Adopting a child is one of the most exciting times of any family’s life. But what if you already have children? Introducing a new child into the family can induce jealousy or unruly behavior, regardless if the child is adopted or biological – but it doesn’t have to. These five tips are stepping stones to enjoying a peaceful and loving home with your new adopted child and the children you already have.
Tell Your Biological Children Before Placement
This may seem like a no-brainer, but parents introducing a new child to the family via adoption struggle with when to tell their biological children. We suggest introducing the topic to the children, or even other immediate or extended family, after the home study. It’s unwise to delve too deeply into the topic before you are 100% sure that not only do you want to adopt, you will adopt. Beware of setting unrealistic expectations to your current children. In the event the adoption is incomplete, it will be difficult to explain to a child why and when they will be a big brother or sister.
Along with introducing the idea of adoption to your children before the adoption happens, it will also be beneficial to teach your child about adoption. Prepare your child for the arrival of their little brother or sister by reinforcing their importance in the process, reading books about adoption, and illustrate the importance of being an older brother or sister.
One – on – One Time
Siblings do not always need to do things together. Whether a family consists of all biological children, all adopted children or both adopted and biological, one on one time with all children is 100% necessary. All children want to feel special, and all parents want to make their children feel special. One on one time will reinforce the message to your children that they are a key member of the family and loved equally by mom, dad and any siblings.
This may be more difficult to achieve when adopting a newborn, but playtime between your biological child and adopted child is a great way to help build emotional connections. After the initial introduction, plan a trip to the park, a lunch outing or something as simple as car rides with both children. This will lay the foundation for a healthy sibling-to-sibling relationship, and show your biological child that the new sibling is forever bound to the family.
Depending on the age of your biological child, your family may already have traditions set in place that he or she has grown accustomed to. Once the new child is settled into the family, it’s time to start new traditions that involve both children. This can be as simple as weekly visits to the park, or as big as yearly trips to your favorite vacation spot. These traditions create a commonality between both children and give them an equal sense of involvement in the family.
Infant adoption is a joyous and life changing experience, and Everlasting Adoptions looks forward to helping you expand your family through the loving process of adoption. We welcome all families to start their adoption journey with Everlasting Adoptions to experience the true miracle of adoption!