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Waiting to Adopt

When should we start buying baby things?

I’m a bit paranoid when it comes to buying anything for our soon to be baby.  My friends frequently ask if I have started decorating the baby room and what have I bought for the baby.  We have not bought anything for the baby and wonder when we should.

After losing our first born son 1 month after he was born and going through the pain of donating all the baby things we had bought for him, I’m a bit nervous about going through the process again.

Even so, I long to start buying baby things.  Should I?


this is just my experience and i don’t think there is a right or wrong answer. we r adopting internationally and knew we would be receiving a referral fairly soon. a close friend wanted to give me a shower, which made a cousin want to give me a shower also. so i had two showers and not too long afterword we received a referral. then the bomb, we had to decline the referral b/c of health concerns. now i wish i had waited until we had accepted a referral to have a shower. we have a complete babies room with no baby, kinda hard to walk past ten times a day. perhaps you could buy a few special things, that way you are recognizing that your baby is coming and the joy that thought brings.

Posted by sassafras on Mar 01, 2011 at 6:13am

Our first adoption we only painted the room and had just a couple of things. We ended up buying a bunch of stuff when the baby was placed with us and then had to pay to ship it home since we were across country.

For our second adoption, we have purchased many things and have lots of clothes that friends gave to us. We had a failed adoption 3 weeks ago after having the baby 5 days, and I have to say that seeing the baby’s room does not bother me because I know we will adopt a baby who will be in that room.

As this is our second adoption, I just believe in my heart and know that it will happen for us. I believe it is harder for most people to believe that on their first adoption.

So, I guess I would say to you that if you believe in your heart that you will adopt, I think it is okay to gradually start putting stuff in the room. I think it helps you to believe it will happen (and it will).

The other school is that as long as you have a car seat and a pack and play with a bassinet, you will be pretty much set and can quickly buy the other things when you get home (or have showers). WE had two showers once we brought the baby home.

Good luck to you!

Posted by Kathy in Georgia on Mar 01, 2011 at 6:24am

We bought a diaper bag, car seat and little else before our son came home.  Our family and friends were very generous in the days and weeks after we all came home and we had plenty of time between his birth and bringing him home (3 days) to get the essentials.

Something I never thought to do was pack my own bag… we got the call to hurry to the hospital (4 hours away), and it was laundry day - really!  I was so anxious and hurried that I barely had enough clothes, and they really didn’t coordinate… Anyway, I guess it’ll be a funny story to explain what I was wearing in our first “family” pictures.


Posted by junofoxtrot on Mar 01, 2011 at 6:34am

We are in the same boat, waiting with no definite date of a placement - domestically. We recently painted the room, before we even started our home study, but we have been waiting since July, and we haven’t bought anything.

I, too, worry about jinxing the situation - which I know is completely ridiculous, but part of me feels that getting a few of the things we know that we will need right away when a placement happens would be good for me, emotionally. They say visualizing things can help make them happen, so perhaps that might shake things up in a good way.

It is so difficult to be an expectant adoptive mom, yet not have any idea when (or, Heaven forbid, if) things will take place. We’re saving for some of these items in a special account, so that feels good. And we’re doing research so we know which models of this or that are recommended.

Let us know what you decide to do!



Posted by Ann and Eric on Mar 01, 2011 at 6:39am

Hi everyone!

I thought I’d share some good info I have. We had a VERY sudden placement two weeks ago that we were not expecting at all. Before hand, I had decided to get some essentials, and a few items that were gender neutral (which is hard to do, by the way!) We painted and decorated our nursery, and bought some items we thought we’d need. I have to say, in retrospect, that I’m so glad that we did. I found a pretty good list of basic needs at Some of the stuff we could have waited on (like a tub), but most of it was right on. I had enough clothes to get through for a little while, bit leave enough for friends and family to buy. We had bottles and formula (watch the expiration date on this!), which was critical, as well as newborn and size 1 diapers and wipes, which we went through fast, and the car seat was critical to have. We have a great pack n play with a bassinet attachment which she slept in next to me for the first two weeks or so (we have a regular bassinet too, but the pack n play saved us because it had an incline option and she needs to be propped when she sleeps).

