Dear Mom: I know you are almost as excited about our adoption as we are, but
Everyone loves a new grandchild no matter if they're biological or not. Bring home a new addition to the family after a long wait like adoption can be an exciting time for everyone grandparents and other relatives included. But because of the situation, there might be a better way to introduce this lovely new child into their new family's life and though it might seem strange at first, it's in the best interest of both the family and the child that is finally coming home.'
As a grandparent or other relative, you want to scoop this new child into your arms and cover them with kisses; however, there are some things that you will want to consider. If the child is very young, they need to bond exclusively with their new parents, just as they would need to once they were out of the hospital. They need to learn to recognize their new surroundings with all of the smells and sounds that they will learn to expect. They need to learn who their parents are, how they sound and how they show their love to the child. Because they're in a new place, they need to begin to recognize their surroundings in order to adjust more easily.
When the child is older, this is also the case. These children need to explore and learn about their home in order to begin to trust that they are staying in one place and that their new parents are devoted to them. Older children understand what is happening to a certain extent, but that doesn't mean that they're not unsure of what is happening. Imagine being put into a new place without any idea of where you were going necessarily or if the new parents were nice and loving. It's difficult for anyone to imagine.
In order to facilitate the initial bonding process, the best way to get started is to allow the parents and the new child time alone. Most experts agree that at least two weeks of uninterrupted time is the best way to begin their new life in their new home. This will include a regular routine as well as direct care from their new parents. Often times, the orphanage setting or the foster care setting can create problems with the child's ability to bond or attach those many dispute this claim. In order for the child to feel secure, they need to have a strict schedule, something they can count on and begin to believe in. With disruptions of relatives and grandparents however well-intentioned they are - this can create a confusing situation for them, one in which they can not form the close bonds that the parents are striving for.
And this need for separation is difficult for the new parents as well. They want to share their lovely new child with the world, but they also need to start creating a foundation for their relationship, one that is purely devoted to the child and their needs. When the parents aren't the only faces in the child's field of vision, it can seem as though the parents aren't very important, like they're almost expendable to the child's life. This is confusing for the child and creates a weaker sense of attachment.
Mom and Dad, while I know that you want to come right over to meet our new child, we want to make sure that we're giving her/him the best start possible. So, if you can allow us some time to bond with our child for a few weeks, we'll be able to show this precious gift just how important he/she is to us and that we're going to be the main people in his/her life. This isn't about keeping you away, it's about creating a sense of familiarity and trust with our new child and it's something that they've lacked in the past. What better gift can we give our new child but the opportunity to start their life in the best way possible?
Don't worry, you can spoil them in a few weeks we promise
Its not a surprise that families come in all shapes and sizes!
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
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A beautiful adoptee story
Changes are difficult. Think ahead of what you can do during the crucial transition period for both you and your child.
A reflection on adopting an older child with special needs
Be prepared to be amazed!
US Department of State Poses Extreme Restrictions on Child Advocacy for Adoption