Adoption Nesting: Just Like Regular Nesting but with Less Nausea

We’re deep into the waiting period for our adoption, where all of the preliminary paperwork is finished and we’re biding our time until we’re matched with a baby.

So, we’ve started to focus on all the things that you have to do to get your house and your family and your life ready to receive a new child. My wife especially is locked in on this. Every decision I make with her (at least the ones that have longer-lasting implications than where we park the car) is tinged with the subtext of “how will this affect the new baby?”

She’s acquired a big-girl bed for our daughter (age 4) to make the baby bed available, and she’s already looking to the schedule for the summer and fall to see how we might have to adjust work/school/familytime schedules.

But the most obvious effects of her efforts are the armloads of stuff I’m regularly hauling to the garage or the attic to make way for the presence of one additional human in the house. The bar for being able to keep stuff in our living spaces has risen remarkably high, to the point where the the kids are starting to hide toys that they want to keep from being “disappeared” into a Goodwill donation bin. Sometimes their little shoulders sag with resignation when they realize Mom has shaved down the toy population yet again, like a bankrupt rap producer watching the repo men haul off his tropical fish tank and mink bean bags.

And we’re using the newly available space to stock up on everything that can be stocked up at this point in the process: kid clothes, linens, some of the 72-odd different kinds of car seats that kids apparently have to use until they no longer qualify to be on their parents’ insurance in their mid-thirties.

It’s nesting. An age-old instinct that you expect out of parents-to-be. Except usually it happens when one of the parents is pregnant. And you assume that it’s caused mostly by biological triggers — hormones and complex chemical reactions that have evolved over the eons to make us do what our children need.

Only that’s not the case here. There’s no biology to it. Just a couple of people who know that there’s a baby coming sometime in the near future.

Funny how my wife has the same instincts, and I have the same sympathetic instincts, both when her reproductive system is flooding her body with hormones and when it’s not. It’s almost like humans aren’t just a collection of chemicals and evolved responses.

We’re more than that. Our instincts to love and provide for children aren’t just biology. They’re an outgrowth of a spiritual truth. Love has a source that’s not physical. It’s an overflowing from a Father who loves us.

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