A lot of time and thought goes into adopting a child. The journey may be hard and it will test an individual’s patience. Couples considering adoption have so many decisions to make and so much to prepare for. Prospective adoptive parents have a series of tasks that must be completed prior to going through with the adoption. Significant decisions must be made, including whether the adoption will be a domestic or international adoption; if the couple wants to adopt an infant or an older child; and finally which adoption agency to work with. The interview process is no easy task either.
Needless to say there’s a lot of planning that goes into adoption for families. It’s more than preparing a home for the arrival of a child. It takes mental preparation and emotional preparation to welcome the idea of becoming a parent.
Depending on the type of agency couples have selected to work with, they may see a serious delay between the application process and the moment you are finally holding your child in your arms. It’s a lengthy process, and often times it is much longer than prospective parents expected. In many cases, the best thing to do is keep yourself busy by taking care of errands that you may not have time for once your baby or child arrive.
This may be the period of time you use to transition out of a job in order to make more time for your child. This time is also a great opportunity to baby proof your home. You can also use this time to prepare your child’s room and assemble furniture.
Some parents do not always adopt newborn children. Sometimes parents will find that they are looking to parent an older child. That being said, parents in this situation should talk to the foster parents, agency directors or the child’s birth parents if possible. This will help you get a sense of what the child’s life was like before the adoption. You may come to understand your child’s routines, likes or dislikes. It’s also a great way to ease the transition for both the child and parents if the child is surround by some sort of familiarity in the new home. Talking to the child’s caregivers provides you with significant insight.
As tempting as it may be to shower your new child with toys and clothes, you should recognize that this might not be the best approach for every child. Children, no matter what age, are most likely to feel welcomed and comfortable in a room that’s painted in cool colors rather than brightly overdone painted walls. Their new room shouldn’t be overwhelming.
It’s important to keep in mind that children who have been in orphanages became accustomed to sleeping in rooms with many children. So that change alone may be a little daunting when their beautifully decorated room is for them and them alone.
Many people looking to adopt are willing to establish a plan to form a relationship with their child’s birth parents long before the adoption is finalized. It is up to the parents to decide how open that relationship will be. In many cases, parents will welcome the idea of biological parents remaining in contact with their child via phone, email, or letters. It is important to note that you should be prepared for the relationship with your child’s biological parents to evolve on both sides. You should be sensitive to what the birth parents are overcoming and going through. However, your child is your priority above all.
Making the announcement about your new child is an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. However, getting the support of family and friends is a great way to set up a great support system for not only a parent and his/her partner, but for the child as well.
Life will get hectic and you may need help from supportive family and friends. By establishing a relationship between a child and other individuals in the family, parents are creating opportunities for the child to become familiar and comfortable with this new life. Parents always need a little help baby-sitting and caregiving. When a child is comfortable with close friends and family members, it may help the experience become a positive one for both parties.
Taking care of a child also means taking care of you. Parents should be getting their recommended amount of sleep on a daily basis and eating healthy. Having a healthy diet and being well rested will lead to a healthy amount of energy and a positive attitude. All of which will be helpful when transitioning into the life of a parent. New parents should shy away from asking their partner to take turns on nighttime shifts. Additionally, it is okay to seek out help from family and friends willing enough to help.
Most importantly—expect the unexpected. Parenting is the kind of job that will keep you on your toes. This applies to parents with children of all ages. No matter the situation, parents should keep in mind that there are plenty other couples and parents going through the same thing.