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Paper Pregnant: How Adoption and Pregnancy Are Similar

By Diana Stone |

Pregnancy has wait times most every woman goes through. The two week wait, the shower countdown, and of course the highly anticipated due date. Among others like the ultrasounds or the first heartbeat.

Adoption has it’s own wait times. The completion of the homestudy, the referral of a child or children, and then the travel date. After that, it’s a finalized adoption later on when the post homestudy is completed.

This process is incredibly different from and yet so much the same with being pregnant with Bella and then my twins. I’ve been told we are “paper pregnant” which fits well (and I think is a cute term). Although, part of me thinks we won’t even be that until we have a referral.

Pregnancy is an instant “Yes! ___ months to go!” Adoption is more of reliving that moment several times over as the process gets closer to an actual time frame you can talk about. Usually the two week wait comes at the very end when you wait for your travel call and get 10-14 days to pack up and head overseas.

This is a very emotional journey of it’s own. We notice a complete difference in reactions when telling people we are adopting – it’s not that they aren’t excited, but there isn’t a actual child (yet) to be excited over. They are more curious and often taken aback (We hear a lot, “So you’ll never have kids again?” and we assure them that isn’t the only reason for adoption), and always eager to know more about it.

The referral of a child to us will be a huge moment – probably the biggest one of this until we go to get them. We will have things to tell people about them, a picture to show, skills and personalities to brag on; as all parents do. We will be able to find out what special needs our child has and research how to best care for them, how it will impact them and us in the future, and connect with others who may know about it. We will be able to get to know our child and see them grow up before we even can hold them and call them ours.

It’s such a different thing to go through in becoming a parent, yet each step reminds me so much of parts my past two pregnancies. So many emotional highs and lows (“We can’t wait!” and “Are we doing the right thing?” and “Can we do this?!”) hit us each and every day. We know in our hearts we were meant for this, that our family isn’t complete yet and our boys didn’t leave us here with the inability to move forward – their memories are always on our minds.

No matter how long this “paper pregnancy” takes, just like when you carry a child in you, it’s always worth it in the end.

Photo Credit: Simply Bee Files 


Diana blogs on raising a toddler daughter, the loss of her twin boys, and their families’ Korean adoption in progress on the aptly named Hormonal Imbalances.

Smaller glimpses into her day are on Twitter and Facebook.


Where This Road Has Led Us: How we decided to choose adoption

Adoption: It’s not a purchase

Adoption and Grief: Mourning a loss while planning for a future

More on Babble

About Diana Stone


Diana Stone

Diana Stone blogs at Diana Wrote about her life with a daughter here and three sons in heaven, life as an army wife, and her faith. Smaller glimpses into her day are on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Read bio and latest posts → Read Diana's latest posts →

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6 thoughts on “Paper Pregnant: How Adoption and Pregnancy Are Similar

  1. Jen says:

    I love the term paper pregnant, that is so cute. Your right the time thing is a lot the same, and different at the same time. We didn’t end up going through with adoption though we turned in all our papers. We ended up trying IVF first. Great post!

  2. Kate says:

    Are you doing a special needs adoption or is there just a high likelihood of that being an issue? I don’t remember seeing you mention it before but maybe I missed something…

    (there are some really great support groups for parents of special needs kids on facebook; this may not be a surprise to anyone else but it was to me :)

    1. Diana Stone says:

      @Kate – we are choosing to be open to either, which our agency allows. No matter what, we’ll have a child with some type of special need, we’re just also open to a waiting child as well. They usually have a more moderate to severe special need.

  3. Michelle says:

    Having never gone through pregnancy, I never liked the term paper pregnant but my adoptions were different since I adopted from foster care. When I got matched with my daughter (9 at the time) I did get “It’s a Girl’ lollipops for my dad to pass out! I’m really excited to read more of your journey to Korea!

  4. Donna says:

    We adopted and were waiting for the match call…. it NEVER came, we got the baby is born call if you want her come and get her call. We went from a family of 3 to a family of 4 in less than 24 hours. We thought that we would get a match and then wait, and then travel near the due date. I love that we did not have the stressful wait, but we were not at all ready (nursery, supplies) for a baby, since we were open to a child from the age of 0-5 we did not set anything up.

    I wish you all the best in the coming weeks and months as you go through this process.

  5. souphead says:

    somehow missed your earlier posts. congratulations! looking forward to following your journey. <3

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