Families waiting to adopt have different opinions on whether or not to buy baby things before they are matched with a potential birthmother or otherwise have a good idea that a baby is on the way. Some are superstitious about purchasing anything baby-related at all until they have a little one in their arms. Others jump right into decorating a nursery so that whenever they and their baby find each other, their home will already be ready and waiting.
For the most part, we’ve walked the line between the two by not getting too caught up in the world of baby buys, while also taking advantage of good deals when we see them. I’ve shopped for end-of-season baby and kids’ clothes when they hit 80% off at Kohl’s for years. At first I would donate everything to a local nonprofit organization where social workers can “shop” for their young clients. These days, I tend to hold a few outfits aside for our future child and donate the rest. If the items I’ve kept turn out to be the wrong size or season for our child, someone else will surely be able to use them. We’ve largely stayed away from larger purchases up to this point. We ordered a crib that was on sale around the time our new homestudy was finalized with our agency because it matches the twin bed set that I inherited from my grandmother. Again, if we end up not needing it, someone will. Nonprofit groups tend to not take used cribs because of safety issues, and it’s very rare for people to donate brand new ones–even though they’re always needed.
Speaking of safety issues, waiting to be chosen for adoption has given us plenty of time to do a lot of baby item research. Consumer Reports? Online reviews? “Best-of” product lists? Yeah–we’ve read ‘em, compiled the data, and determined the best of the best. Pushing past the super cute patterns or mod designs to get to the most solid and safe baby products around will not be a problem for us. I’ve even been able to help out with product research and advice for some of our pregnant and newly parenting friends! Most of the research has merely resulted in a lot of Pinterest pins for us.
However, our thinking on buying other big items has shifted a bit recently, because early next year we get to go on our adoption agency’s “Last-Minute Hospital List.” That means that we’re eligible to get a call when a woman contacts our agency from the hospital, where she is about to or has already given birth and wants to make an adoption plan. If we get a last-minute call from our agency, it means we’ll only have a few minutes to decide if we’re ready to possibly become instant parents! (This concept kind of terrifies Cory, but I’m all for it.) A combination of our going on that list, some great Cyber Monday sales, and the power of positive thinking led to a big ol’ box containing a carseat and stroller being delivered to our driveway just now.
We’ll most likely remain in a state of prepared-but-not-overly-so readiness for the foreseeable future. Don’t come to our house looking for an immaculate nursery. But if you want, I can show you our hidden stash of baby goods.