While it’s easy to get swept up in the adoption process, it’s important that you’re making all the necessary adjustments to turn your current home into a family home. Because there is so much out of your control in this process, there are a few things you can do to make sure your home, and your family, are ready to take the steps into welcoming a new family member.
Create an Outdoor Entertaining Space
If you have a large backyard, this is a great space to renovate and upgrade for having kids. Adding in a playground is great for younger kids, but if you are fostering-to-adopt or adopting an older child internationally, creating a more mature outdoor space may be the way to go. An outdoor dining space is great for the summertime, as well as a deck to host family events. If you have the space to add in a larger deck, adding in comfortable seating outside of a dining area can be a great option for outdoor movies or events.
Another option that can provide a bonding experience would be a mini vegetable garden, which can be updated later on or replaced with a flower garden to match your home’s aesthetic. This gives your children space to be nature-curious while feeling like they’re taking responsibility for a home project. Make sure to find some that are easy to grow and you’ll actually use in cooking as well; studies show kids will have a healthy relationship with fruits and vegetables if they grow them themselves.
Upgrade Your Second Bathroom
Creating a space that is both functional and inspiring is a key ingredient to making your home feel like a kid friendly home. If you’re planning on moving before adopting, having multiple full bathrooms would be an added bonus. Updating your secondary full bathroom into a mini sanctuary for your child can be a great way for them to feel like they have their own space outside of their bedroom.
If it currently follows your home’s aesthetic, repainting the walls and changing the bathroom vanity can be one way to easily upgrade to make the bathroom feel like their space. A double vanity is a great option if you already have a child, and plan to have multiple kiddos use it at once. Adding in some extra towel racks, or making sure the vanity has handles that can hold hand towels is a great way to add visible storage for daily use items as well.
Some smaller updates could be themed hooks, mirrors, and paintings on the wall. Animal-themed hooks could be great for a unisex bathroom, and making sure you have room for a step stool for younger children can help keep the bathroom in theme for years to come. Including small paintings to follow a theme may be a great way to create a temporary concept, which can be adjusted and changed out as they grow older. Picking items that can be easily adjusted over time are important for the growth of your kids, as well as making it easy for you to complete updates over time.
Addressing Safety Concerns
If you’re adopting, you’ll have to do a home study. You can start with a consultation to see what you need before meeting with a social worker. While a home study contains plenty of administrative items like financial paperwork, reference letters, and copies of your driver’s license, there are physical things to prepare for as well.
Some things that a social worker will look for are working smoke detectors, fire extinguisher in kitchen, fire arms locked securely with ammunition stored separately and if adopting an older child they will make sure that you have toxic substances secured, covered outlets, and secure windows and doors. No matter the age of the child you’re adopting, keeping prescriptions out of reach is key. A medicine cabinet with a lock is a great way to keep these out of sight.
A smaller renovation to your home could be placing anchors onto items that are prone to falling: bookshelves, dressers, nightstands, etc. Windows should also have screens and locks, especially if they are on any second or third floors. These are pretty easy to install and can be bought independently of going through a contractor as well.
While adopting alone is a process in itself, it’s important to remember all the other factors that can go into it. It’s vital that not just you are ready for this change, but that your home is ready too. Being prepared is a key ingredient to making sure that your adjustment, and theirs, is a smooth process, so you can focus solely on being a family.