It made me feel good to pick things up while we were waiting, and sometimes just sitting in the room imagining the future was good for my heart and mood. When she came, it helped reduce some of our panic that we were ready. It gave us a little time to breathe, and more time to spend with her at the hospital before we brought her home, which was wonderful.

Best of luck, and hope that helps a bit!

Posted by ColoradoGardenGirl on Mar 01, 2011 at 7:47am

I bought a lot of things and have had a lot of clothes given to me. I’ve been waiting for about 14 months now. I recently found out that I have to move in 2 weeks which means doing another home study and putting the adoption on hold until that is done. A few days ago I packed all of the baby things away in a paid storage locker until the adoption actually happens. Even with all of that, I can’t say that I regret having those things. If the adoption happens fast I want a month of time alone with the baby without having to worry about buying things, and I don’t want to have a shower until the child has been with me for a month. So, I’m all set, should the universe stop with the practical jokes and actually allow me to adopt.

Posted by tarahj65 on Mar 01, 2011 at 8:35am

We too were afraid to buy anything as we were afraid we were going to jinx the adoption.  Once we were matched we went and bought the car seat.  We didn’t want to buy too much until the surrenders were all signed.  Friends and family provided LOTS and really they don’t need much for the first couple of weeks.  I wouldn’t let my friends throw me a shower until I knew it was “offical”.

5 weeks after bringing him home, his birthmother changed her mind and would not sign her surrender.  Even though we didn’t buy much, I had to close the door to the room for a couple of weeks and then pack everything up. Personally, I was glad I hadn’t decorated the room or bought the crib yet-we were going to do that in the following week.

I think it is a personal decision on if you want to buy stuff or not.  It killed our parents not go shopping for their Grandson, but they respected our wishes—and now they understand why I made the decision I did.  It was hard enough to say goodbye and to explain what happened over and over. Looking at and Dealing with the “stuff” would have made it much harder.

Posted by cella14 on Mar 01, 2011 at 11:01am

Although I did not lose a baby after birth, I had several miscarriages before we decided to adopt and I was adamant about NOT buying anything or decorating a room before we actually had a placement.  We ended up adopting out of state and had to fly to meet our new son.  The only things we had when we got back home was the travel system that we bought, some clothing items that we had bought and that the hospital gave to us, bottles, formula and diapers.  We had a guest room that we converted into a nursery.  For the first week home, our son slept in a laundry basket lined with a towel!  Actually, it was very convenient - you could carry it everywhere.  All our friends knew our story and we got so much stuff from them that it was good that we hadn’t bought a bunch of stuff earlier.  Anyway, the moral of the story is do what feels right for you, not what other people feel is right for you.

Posted by missionrunner on Mar 01, 2011 at 11:37am

I already have bedding and a crib because a friend was generous enough to give us their old stuff. I haven’t put any of it out in the room yet. I actually look at baby items on craigslist all the time but never call about them because I’m too conflicted on whether I should buy anything when we haven’t even been matched. I’m very tempted to go ahead and set up the room. But once it is all said and done, I’m not really sure how it would make me feel. It could be pleasant and exciting, but more likely it would be painful to walk past day after day.

Posted by blakesnewface on Mar 01, 2011 at 11:30pm

My partner and I are adopting twin boys that were born in November, a month early.  We were matched when BM was 5 months along with them.  We stayed pretty open with her and our family/friends about our progress and hopes/fears.  When we went to visit her and see a sonogram at 7 months, we took along photos of the boys’ room.  By then it had already been painted and the baby furniture moved in.  All it needed was babies!  I think that helped her see we were ready and see the room her sons would have.

We had quite a bit of stuff since we were foster parents and had taken care of 6 babies before.  Our family/friends threw a baby shower for us and we shared pictures of the shower and the gifts with BM.  All of that helped her visualize where her boys were going and that we had support to care for them. 

All of the prep worked out because the babies were a month early and we were 12 hours away from home for 3 weeks waiting on ICPC stuff.  When we got back home everything was done, which was great because with twins there isn’t much time to do anything!

btw…scope out the location for Target and Wal-mart in BM’s location.  Anything you need in the first few weeks until you get home can be acquired there!  Be careful on formula the baby is born and you find out if they need a special kind.

