Adopting is one of the noblest of acts you can indulge in. It is a long and overwhelming journey and once you set your mind and heart to it you can bet it will be the most anticipated one too. It is one of the hardest work but at the same time most rewarded too because you do not biologically parent the child that you are going to bring in your life therefore your ways of adapting to the child and parenting him or her is twice the work. It is not just about making the kid adapt to your ways and according to your terms, in fact it is more about how you adapt to the kid. From vaccination to providing for the child a worthy life everything depends upon you.
Remember that before adopting a kid or getting yourself into foster caring you must get as much information as possible about the kid not just from the social workers but also from the birth parents if possible. It is most likely that none of these sources would know everything about the child you are about to adopt or care for but each source has its own potential which holds the answers to most of the puzzled pieces of the kid’s life so far.
The rest is definitely a challenge that you would have to overcome as a parent, but then again that is what parenting is all about. Here are some key ways to help you, your family, and your adopted child to cruise smoothly through the process of adoption and its immediate aftermaths.
Adopting in most cases takes quite a lot of time. Remind yourself that more often than none it will take longer than you have expected to wait till the child is brought home. This is the period that is most likely to make you excited and at the same time irritated with the waiting game. Do not fall for this trap, instead make yourself busy by doing all the necessary things that you know you must to prepare for the child, things which you might not have time to prepare for once the adoption papers are ready.
The History of your Child
Brace yourself and find out as much as possible about the child you have set your heart upon. Talk to the social workers that were responsible for handling the child, previous foster parents, and the child’s birth parents to learn as much as you can about the child.
You must learn about your child’s routines, habits, likes and dislikes, favorite toys and games, ways of soothing your child, and ways your child likes to be held, so on and so forth. No amount of information about your child’s past history can be absolute or enough. If you are adopting internationally get to know where they come from and what do they relate to most. This can prove to be a great way of bonding with your child.
Keep the Nursery Simple
No matter how tempted you feel, never over decorate your child’s room or the nursery. Remember your child might not be very comfortable in living in a space of your choice and might be too shy to ask for a change too soon. Once your child is home ask them what they might want or like.
Eventually you can get to redecorate accordingly to your child’s taste and personality. Even for a newborn, try and minimize the bright and colorful effects inside the nursery. You would want the room to be calming and acceptable and not over stimulating. Never expect a newborn to sleep in a new crib at bedtime with a blink of an eye. You must make sure that you tuck your child in, pet or sing a lullaby, say goodnight and then turn off the lights.
Remember even for a grown up kid sleeping alone in a completely new and strange place can be extremely difficult. Be there for them to console and give them a sense of security before they fall asleep. You may even want to have a make shift bed with a mattress ready just for emergency.
Get in Touch with the Birth Parents
No matter how old your child is, getting in touch with the birth parents can prove fruitful in the long run. This way you will open a door for a more transparent relationship between you and your child. Although it is not set in stones it is always a good idea to keep an open mind towards this approach.
Remember that if you do get in touch with the birth parents the relationship must evolve on both sides because as an adoptive parent it is your responsibility to take care of your child and not your child’s birth parents although a degree of understanding of what they might be going through is extremely necessary.
Remember that parenting a child is not an easy job. Biological parents too face a lot of difficulties, challenges, transitions while bringing up their own child. As an adoptive parent you might be susceptible to face a few extra challenges and a range of transitions. These transitions are important not just for you but also for your child. Adapt to them as you expect them to adapt to you. Give them the support and understanding they need which will guarantee you happy and joyous parenthood.