As an adoptive mother, it's part of my life's mission to help other adoptive parents adjust to life after adoption. Here are my top 4 keys that will lead to your parenting success after you've adopted a baby or child:
- Honestly share your child’s adoption story with them.
You can do this by reading them story books about adoption from the beginning. Check out our previous post for ideas on which books to get: Recommended Adoption Books for Adoptive Parents. It's also important to you use positive adoption language when talking with them about their adoption. Also, some adoptive couples have found it helpful to limit sharing sensitive information with friends or family.
- Know that Post Adoption Depression is Real!
After adoption, parents may feel a wide variety of feelings, happy and sad. So, ask for help, prioritize rest, and seek help with daily chores. If you find that your depression is persisting, consider getting some counseling. Have grace with yourself and adjust your expectations.
- Realize that Adoption is not a ‘Reason’ for Every Challenge.
Accept your child, challenges and all, for who they are. Don’t struggle to find the cause of behavioral concerns, but embrace them with unconditional love. Remain committed that no matter the struggle, you are a “real family.”
- About Adopting Older Children
Bonding and keeping the world small for the first few weeks is important. Examples of problems that you'll need to seek professional help for include attachment, hoarding, and sleeping. Children adopted at an older age may have fears that misbehavior will cause you to give them away, so keep showing them unconditional love and acceptance!
If the info I provided here helped you, I think you'll enjoy learning more about how open adoption looks like in real life by checking out Lifetime's free webinar series on open adoption. To sign up, simply click the image below: