Creating a family is a wonderful thing. While adoptive children grow up just as fully as biological children, the transition home can have its ups and downs. To create a supportive and loving environment before you bring your new family member home, it helps to be prepared.
At Adoption & Beyond, we believe that some of the best support we can offer our clients is education. Here, we’ve compiled a list of 5 tips to help you transition home following adoption.
1. Make the First Few Weeks Family Time
It’s tempting to introduce your new child to extended friends and family, maybe even throw a “welcome to the family” party, but this can be overwhelming.
Making the first few weeks home family time will help everybody bond and get used to their new living arrangements. Adoption introduces big changes to the lives of your new child, any other children you have living in the home, and yourselves as parents. Give everyone time to adjust and develop familiarity before including others.
2. Develop Routines to Create Structure and Familiar Habits
Whether you’re adopting an older child internationally, or a newborn domestically, developing a routine creates a sense of familiarity and structure in your home. You can build routines by introducing little things that recur each day. For example, a bedtime routine might consist of bath time, pajamas, a story, and lights out. Performing these tasks in the same order at the same time each night will turn it into a routine. It supports your new child in transitioning into your family and creates a safe space where they know what’s coming next. Routines are dependable, and children crave consistency.
3. Be Patient and Ready for Change
Adopting a child opens doors to new and exciting changes you may not have thought possible. Prepare yourself for both the good and the challenging of parenthood. Be patient with your new child and with yourself. Remember, everybody is learning and growing together and finding their new normal.
4. Open the Door for Communication
Communication is crucial to a successful transition. For older children, it provides a sense of support, knowing they can come to you with anything and not be rejected as they may have been in the past. For babies, it begins building that bond to your voice, facial expressions, and touch.
5. Be Prepared for Your Child’s Needs Right Away
If you are adopting a child Internationally, before you bring them home, be prepared for all their physical and emotional needs. Having all the essentials waiting for them will make the transition easier. This includes bedding, clothes, toys, food, bath time supplies, grooming tools, first aid supplies and anything else your new child may need.
Some adoptive parents choose to purchase their newest family member a plush friend or toy to have and hold during their adoptive journey and gives them an item of comfort as they transition home.
If you are adopting Domestically it may be too painful to have a lot of items gathered ahead of time since the adoption process can be unpredictable and the wait time unknown. That is ok, many superstores are open 24 hours and many of the basics can be bought quickly.
Contact Adoption & Beyond
If you’re adopting, or considering adoption, and have questions you need to be answered, we can help. Adoptions & Beyond is a non-profit adoption agency, serving families in Kansas and Missouri. We provide support throughout every step of the adoption journey, for birth parents, adoptive parents, and children.
For more information on Adoption & Beyond services, or to apply for a consultation today, we invite you to contact us at 1-913-381-6919.
Interested in learning more about The Ultimate Guide to Family Life After Adoption? Check out our entire guide here.