If you are looking forward to becoming adoptive parents you must be excited and nervous at the same time. Don’t worry, that is how it should be. All major life events are complicated both by their joy and difficulties and adoption is not an exception. It is a long journey for which you have to be prepared. These five tips make you ready to face some of the biggest challenges.
What Was Child’s Life Like Before the Adoption?
If adoptive parents aren’t adopting a newborn, this is the first question they should ask themselves. To strongly bond with your future child you should find about his/her life before you. You can talk to foster parents, directors at the orphanage, or even child’s birth parents, whichever suits your case the most. You might want to find out what his main character traits or toys are. The much the better.
If you chose to adopt internationally or your future child is from a different state, you better do some traveling. It will help you better understanding the environment that the child grew up in. This can reveal more than you expect and contribute to a strong attachment.
Keep the Child’s Room Simple
In all their excitement and anticipation adoptive parents tend to overdecorate their child’s new room. If you adopting a newborn, then all of the toys and bright colors are fine. They end up cheering you up because the newborn hardly cares. But if your child is older, all the fancy stuff might make him/her feel a bit uncomfortable.
Your objective while preparing the room should be to make it as calming as possible. There is another thing you need to keep in mind. If your child was raised in an orphanage, he/she is used to sleeping with other kids in one room. The fact that he/she has a new room where he will sleep alone, might quite an obstacle. So, consider sleeping in the same room with your child until necessary.
Consider Talking to the Birth-parents if You Can
This isn’t always the case for adoptive parents. However, if you’re in touch with them expect some evolving communication. This a very sensible area, so you don’t want to make unshakable decisions or plans. However, think carefully about how many letters, calls, and visits there are going to be, if any. Most importantly try avoiding any conflict. Try to get into their shoes, it’s probably difficult for them too.
Keep the Celebration Simple
It kind of goes along with the room decoration advice. It’s a big day for you as adoptive parents, and for the child as well. However, he/she will surely be much more nervous than you are. After all, kids are still kids. They are the fragile ones and it is them who move to a new home. So, don’t throw big parties, don’t overwhelm your new family member on the first day. If there are friends and family members who’d like to express their joy on the occasion, it would be the best to just pay a short visit or offer some practical help.
Love Takes Time
As all adoptive parents, you might have high expectations about how fast you will bond with your child. That might not happen so quickly. Indeed, that’s how it works most of the time. It takes time for feelings and love to develop. You should dedicate enough time to just know each other and then love will come naturally. Don’t get discouraged if something doesn’t work the way you expected. Some do not admit it, but parents who give birth sometimes do not feel that instant connection with their baby as well.
As you can see adoption is a complicated but rewarding experience. However, it comes at a price, at a price of cautious hard work. Don’t cling too much to your ideal expectations, be patient and be prepared for all the challenges that await you during this long journey. If done right, those will prove worthy in a long run. Good luck!