How Do Adoptive Parents Prepare For the Arrival of Their Adopted Child?
Adoptive parents prepare for the arrival of their adopted child in a variety of ways. Some choose to wait for the child’s placement and begin preparing at that time; others, on the other hand, start early by getting a feel for their new family dynamics. However, regardless of when you choose to prepare, there are some essential things to do.
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First and foremost, you should consider your own emotional preparedness for adoption. Having the opportunity to process the trials and tribulations that led you to become an adoptive parent can make you more prepared and resilient. You can also take a class or attend a workshop that will help you learn about the various stages of adoption, and how to deal with difficult emotions that might arise during the adoption process or when your baby is placed.
Talk with your partner about your feelings and expectations of the transition to parenting a child who has been up for adoption. Your relationship will be crucial in helping your adopted child adjust to his or her new family.
Create a welcome home checklist: Once you have a feel for your family’s dynamics, you can put together a list of everything that needs to be done to get ready for your baby’s arrival. This will help you stay on track and keep you from being overwhelmed with the amount of work ahead of you.
Read books about adoption and parenting: There are a lot of adoption and parenting books out there that can help you prepare for the challenges of parenting an adopted child. This can help you prepare for things like dealing with attachment issues and learning how to respond to temper tantrums.
Find a support group: There are many groups for adoptive parents that you can join online and in person. This can be a great way to get advice and tips from other parents who have been through the same things as you.
Research your child’s culture: If your child is from another country, it is important to learn about his or her native culture and heritage. This will help you understand your child’s cultural background and help him or her self-identify. It is also good to educate your child about her birth parents, if possible so that they will feel more connected to their roots and origins.
Talk with your adopted child about her or his feelings: A lot of children are nervous about their placement, and this can be a tough part of the adoption journey. You can help your adopted child by reassuring her that she is a special part of your family and will always be loved.
Meet your child’s caregiver: Often, it is helpful to meet the foster care or orphanage director that your child will be living with. This will give your child a chance to share his or her feelings with a neutral third party and help them prepare for a transition to their new family.