Dealing with the Stress of the Adoption Process
Unfortunately, the child adoption process does not always go smoothly. There can be frustrating legal delays and long waiting periods. As parents-to-be, you must find ways to deal with stress so that you’re emotionally and physically ready when it is time for your child to move into your home.
Time and Patience
Stress is your body’s natural reaction to a threat. When your body is under stress, your blood pressure rises and your heart rate increases. Your body releases energy stored in fat to prepare your muscles for a fast response. This is your body’s response to any generalized threat. While it may be helpful if you’re dealing with a wild animal, the response is not so helpful when you’re dealing with an unexpected delay or a nervous day in court. If you’re engaging this response several times a day, it can have serious consequences to both your physical and mental health. The legal process surrounding adoption is complicated because the stakes are so high for the child involved. However, that doesn’t mean you should let yourself become consumed with stress.
High levels of chronic stress have been linked to depression, heart attack, stroke, weight gain and diabetes. Adoption stress can be troubling because you may be dealing with frequent moments of momentary stress as you go through the process.
Learn to Slow Down
The stress response is so fast that you often do not realize it’s happening until you’re in the middle of it. Thankfully, there are some simple ways that you can respond to stress. The easiest technique is controlling your breath. Much of the stress response is automatic and out of your control once it starts. You cannot control your heart rate, but you can control your breath rate. Taking a few slow, deep breaths can start to slow things down.
Deep breathing also gives you a way to slow down your mind. Most people under stress find that they develop tunnel-vision and are only able to handle the task at hand. This is not the best time to make important decisions as you’ll have trouble seeing all the angles. It can be a real problem when you are going through the adoption process. When you take those deep breaths, pay attention to the feeling of breathing, the way your chest rises and falls. By redirecting your attention from the issue that is giving you stress, you can go back to it from a better, calmer perspective.
Learn to Get Moving
Another way to deal with stress is to get moving. The stress response is all about preparing your body for action. In the stress response, your body releases several hormones to stimulate various physical changes. Exercise can help process these hormones and get them out of your system. Your body is preparing to move, so let it move.
On a day-to-day basis, regular exercise is an important part of dealing with the effects of stress. While you’re going through the adoption process, find an activity you enjoy and do it regularly. Take an exercise class. Go walking, jogging, biking or swimming. The important thing is to keep your body moving.
On court dates or meeting dates, you may want to find opportunities to take a walk. When there is a break in the proceedings, walk around the block. You will come back calmer and in a better frame of mind.
Work With a Partner
Coping with stress during adoption is much easier when you are working with a lawyer who specializes in the field. One of the causes of stress during adoption is not knowing what will happen next. An adoption lawyer can help you prepare for any bumps in the road.
After many years as an NJ adoption attorney, Donald Cofsky knows how stressful the adoption process can be for potential parents. Our law firm can guide you throughout the process and help provide you with peace of mind. If you are looking for an NJ adoption attorney, contact our Haddonfield office at 856-429-5005.