US Catholic Faith in Real Life

While We Wait

By Annemarie Scobey | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
While We Wait: Spiritual and Practical Advice for Those Trying to Adopt By Heidi Schlumpf (ACTA, 2009)

Wherever you are in your process of waiting to adopt a child-the paperwork stage, the home study stage, or "the unexpected delay" stage-Heidi Schlumpf's book, subtitled Spiritual and Practical Advice for Those Trying to Adopt, has something to offer.

Most adoption books fall into two categories: Either they are how-to manuals for going about the adoption process, or they tackle issues adoptive parents may face as their children grow. While We Wait fills the void. It is a book that prospective adoptive parents-especially mothers-can turn to on those difficult days, when it seems everyone around them is announcing a pregnancy or pushing a stroller. While We Wait puts into words what many waiting parents feel but are not able to articulate.

Schlumpf artfully blends honest feelings of longing with a sense of hope rooted in her Catholic faith. In her chapter "Avoiding Despair," she writes, "One of my biggest fears about our extended waiting process is that I'll be mired . . . in these negative emotions of sadness, frustration, and fear." She goes on to remind herself and her readers, however, that even amid the anger and sadness, those who wait for a child must consciously look for joy. She ends with a prayer asking God to help her avoid bitterness and move toward thanksgiving. As an adoptive and foster parent myself, I found that Schlumpf's desire to discover what God has to say during the wait resonated.

Readers will find that the chapters do not need to be read consecutively. Instead they may wish to jump in at "Marital Stress" or "Rude Strangers" or "Birthdays" if that's where they find themselves. The quotes at the beginning and short prayers at the end of each chapter allow the book to be used as a meditation guide.

While We Wait won't make the waiting go any faster for adoptive parents, but it does offer wisdom and empathy for the long journey of adoption.