Last week we posted the first part of this series on a rather common sentiment among adoptive parents. This blog aims to help address some of the most common “I wish I knew” moments, but you should also reach out to us or your local adoption service if you have more questions. No question is ever too small to ask! We also recommend that you start with the first part of this series and then come back here to finish reading the rest.
Accepting the Unknowns
A component of the adoption process is the variety of unknowns that can, and do, happen. It may be that you do not have the medical history for child or the family medical history. This results in many blank boxes on forms you fill out at the doctor’s office. Depending on the particular kind of adoption a family undertakes, an the circumstances of the adoption, the adoptive child may not be able to ever know the identify of the birthparents. Embracing the unknown and anticipating what you may encounter will help you better handle the unknowns when they come up.
Be Open to Talking to Your Child
We have written before about how adoptive parents can talk to their children about adoption. It is important to be open to your child’s questions, especially if questions come up for children who were adopted at older ages. Being open and answering their questions is a great way to make sure they get the right information, and not “stories” they might hear at school. It also brings families closer, often, and helps them understand their unique bond with you. Questions from children can start early and might surprise you, so be prepared and discuss with your entire family how you want to address things. Having everyone on the same page will make things a lot easier.
Attachment Can Be Hard
It can take time for attachment to develop between a child and the adoptive parents. Sometimes it may come about quickly, other times it may take much longer than you hoped. This is true for the way the child feels and for how you feel. What is important is to not set a timeline or feel that things must happen at certain milestones. Remaining flexible and open to a truly unique experience, as no two people are the same, will allow attachments to grow naturally.
More Love is Possible
As an adoptive parent, you will likely find that you, and your family, is capable of more love than you thought possible. Embrace the beauty of adoption and enjoy the love! You may find you feel a deep love and gratitude for the birthmother and that is a wonderful thing. It is good to embrace the way that love changes over time and the way love changes your family.