During the adoption process, you may have to deal with some highs and lows. The waiting for a birth mother to choose you can cause some anxiety and frustration. Preparing in case you get the call that a baby is available that day is also something you want to be prepared for. Doing some research and reading about other’s stories may give you some insight and comfort.
If you are coming from a history of infertility, you may have some emotions to work through. If you have children already and are looking to grow your family through adoption, you will want to prepare your other children. Perhaps you are adopting a child of another race, you might want to research transracial adoption. There are so many different adoption scenarios and reading up on the specific aspects of your adoption story is important for your family.
Being prepared to parent your adopted child is another part of the adoption process. Knowing what to expect when you come home with your baby, toddler, or older child will give you much more confidence and create a smoother transition. Books such as Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge can be invaluable. You will be able to engage in some actions that adopted children say helped them when they were adopted and avoid some behaviors that they found unhelpful.
Once you know the age of the child you are adopting, you will also want to stock up on age-appropriate books to read to them. There are some wonderful books that will help you explain adoption to your child. There are books geared toward each age, so you can make adoption part of their language and understanding from the very beginning. Children who understand their adoption story and who are shown it as a positive and loving story are happier and have higher self-esteem. You don’t need to get caught up looking for your exact story. When children read stories of other adoptions, it helps them realize that families are all different. Some children are adopted from another country, some come from foster care, and some are adopted as infants.
As your child grows and they begin to read for themselves, seek out some positive adoption stories for them to read. Knowing that there are so many other children out there who are adopted and that it was a gift of love from their birth parents and a dream come true for you will reinforce their positive feeling towards adoption.
Learning about birth mothers and what they are experiencing can also be enlightening. If you are chosen by an expectant mother, being able to empathize with her and connect with her will be a great gift for all of you. If you read about what is happening at each stage of her pregnancy and, if she is open to it, talk with her about it, it can create a bond. She will know you are invested in her and her baby, and this can make her feel more confident about her choice.
There are even books such as In On It: What Adoptive Parents Would Like You To Know About Adoption. A Guide for Relatives and Friends, which won a Mom’s choice award on Amazon. This is a book you can gift to your friends and relatives so they can understand what you are going through. Many times people around you may say the wrong thing or not know what to say. This will help them understand how to be a positive part of your adoption.
Simply click on any one of these book’s covers to learn more and order them from Amazon.
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Adoption will be a part of your life forever, whether you are an adoptive parent, birth parent, or adopted child. Knowing what speed bumps to watch for and gaining some life tools that will enhance your adoption journey is an important key. Knowledge is a gift we give ourselves and share with those we love.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.
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