When you’re preparing to adopt a child, the excitement can be debilitating.
After getting your fingerprints taken, going through a home study, deciding whether to adopt domestically or internationally, putting together a family profile or dossier, and finally wondering what it will be like to bring your child home, the process can be quite exhausting and emotional.
Do, here are some key strategies that will assist you and your family as you progress through and ease the adoption process until everyone is finally able to settle in as a family.
1. Play the Waiting Game Until It Is Over
In some cases, it may take longer than you anticipated to complete the adoption process. Pretend you’re doing everything you won’t have time to do once your new baby or child arrives at your house to keep yourself occupied.
As best you can, get your house in order before your child arrives. Stocking the pantry and medicine cabinet, for example, can help you save money. That will certainly come in handy once you have brought your new child into the world.
2. Learn About The Upbringing Of Your Child
It is possible that your adopted child has lived a life prior to coming to you. Consult with foster parents, orphanage directors, or even your child’s birth parents to gain a better understanding of their experience.
The likelihood is that you’ll have to travel and spend at least a week in your child’s home state or country if your adoption is international or you’re bringing home a baby from another state than yours.
Consider it as an excellent opportunity to strengthen the bond between you and your child.
3. Preserve The Simplicity Of The Nursery
It’s easy to go overboard when decorating your baby’s or child’s new room — filling it with bright colors and a smorgasbord of toys and clothes. For your new family member, this may be too much, especially if you are not bringing home a newborn.
When it comes to bedtime, don’t expect to be able to settle your baby down in their perfectly prepared new crib, say goodnight, and turn off the lights. Even a newborn to whom you gave birth would be unlikely to fall asleep in a brand new crib on his or her first night of life alone.
A baby or child who has recently been separated from the world they are familiar with requires comfort and closeness from their caregivers and family.
Temporarily moving the crib into your bedroom or placing a mattress or daybed in your child’s room will help to ease the transition and ensure that your child is safe.
4. Be Prepared For An Evolving Relationship If You’re In Touch With The Birth Parents
If you’ve adopted your child domestically, you may be able to maintain some level of communication with the child’s birth parents.
Some planning may have gone into how that relationship will function in advance, including how many letters will be exchanged, whether or not phone calls and visits will be made, and so forth.
Recognize and be sensitive to the feelings of the birth parent(s). They, too, are getting used to the change.
5. Pretend Like Nothing Is Going On For That Day
The moment your child returns home, you’ll be ecstatic. However, you may want to postpone the big celebration for a while because parties can be overwhelming for a child who has recently become a member of your family.
In the beginning, keep celebrations to a minimum in order to better serve your child’s needs. For a toddler, attending a large party can be extremely stressful.
Keep the celebrations low-key at first, especially during the first few weeks after returning home, to avoid overwhelming your child.
A short, mellow visit from family and friends who want to express their joy for you immediately after you return home will work best.
6. Keep A Close Eye On Your Kid
When you birth a child, the sound, smell, and rhythms of its parents are familiar to them. This occurs mostly because it spent nine months in the womb learning about them.
The same amount of close bonding time is required for an adopted baby, toddler, or young child in order for them to feel safe and comfortable with you as the adoptive parents.
Keep your baby or child as close to you as possible during the first few weeks and months of his or her life.
Even if your child is a little older, you should consider using a sling, wrap, or other type of carrier.
Make it clear to friends and family that they shouldn’t expect to be able to pick up the baby or child, as this could cause confusion for a young child who is already experiencing a lot of changes.
You don’t have to isolate yourself completely, but you must make it clear to your child that you are the parent, the caregiver, and the protector.
7. Encourage Your Child To Make The Transition
Even though you are overjoyed that your new baby or child will be joining you at home, it may take a while for your child to feel the same way.
Remember that everything your baby or child knows is being taken away from them. It is important to be mentally prepared for what may occur during the first few days, weeks, and months.
If it is permitted, send a care package to the child before adoption. A photo album of you and your family could be included in that care package.
If you sleep with a small blanket or soft toy, that can be sent to the child so they will get used to the smell of your scent as well. All these will ease the transition process.
8. Allow Love the Opportunity To Succeed In Life
Despite the fact that you may expect to fall in love with your child right away, this may not happen.
You imagine it will be a beautiful scene in which you sit and nurture your child, and the child immediately looks into your eyes. Although it is possible that you will not feel an instant connection, Initially, you may have a strong attraction but not love for your child.
It’s all right. While parents may not admit it, even after giving birth to a child, they do not always experience the same overwhelming feelings of love.
Relationships require effort, attachment requires effort, and little people require effort. The occurrence does not always happen in a single burst. So, this is completely normal.
9. Make Some Exceptions for Yourself
While you’re caring for your child, don’t forget to look after yourself as much as possible.
Women preparing to give birth are often advised to “sleep when the baby sleeps.” Unfortunately, adoptive parents are frequently not taught to do the same.
If you have a partner, take turns taking care of the baby at night so that each person gets a full night’s sleep at least every other evening.
For a while, enlist the assistance of your pre-arranged support system to assist you with some of your mundane daily chores so that you can spend more time with your child and take care of your own needs.
Be prepared for the unthinkable. When it comes to worrying about things, it’s possible that you won’t need to worry about them at all, while other issues you never considered may arise.
The unexpected is part of parenting, no matter how much planning you do. So, take it easy on yourself, be natural, relax and let nature run its course.