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. Sign up here!
Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).
Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.
“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!
Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.
I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.
It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”