5 Tips for Integrating an Adopted Child Into Your Family
Adoption is a beautiful process. It allows caring families to share their love with a new member of the family.
Though it is beautiful and rewarding, adoption can also be challenging.
So how can you ensure a smooth transition for your new son or daughter? Here are some tips to help your adoptive child become more comfortable and at-ease after you take him/her home!
This will be a different process depending on the age of the child you are adopting. For example, if you are adopting a baby, you will need to get a crib ready, purchase diapers, child-proof the house, and buy baby toys. On the other hand, a toddler or older child will need different things.
If you are adopting an older child, it’s a good idea to designate a separate room that s/he can have for him/herself. That way, s/he has a space to call his/her own and feel safe in. You can purchase toys and decorate the room to make the child more comfortable. In the end, the things you will need to prepare for will vary depending on your child’s unique circumstances.
Be sure to request maternity/paternity leave for a few months after the adoption is completed. It is vital that during the first few months, you spend a lot of time bonding with your new son/daughter. Therefore, plan to take some time off work.
2. If You Have Kids Already, Talk to Them
If you have other children, make sure they understand the changes that are about to occur. At first, your children may struggle with sharing their toys or having your attention focused so much on someone else.
For example, your children may become upset with their new siblings at times. When this happens, spend some time with your children to discuss their feelings. Reassure your children that you love them, care for them, and understand how they feel. Encourage them to be kind to their new brother/sister.
Always remember to stay calm and positive to set an example to all your children, especially while your adopted child is being integrated into your family.
On the other hand, if you are adopting a baby, prepare your children for what it will be like. For example, tell them about how babies might cry in the middle of the night and wake them up. If they are old enough, show your kids what changing a diaper is like and how to do it. Also, teach them how to handle infants. This way, your children will be prepared to welcome a baby into your family!
3. Keep to a Routine
Routines help to create stability and predictability. While this is especially true for older children, it’s important for babies as well.
If you are adopting an older child, s/he may have been through difficult circumstances. For example, if the child you are adopting comes from an unstable home, a good routine will help the child to feel more secure.
Keep bedtime, playtime, meal times, and other activities the same every day, especially for the first few months. When the adopted child knows what to expect every day, s/he will develop trust and become more comfortable with your family. If the child is old enough and is able to, give them a few chores to do around the house.
On the other hand, a good routine will help a baby too. However, it may take a while to find a good routine for babies. After a few months, you may be able to stick to a good feeding, napping, and bedtime schedule.
4. Spend Quality Bonding Time With the Adoptive Child
Avoid going out and doing too much for a while. Being around a lot of people can cause a lot of stimulation for children, especially if they came from an unstable household. Therefore, you may want to spend time with the child at your home for the first few weeks or months.
This way, you can spend quality time with your child and bond with him/her. Whether you adopt a baby or an older child, these first months of bonding are vital. Spend time playing with and getting to know the new member of your family!
5. Don’t Worry About Correcting Bad Habits Yet
The first few months should be about making your adopted child feel safe. So don’t worry about potty training, ditching the pacifier, or eliminating bad habits just yet. Those things can wait until your adopted child feels more safe and comfortable with your family and in your home.
This may take time depending on the age of the child, but eventually, you’ll feel more comfortable parenting your precious new son/daughter!
Have You Contacted an Adoption Agency Yet?
Adoption agencies can help you complete the home study, advise you on legal matters, and help you create an adoption profile for open or semi-open adoptions. Overall, they walk you through the process of adoption.
In the end, it’s important to choose an adoption agency that has your best interest in mind, as well as that of the child and the birth mother. For instance, Texas Adoption Center is a nonprofit adoption agency that is modern and professional while also being warm and down-to-earth. They help both birthparents and adoptive families find each other in a lovely, beautiful union.
Now that you know all about integrating an adopted child into your family, get started on the adoption process and find an adoption agency that is right for you!