There’s no feeling more amazing than bringing home your child for the first time. Whether they are coming by way of natural birth or adoption – the feeling is indescribable. All new parents must prepare for the arrival of a new child.
At Adoption & Beyond we often receive questions about how to prepare before bringing home an adopted child. Depending on the age and background of your child, you may need different items than other adoptive families, but there are four basic categories to consider while preparing. These are:
- Basic Needs
- Travel Needs
- Financial Needs
- Emotional Needs
Throughout this blog, we’ll delve deeper into what each of these categories entails and how you can prepare for your new child.
The basic needs for any child include unconditional love, shelter, clothing, food, medical care, and fun activities. Having a designated room for your new child, complete with a crib/bed, clothing, toys, and books is a great place to start.
Depending on the age of your new child you may need to invest in diapers, wipes, bottles, pacifiers, and special furniture like a change table and highchair. For older kids, nutritious foods, along with a few favorites you’ve learned they enjoy, will help provide sustenance and encourage a smooth transition.
Finally, having a family pediatrician in place (especially one familiar with adoption), medical insurance for your child, and any medication they require, along with a first aid kit in the house, completes the basic needs component of your preparation.
It can be hard to just get up and go with a little one in tow, however, there are steps you can take to make traveling a little easier. For a new infant, you’ll want to purchase a brand new, rear-facing car seat with a 5-point harness. Be sure to check the expiration date and read the instructions before use. We encourage you to have a car seat check done, most fire or police stations help with the installation of the car seat into your specific vehicle. For older children, booster seats are required in the state of Kansas and Missouri until the child weighs more than 80lbs or is taller than 4’9”.
Other travel needs include a vehicle with enough room for a car seat and easily accessible rear seats. You should also investigate trunk space as traveling with a portable playpen or stroller is common among parents of young children.
Adoption is a financial investment, but even after the process is complete, you’ll need enough money to raise a child. Having a nest egg for financial emergencies is important before you bring home your new family member. It is a good idea to have 3-6 months worth of expenses in the bank, but no less than $1,000. It’s better to have money and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Parenthood introduces you to a myriad of surprises. From suddenly needing to replace a hot water tank to learning your car needs new tires – there’s always a benefit to having extra money stored away.
Being prepared to meet the emotional needs of a new child isn’t easy. Having support in place before you bring them home can help. Support comes in all shapes and sizes from friends and family, to online support groups or from your adoption coordinator. At Adoption & Beyond we strive to support adoptive parents at every stage of the adoption process, including the post-adoption period.
If you’re a resident of Kansas or Missouri and are adopting, or have questions about adoption, we can help. Contact Adoption & Beyond at 1-913-381-6919.
Interested in learning more about The Ultimate Guide to Family Life After Adoption? Check out our entire guide here.