Jillian Michaels Actively Waiting After Sending Dossier To Congo

On May 11, 2011, People.com posted this article regarding Jillian Michaels’s adoption in process from Democratic Republic of Congo. I love reading other people’s adoption stories and there’s always a little added interest when a celebrity adopts. While reading this article, I was struck by one of the comments Michaels made, “I’m terrified that [the country] will close, so I just keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best and give it to God.”

Adoption can be a very long and difficult process for anyone, but can be excruciatingly painful for a control freak like myself. The adoption process can have so many unknowns, twists, turns, and surprises. Countries can close at a moment’s notice. When I was in the middle of my own adoption process, I had to learn to let go; let go of control, not worry about the unknowns, and, like Jillian Michaels said, give it to God. The lessons of letting go that I learned during my adoption process fortunately stuck with me and I am happy to say I am a little less of a control freak.

As for countries closing, that is a very real concern for many parents in the adoption process. At MLJ we research countries and build relationships before opening a program. We keep up to date with changes in the countries and keep our clients informed. Our Congo program at MLJ is not a pilot program; we have brought 27 children home and have three more coming home in May. Yes, countries can close, and that is out of our control, but we do not anticipate our adoption program in the Democratic Republic of Congo closing any time soon.

Even if that were the case, MLJ will work closely with our clients to work through the hurdles and emotions and find another one of our many programs that might be a great fit for their family. I believe everything happens for a reason. If a specific country program closes, God has a different child picked out just for you somewhere else. Countries don’t just close; new countries open. At MLJ, we are getting ready to open two new programs!

Jillian Michaels was also quoted saying that now that she has turned in her dossier "the paperwork is done, and now it’s just a waiting game. It could be six months, twelve months; it could be two years. Or, it could be tomorrow!” Most adoptive parents know that waiting can be the toughest part, but we are surprised Jillian does not have a better explanation of the time frame. Most clients currently in our Congo program receive a referral within two to four months from receiving their I-171H from USCIS and their child can come home seven to 11 months later.

While Jillian is enduring an unknown waiting period, I noticed she is not just “waiting”. She is staying active, bringing joy to others, and preparing for parenthood. Waiting can be hard, but it is also time that can be used productively to help you be a better parent. Do something you enjoy doing, find a new hobby, write letters of gratitude to friends and family, take a trip, volunteer your time and talents…the list is endless.

What things have YOU done to make waiting easier?

Photo Credit: Jason Kempin/WireImage