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When you adopt, you’re not only adding a new family member to your home. You’re also bringing a child into a new environment with new people and family dynamics.
There are the safety, security, and emotional needs of your adopted baby to consider, as well as the needs of any other children you have as well. While bringing a newborn to your home is a joyous occasion, the transition may not be a smooth one. But with the right preparation, you can remove some of the obstacles. We’ve got a few tips to help you and your family through the transition!
If you’re bringing home a baby, toddler, or even an older child who may not have seen many of the typical “dangers” of a home, you’ll need to baby-proof. Covers for the electrical outlets, childproof locks on cupboards doors, and plastic covers for sharp tables or countertop corners are all excellent places to start.
Move any cleaning solutions or other household chemicals into a locked and secured area. Medications should be safely locked away, as well. If there are any firearms in the home, they should be secured in a place, like a safe, where children cannot gain access.
Color for Calm
Moving into a new home with new people, food, sounds, and surroundings can be overwhelming. Whether your adopted child will have their own room or share one, try to keep the color scheme and decor uncluttered and calm. Too much stimulation could cause meltdowns or emotional strain that could be avoided.
Think neutrals or pastels with small splashes of brighter colors. It doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, but give your child time to adapt. An adopted child may not be used to a lot of toys or people. Keep things simple as you get to know one another better. Even being in a home with other children can be enough entertainment and stimulation for a child.
Involve Your Other Children
Your family dynamics are going to change just as if you’d brought a biological child home from the hospital. If you have other children, they’re going to have some major adjustments too. Make them part of the planning process and give them a role in preparations. They can help you set up the bedroom and decide on bedding colors and themes. If they’ll be sharing a room, allow them to organize the dresser drawers, making room for their new sibling.
As you work alongside your children, you’ll have chances to talk about how they’re feeling about the adoption. They’ll have concerns about how it will affect them. They may even wonder if there’s enough love to go around. Opportunities to discuss their concerns will naturally arise when you’re working together to make space for their new sibling.
Stock Up on Food and Meals
Cocooning with your family fosters trust and bonding. You may be leaving your home less frequently for a while. Stock up on freezer meals or gift cards to your favorite take out places. It’ll reduce stress not to have to worry about meals while you focused on your family. This is another area where you can involve your other children. Have them choose a few meals to freeze or places they’d like to get take out. If they’re old enough, they can help with the cooking too.
Bringing home your baby through adoption is exciting, but it can also be stressful. No one really knows what to expect. While you can’t prepare your home for every possibility, working together as a family can alleviate fears and concerns about the new baby. You’re all in the transition period together. Everyone will need time, but you’ll find your new normal soon enough.
Heidi Keefer is a Content Creator for Lifetime Adoption and has 15 years of experience in the field of adoption. An author of thousands of blog posts over the years, Heidi enjoys finding new ways to educate and captivate Lifetime’s ever-growing list of subscribers.
Heidi has a keen eye for misplaced apostrophes, comma splices, and well-turned sentences, which she has put to good use as a contributor to Lifetime’s award-winning blogs. She has written and published hundreds of adoption articles which explore the various facets of domestic infant adoption today.