Preparing for your adopted child

Before a new child comes home, there are several things that adoptive parents can do to prepare.

Many people in Colorado decide to open their home to an older child in need of a permanent adoptive family. Sometimes these children come from another country where they live in an orphanage. In other cases, they may have been given up by parents who just couldn't provide for them. In other circumstances, they may have been legally freed for adoption through the child welfare system. Regardless of the situation, there are some things that adoptive parents can do to prepare for their new child and help them adjust to their new home.

Keep the child's needs as the focus

It is important for adoptive parents to remember that adoption is really about meeting a child's need for a family unit. However, the child may be struggling with abandonment issues and past trauma or neglect, and this can generate a lot of anger, depression, mood swings, and resentment. As a result, the child may not immediately reach out with love to the new parents. People should take the time to understand what the child's previous life was like and then look for outside help if needed. This could include child therapists and counselors experienced with victims of trauma and abuse and adoption. It can also include adoptive parent support groups who are experiencing similar issues. Having a strong support system is often critical to helping integrate the child into the new family and to addressing behavioral and attachment issues that often accompany the child's move into the new setting. Such support can also help the family answer difficult questions that can arise about the child's identity and why he/she was given up by their biological parents.

Some children who are adopted may have been abandoned because of a physical or mental handicap. In this situation, new parents should research the condition that the child has and then make sure that they have the equipment and medical support set up before the child arrives. Additionally, if the child is of school-age, finding the right educational environment where the child can learn at his or her own level is also advised.

Creating a personal space

Giving the adoptive children a place that they can call their own can give them a sense of security. Prior to bringing them home, adoptive parents can find out what their interests or favorite colors are. Then, they and the other children in the family (if there are other children), can decorate the newcomer's room to be a welcoming and inviting place. If the child is from another country or culture, the parents may want to include items that celebrate that heritage.

Copying routines

WebMD states that another way that adoptive parents can prepare is to plan a routine that is similar to the one the child is using. For example, maybe the child is used to reading a book before bedtime or perhaps the child gets dressed before eating breakfast. Understanding the child's daily pattern can help adoptive parents set up the new home in a similar way so that the child has something familiar to focus on.

Additionally, the new parents should learn the child's personal preferences. This could include being cuddled with when the child is sad or giving the child personal space until the child wants to talk. Some children like to be held a certain way while others are happy just knowing someone is in the room.

Adoption can be rewarding for people and children alike. People in Colorado who are considering this path may well want to meet with an attorney who can answer their questions related to older waiting children adoptions, whether international or domestic, and can assist in making therapeutic and medical referrals to better ensure that the child's emotional and physical needs will be met and the placement successful.