Bringing Home an Infant
Many families have varying ideas about adoption. It can create tension between family members and the new child. While the adoptive parents are the ones who really have to view the adopted child as their own, other members of the family will also have an impact on this child’s life.
Adopting an infant can be most like bringing home a baby that you gave birth to. They are too young to understand the adoption process but you can present them to the rest of your family. Hold a coming home party when the adoption is final. This gives others a chance to meet the new addition and learn to bond with them.
Many births are declared through religious ceremonies. In the Christian faith, there is a christening. Invite family and friends to see you bond with your new child in the presence of a higher authority. Seeing your commitment to the child can inspire others in your family to do the same.
Bringing Home an Older Child
Older children who are adopted understand what is going on. They may also feel apprehension at the thought of going to another home. If they have ever been in foster care or had an adoption fall through, they will certainly feel that the same may happen again no matter what your assurances.
Talk to your birth children if you have any. Let them know that they will have another brother or sister but that they are coming through adoption and not birth. Impress upon them that all family doesn’t have to be blood related to be loved.
Listen to their questions and answer any concerns they may have. It can be scary for them too. They may wonder about their place in the family if another comes. Assure them that there is enough love to go around.
Talk to your adopted child. Ask them about their fears and misgivings. Show them pictures of their new family. Give them honest answers to their questions. Discuss what you expect of them.
Try meeting in a neutral place like the park or playground for the first meeting with your other children. The pressure is off of them and you and the children can communicate on their own terms. Meeting like this a couple of times before the child comes home with you, can help increase the comfort level and make moving in a little easier.