Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Preparing Your Adopted Child To Come Home With You

Preparing Children for AdoptionObviously, 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 HomeSpend 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 blogIf you
are considering adoption, please contact us
at908-444-0999, or check us out online at

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