Adoption is a big change for both the adoptee and the family they are joining. As you learn more about your child and begin to bond with them, it’s crucial to be aware of how to help them transition into your home, family, and life.
4 Ways to Prepare Before Bringing Your Adopted Child Home
Preparing your home can help your child smoothly transition into their new environment and make them feel welcome, especially during the first few days.
- Prepare Their Bedroom
Start by preparing your child’s bedroom with the basics, such as a bed, dresser, lamps, etc. After you have the essential furniture in the room, be sure to fill it with the necessities, which will vary depending on their age:
- Diapers and wipes
- Combs, brushes, hair ties, and other toiletries
- Children’s books and toys
- Desk and chair
- Welcome cards
The list varies but providing necessities can help your child adjust and make their first night more comfortable. It is also important to encourage your child to take ownership of their space. Once they settle in, deciding on decorations, clothing, and other accessories together can help make them feel welcomed and secure in their new life.
- Make the Home Safe
Fix up any broken locks and check that all alarms are in working condition. Adding other items such as a baby camera for infants or child-safety locks on doors can be beneficial additions to the house. Some children who come from foster care may react with fear of new surroundings by running. It’s important to make your home safe, and continually remind your child that they are safe with you. Showing them locks and other precautions installed around the house can help instill feelings of safety.
- Prepare Your Home
Prepare your home for your child by baby- or toddler-proofing it for their safety. Purchasing stair gates, playpens, cabinet-safety latches, corner cards, and other protective items can keep your child safe.
If your child is a little older, child-proofing your home may not be as necessary. Another way to prepare your home for older children is to show their presence in the family throughout the house. Hang their pictures in the hallway and remove family photos that don’t include them. Set out an extra cup and toothbrush for them, add another hook by the door for their coat, etc. It’s also helpful to showcase their artwork and report cards on the refrigerator in the future, especially if this is something you do with your other children.
- Create a Connection with Their Cultural Roots
Take time to educate yourself on your child’s cultural background if they are of a different ethnicity. Read books and seek out any local events or spaces to learn about their culture, food, language, etc. Learning to cook recipes from their background can also help ensure that your child maintains a connection with their culture. Especially for older children, this can help them feel less out of place and alienated in your household.
4 Tips to Keep in Mind as You Raise Your Adopted Child
As you get to know your child, there are important practices to consider implementing in your household. In the beginning stages, prepping your house is only one part of parenting your adopted child. Consider following these tips to help strengthen the bond between you and your child.
- Cultivate a Routine
Create a strong routine for your family and child. This can help make them feel safe and find consistency in their new household. Cultivating a schedule in your home for meals, naps, bedtime, etc. can help to secure trust and build attachment. Routines may look different for every family and child. If your child is older, perhaps establishing meals and or weekly events such as family movie nights or outings can help to provide structure and create connections.
- Establish Permanency
Some children may have a fear of abandonment if they misbehave. They may feel that your love and care will dissipate after disagreements or gentle discipline. Reassure your child that even when you are frustrated or when they have misbehaved, they are still loved and cared for by their family.
Depending on your child’s age and experiences, their perception of permanency and attachment will vary. Some children may need large amounts of reassurance of permanency while others may not need as much. Keep in mind that rejection is not personal. Transitioning into a new home and family can feel scary and foreign for a child of any age. Rejection can sometimes be a result of feeling overwhelmed by their new surroundings. Providing reassurance, clear communication, opportunities for them to be heard, and patience can be helpful in establishing permanency.
- Avoid Hovering
While it is recommended to take a few days off and be readily available to help your child adjust, remember to avoid hovering. Allow your child space and time for themselves. Especially if your child is older or a teen. Privacy may have been something they lacked before. Giving your child space can allow them to breathe, relax, and process their new life and emotions.
- Avoid Negativity About Birth Parents
Be sure to not verbally attack your child’s birth parents. Even if you disagree with their birth parents’ lifestyle and decisions, refrain from expressing those thoughts and feelings to your child. When you show disapproval of their roots and earlier experiences, it could prolong bonding or trust.
Instead, remember to establish comfort and trust with your child. Providing reassurance, being communicative, and asking for your child’s thoughts and opinions can help make them feel at ease.
How We Can Help You Adopt
If you are looking to adopt in Colorado, our attorneys at Clawson & Clawson, LLP can help you navigate the adoption process. Adoption is a wonderful life event and it’s important to have a legal professional to aid you in this journey.
The adoption process can have many obstacles. While you are responsible for providing education, care, and support for your child, an adoption attorney can help you on the legal matters such as paperwork and supporting you in hearings. Other legal concerns that may arise and create hurdles can include legal rights of biological parents and extended family.
Adopting can be a joyful yet stressful process. Clawson & Clawson, LLP can help alleviate these worries and guide you through complex legal matters.
Call today at (719) 602-5888 or schedule a consultation with us online!