Hope that helps!

Posted by ChrisandMike on Mar 02, 2011 at 2:46am

Thank you all for your wonderful comments!

Aaah, it’s so refreshing to be able to share the same fears and hopes with you all.  For those of you who have their beautiful children: My heart is exhilarated knowing that you have your babies & when I read your comments on how you felt about buying things before you got them.  Most importantly, it gives me hope that it will happen. You also validate my concerns which I don’t get from my current circle of mommy friends (none have adopted).

My heart aches for you Cella after having your baby taken away.  I can’t imagine how hard that was.  Also, for you, Tara and Ann, who are waiting with me.

Jessie, thank you for the website with the baby essential checklist.  Now I feel so much better. Even though we are fearful of buying things, at least we won’t forget what to buy when we get the call to fly out to Japan.

Currently, our baby room is empty. It use to be a study room, but now it’s just an empty room waiting for something to happen.

Next week we go to our last fingerprinting and facial recognition for Homeland Security aka l-171H approval.  Then the matching process begins.

We will do what most of you have done: We will wait until the baby is home before we buy things. Thank you for the good advice on getting a couple of things so we don’t go crazy when we actually get the call.

Please keep me posted on how things are going with all of you too.

Chris and Mike: Please inspire me with your stories of the twins.  We would have wanted twins, but apparently, that’s not possible when adopting from Japan.  Oh well.

You’ll hear from me soon,

Emma, from Washington.

P.S. I am on Facebook too (Emma Dionisio) should you want to connect in that way.  I would love to see pics of your babies as well as follow the progress of all your adoptions:-)

Posted by Emma on Mar 02, 2011 at 4:23am

Great advice everyone!  We are just about to complete our homestudy and begin our waiting period for domestic adoption.  We have painted the nursery and have bought all the big furniture.  We plan on adding a few essentials as we wait - I think it will keep us going a bit because we know we will eventually have a baby. 

Some stuff is hard to buy like clothes.  Not only do we not know the gender but we live in MN so each season is very different as well.  For most of the clothes we will have to wait and hopefully we will have enough time to buy stuff. 

I am very much a planner so this has all been kind of hard for me.  Another thing we are wondering about is getting an infant car seat?  We looking a baby anywhere from newborn-1 year. 

Good luck to everyone!

Posted by lizzylou on Mar 03, 2011 at 11:00am

We just had our nursery painted and couldn’t be more thrilled!  I was so excited that I just bought bedding too!  We have some clothes but I am with lizzylou (I’m also in MN) that the weather will dictate what they will wear at what size.  So I didn’t go too far overboard with that. 

People do find it odd that I already have a beautiful princess room (we are gender specific in our adoption).  But, it makes us happy and our boys love it as well…that is what is important!  People see how excited we are and frankly it is contagious!

We move pieces of furniture from other parts of our home into the nursery to set things up but save on costs, a dresser, a rocker, it just made the whole experience seem so much more REAL!  We have been waiting for about 6 months now and it has been hard (we have been shown only once).  Starting to get things ready made us feel like we were moving forward as a family even though we were still in the waiting period.

I haven’t bought a carseat yet - but I’ve done a bunch of research. I will likely wait until we are matched to pick that up as I could easily get it in no time.

As for all the daily essentials.  A person could always start to buy some diapers here and there to save on cost later (but you need to be careful of size).  Bottles, etc all need to be purchased at the last minute in my opinion because you never know what type of bottle, nook, etc your baby will take to…

We are just having a great time preparing for the day we will get that blessed call!  We are trying not too stress out too much - but it is still very hard!!

Posted by MNWaiting on Mar 16, 2011 at 1:52am

When your baby is about 2 to 5 weeks
You need to buy a 4 moms mamaroo swing which will help your baby fall asleep easily and it can be easier for your as well to rest and relax specially when you become a mom you need to relax your body for a while but newborns sometimes cry a lot and it becomes very hard to sleep at nights because they cry a lot in night
I would highly recommend you 4Moms Mamaroo

Posted by Hannah87 on Oct 04, 2019 at 7:43am

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