows your faith. Just as you trusted the Lord’s call to adopt, trust that He will place a child in your nursery. Choose to live in hope rather than fear, and experience the joy leading up to the birth, even if it doesn’t work out exactly as you imagine. God’s plans don’t always line up perfectly with our own.
2. A picture can make your profile unique. You can add a picture of your decorated nursery to your profile for potential birth mothers to see. Your nursery is a way to set yourself apart and showcase your personality.
3. Bond with your spouse. The stress of adoption wait can put a strain on even the strongest Christian marriage. A hopeful project like decorating the nursery will keep you busy in a positive way as you wait for the call.
4. Take control. There is so much about the adoption process that is out of your control. Making decisions about the nursery can help you take charge of one small area in your life.
5. Be prepared for the call. Some hopeful Christian adoptive parents are chosen by a birth mother early in her pregnancy and have months to prepare. For others, it’s a last-minute call and a race to catch the next flight out of town. You don’t want to be scrambling for baby essentials at the last minute.
6. Less stress when baby arrives. Along with love and joy, newborns also come with sleepless nights and the need for constant attention. Painting the nursery walls might be the last thing you want to do when you are exhausted. Instead, you can spend those precious early days bonding with your baby.

Drawbacks to Decorating the Nursery: Hold Off Until You’re Ready

1. Avoid unnecessary stress now. Consider your emotional state. Does the idea of gazing at an empty nursery create feelings of fear or despair? If the thought of assembling the nursery makes you feel anxious, hold off until you and your spouse are comfortable.
2. Wait until you can customize. Many hopeful Christian adoptive couples won’t know the gender of their baby ahead of time. If your adoption preferences are broad, you may find yourself blessed with twins, sibling groups, or a child from another heritage. You can customize for the child you bring home if you wait to assemble the nursery.
3. A nursery isn’t necessary right away. You really don’t need a full-functioning nursery until your baby is about six months old. Whether you choose a bassinet or a co-sleeper, you might want to keep your newborn in your room at first. This makes the multiple nighttime feedings and diaper changes more convenient for everyone.
4. Other ways to satisfy your need to nest. Decorating a nursery is not the only way to prepare for a baby. Try creating a journal, blog, or vlog to record your adoption journey. Research infant care, pediatricians, and child care options. Finish up any lingering home projects you will have less time for once your baby arrives.

The Bare Essentials

Adoptive dad-to-be puts together the cribThere is no right or wrong time to assemble your nursery. However, you will want to have a few essentials on hand, so you aren’t caught off guard when you receive the call. Consider stocking up on these items once your adoption profile goes live online:

  • Car seat
  • A crib or pack n’ play
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Burp cloths
  • Swaddle blankets
  • Bottles

Each adoptive couple has different needs when it comes to feeling prepared for parenthood. As Christians, lean on each other and on your Christian faith to make the best choices for your growing family.