Going through the legal stuff of adoption is one thing and parenting an adopted child is another. The process doesn’t end, and it continues for your lifetime. As the child grows, parents need additional assistance to nurture the child in a proper way.
You might find yourself expecting them to behave and have only needs that are similar to other children, but the truth is, adopted children will have unique needs — ones you may not be aware of. You might recognise them all, but you can positively progress and make things more comfortable with some help:
Don’t Get Rid Of Their Old Items Just Yet
You must have already made so many plans, bought lots of new clothes, toys, and other essential child-related items. You will want your child to wear new clothes, have new toys and do everything right for them. But that can prove overwhelming for them. Sure, they will have a different room and bed, but try not to push them towards adopting everything new.
While you cannot provide them with an old room or old bed, what you can do is not make the environment too strange for them. You can choose to let them use the same clothes, toys or bed linen as before until they are settled. Later when things are settled, you can gradually buy them new clothes based on their likes or buy new toys as a birthday gift for him without replacing the old ones.
Have Your Limits
There are loads of things to consider before adopting a child in the UK, but the adoption process is very wholesome. It is full of excitement and emotions. You will have your doubts, and you will have concerns. Sometimes things can seem scary and intense for both of you. Most children that come up for adoption are either given up by the parents or taken away from their parents.
Chances are some of those children may have experienced neglect or abuse in their past. The stories of adoptive children are often heartbreaking. But it is essential to know beforehand what you can offer as parents, depending on the child’s age, or issues you will face and how you will deal with them.
Be Prepared For Awkwardness
Starting from extended family members to strangers on the road, you should be prepared to face awkward questions. It becomes more uncomfortable when the problems come from children or kids. If you are adopting someone from a different racial or ethnic background, you have high chances to get questions at random places.
Always be prepared with answers and be clear about how much information you want to give them. Know that your child’s story and history are theirs to tell and them to decide how to tell.
Don’t Hide The Adoption From Them
Many people keep it from their adoptive children that they are adopted. Some mean to reveal it after a time and many don’t mean to at all. It is suggested that you be open with your child about adoption from the start (unless he or she is not a toddler).
You will find that they have a lot of questions. Deciding on the appropriateness and time, answer them or provide the details. Your child’s social worker must have given you the book with photos and stories, and you can use the book to narrate the events. It may be there are gaps and things you’ll never know about their past – That’s fine, don’t take it to heart as many families go through this process with gaps that can hide unknown traumas. It’s not easy to be missing information, but you’re not alone in this and thousands of adoptive parents go through the same.
Don’t Forget To Enjoy The Moment
The first few years will be overwhelming with new experiences, new emotions. While you will not have time for yourself in the first few years, you will be busy helping them adapt. There will be times, you will feel distressed or annoyed, but those, too, will not last. Things will gradually fall into place and will be fine. But you will look back at the time and wish that you could go through those again, only this time knowing for a fact that things will be fine.
While wondering how things will turn out or if they will turn out good, you will hardly have the time to enjoy. But it is equally important that you are enjoying your parenthood and feel blessed.
Adoptive children would like to believe they are unique, and it’s your job to remind them so. They will have a natural curiosity to know why their birth parents don’t raise them instead of you and making them understand can be challenging, but it is equally important. But be prepared as to how to tell them. Telling them about hurtful details, for example, will not help them at all. Let us know if the process has overwhelmed you too, or not.