Adopting a child can be both an exciting and overwhelming time. Not only do you have to get used to assuming the role of being a parent to a child, but your new child will have to adjust to their new home, surroundings, and family. The adoption process itself is long and complicated, so when the time comes to take your child home, you’ll want their adjustment period to go as smoothly as possible. Luckily, there’s no need to throw them to the wolves and hope they get used to their new life on their own. There are several things you can do to make this transition easier for all of you.
Make your home comfortable
Take into mind what your child will consider comfortable. What are they used to? You can learn this from former foster parents, the staff at the orphanage, or even your child’s birth parents. Knowing what they’re used to will help you not only know your child’s routines, but also help you try and duplicate these routines as much as possible to provide comfort and security.
Keep any parties simple
Adoption is a joyous occasion, and most likely you’ll want to celebrate this with your child, their new family, and your friends. A party might seem like a good idea, but truthfully it could just end up being a lot for your child to take in at once. This doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate at all—rather, you should wait a few weeks before inviting the extended family over, and even then keep things simple so they’re not thrust into the fray.
Avoid overwhelming stimulus
It’s tempting to buy everything you can for your child and have it in their new room by the time they arrive. The best thing you can do is to avoid this temptation because it could actually make it harder for your child to adjust to their new home. You can always take your child to the store later on and add things that they pick out.
Give them the contact they want (and need)
Being close to one another is part of the bonding process, especially if you’ve adopted a baby or a toddler. There are tools at stores to facilitate this, such as slings, carriers, and so on. Bring your child with you places to not only help you bond, but also introduce them to their new environment.
The most important thing is to expect the adjustment period that comes with adoption and accepting that it may take a while for your child to acclimate and accept their new place with your family. Give them time, love, patience, and guidance, and you’ll all be okay.