Sunday, July 1, 2012

Preparing Your Adopted Child To Come Home With You

Preparing Children for Adoption

Obviously, how you prepare a child depends a lot on the child's
age. For newborn adoptions, all you can do is be as responsive as
possible to the baby's need once he's in your home.

You can do more to help prepare older kids being adopted either
domestically through foster care or from abroad. It is hard to
prepare a child for the total destruction of what they have
thought of as being permanent. The child's (and parent's)
temperament plays a huge role in how they handle this huge
change. Some kids will go with the flow regardless of the
presence or absence of preparation, and some will be thrown for a
complete loop. No matter what temperament, try to help prepare
your child.

In an ideal world, the social worker, foster parents, and
orphanage workers/caretakers would play an active role in
preparing the kids. While that may happen often here in the US,
it is still the exception in most foreign countries.

Preparing the Adopted Child Before you Bring them Home

Spend time with the child in person in his environment if
possible. (This is one of the great things about adopting in
Ulraine. You will have time to spend with your child in their
enviroment which allows a smoother transition.) This will likely
be required if you are adopting an older child in the US. Even if
you are adopting internationally, if you can afford the extra
trip and if it is allowed in the country from which you are
adopting, go ahead of time to meet and hang out with your child
in his environment.Make Skype video calls if possibleIntroduce
family membersIntroduce petsTake tour of the house by carrying
the computer from room to room.If your child is being adopted
from another country, if possible, hire an English tutor to start
giving her language lessons.Parents should learn simple phrases
in child's language. For example;Are you hungry?I will take care
of you.Do you need to use the bathroom?Show me.Watch me.I love
you.Time to go to bed.Stop, please.Ask child to send pictures she
has drawn and put them on the refrigerator for them to see when
they get home.Send letters regularly to the child.Send a note to
the child's foster parent or caretaker letting her know something
about you, and how excited you are to meet the child and have her
become a part of your family. Thank the caretaker for all they
are doing for your child. Consider asking the following:Begin to
call you mom and dadIf you are changing the name, maybe hyphenate
the old name with the new name. Make sure you include how to
pronounce the new name.Send care packages, which can
include:Laminated pictures for the child to carry around (family,
child's room, pantry/refrigerator, pets)Photo book - translate
ahead of timeVideo of family and home, if orphanage or foster
family has ability to playBlanket-wash it and let mom or primary
caregiver sleep with it so that it picks up her scent.Stuffed
animalDrawing from siblingsPreparing the Child When you Meet
Her:Make minimal changes at first.Take baby steps-move at child's
pace-let the child lead.Don't change food immediately, although
may want to start introducing American food slowly if adopting
from abroad and if the child is willing.Let them wear their old
clothes if they want to.Bring a small gift, but don't shower them
with toys.If your child is old enough, give them an inexpensive
camera to take pictures of what and who is important to them.Let
child say good bye properly to their old life.Assume the child
has not received your care package. Bring the same things you put
in it.When you gain custody of the child, establish a bed time
routine. Start by following the routine the child has had, if you
know it. Decide if it's in everyone's best interest to start
introducing a new routine.Bring photos/videos from home.Have an
entrustment/transfer ceremony with those who have been important
in your child's life.

Adapted from Creating a Family blog

If you are considering adoption, please contact us
at908-444-0999, or check us out online at

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