Why We Set Up A Baby Nursery Before Our Adoption Match

This guest post is by Chris Hargrove and Troy Turnipseed, adoptive parents.

One night a couple weeks ago, as we headed to bed and were turning off the lights in the upstairs hall outside our baby nursery, Chris asked, “Is it weird that we have a furnished nursery and we don’t have a baby?”

Troy thought about it for a moment. “Well,” he said, “I didn’t think it was weird until you asked if it was weird.”

Continuing into our nighttime routine of teeth brushing, a Golden Girls episode and winding down with our dogs, we talked about it some more.

“No, it’s not weird,” Troy continued. “We are going to be dads! We just don’t know when. So it’s better to be ready for when the time comes!”

So how did we get to that point?


For us, there was not a lot of back and forth discussion about if we would start on a baby nursery. It was more about when we would start it.

Troy was ready as soon as we were home study approved. In fact, a part of him wanted to have the nursery finished before it. For him, it showed that we were 100 percent committed and ready.

We decided we would start on the nursery after we officially went “live” with our adoption agency.

For us, it made sense. By then, we would have completed our home study and would be officially searchable by expectant mothers.

After focusing our energy on our home study and profile, it would also give us a chance to push our adoption journey forward beyond just Facebook posts and blogging.

Even before that day, though, we spent time doing research. A lot of research.

Troy read articles and blogs by adoptive parents about their decision on when to set up a nursery.

We learned that the decision to start one before having a baby, let alone an adoption match, was different for every family.

For some, it was a way to stay positive and move forward after a pregnancy loss or infertility. For others, the empty room was too overwhelming and a reminder of the wait.

It’s not our place to tell anyone when to take this step, but rest assured each family will know when that time comes. Trust yourself and your gut.

From our research, we learned that everyone’s story is unique-–-much like their journey to adoption, how to spend their time waiting to adopt, and how they ultimately parent.

As luck would have it, the week before we went live was Father’s Day. Buoyed by the hope that next Father’s Day we would be dads, we headed off to Home Depot and looked at flooring and tools.


We began looking at examples online of nursery’s to get ideas, visiting baby stores and doing some trial by error painting (hint: do not paint an entire room yellow!).

It was then, while sharing the progress of our nursery on our Facebook adoption page, that a friend left a comment on one of our photos.

“LOVE this!” she wrote. “Getting your hearts and home ready.”

Wow. That was powerful.

Up until that point, we knew we were getting ready for something big. But having her put it in those terms completely refocused our energy and made us confident in our decision to work on the nursery before being matched with an expectant mother.

As we continue setting up the nursery, we realize we are not “weird” and that it was the right choice for us.

Yes, we walk by the room every day-–-it’s right next to our bedroom—and typically Troy will walk into the room each day and imagine what it will be like when it’s full of laughter, bedtime stories and playtime.

Setting up the nursery has helped us stay positive and more active in the adoption process.

It has also given us ways to share our adoption journey and the love we have in our home and hearts with family and friends through photos and updates.

As we hear words of encouragement and support from those close to us as well as individuals from around the country, we are reminded daily about how adoption has touched so many people’s lives.

What we joked about as being “weird” a couple weeks ago has become our new normal.

We have nested with the nursery and our once empty room is now full—full of dreams, hope, hard work, prayers and love.

Chris and Troy have since gone on to adopt their daughter and are now adoptive parents. 

Do you have an open adoption story? Email us any time or find out more about how to share it with our community.

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