When you become a complete family by adopting a child, it is likely the culmination of years worth of hoping, praying, crying, and many sleepless nights. You will undoubtedly feel overwhelming relief, joy, and love when you hold your child for the first time, knowing that they are yours. You have probably been thinking about this moment for a lifetime and are ready to start your forever providing unconditional love and settling into family life. Whether you already have children, have previously adopted, or this is your first adopted child, it is important to understand that every welcoming home of a child is different and may not meet your expectations. This does not mean you have failed, it simply means you may need to ease into being a family. Even families who birth a child and return home from the hospital together take time to adjust to the new family dynamics. It is a normal part of life. In today’s post, we will offer some helpful tips to easing into new family life when you adopt a child.
Allow time to become a family.
One of the best things you can do to become the close-knit family you have dreamed of, is to allow time for it to happen. Don’t expect an adoption to be final, and family life to simply fall into place. It will, but it takes time. There is no set timeline on adjustment and every family bonds differently. We highly recommend refraining from hosting a big celebration party, and slowly introduce your family, friends, and loved ones in small groups. This helps reduce the expectations and can allow you, your new child, and the people they are meeting to get to know each other without being overwhelmed.
It is easy to get excited about your new child and wanting to do all the things you’ve dreamed of right away. But, like the best vacation can be ruined by a full itinerary, overplanning can hinder bonding time. It is okay to have hum-drum days and days that don’t have anything planned. It is also okay to have time apart, to reflect and process. If you want to plan a holiday trip or family vacation, that can be a great outlet for your excitement. However, be wary of planning every minute or attempting to fit too many activities or outings into your days. Don’t worry, life will happen and there will be plenty of time to do everything you’ve been wanting to do, you just don’t have to do it all right away!
Let it happen organically.
We are sure that during the adoption process, you’ve read hundreds of articles with a similar theme as this one — tips and tricks to building a successful family through adoption. We can bet that one of the tips on every list is to not force it. Families come in all shapes and sizes, and no two families function the same way. Love is expressed differently, and the picture of a functional family looks different in every frame. Let love and family happen organically. Treat your adoptive child the way you do/would treat your other children so that they don’t feel different. Allow the bonding process to happen without forcing it. Let your child decide when/if they are ready to call you mom and dad. When you invest patience, love, and time, all the rest will fall into place, organically.
Find support at AIM Adoptions
When you go through AIM Adoptions for your adoption in Texas, you don’t just get a baby, you get a family and a village. We help partner birth mothers and adoptive parents to create loving families. We provide resources and support through the adoption process and beyond. In fact, some of the children we helped place for adoption in infancy are still regular visitors at our office and events. No matter what your concern is or when it happens, we have decades of experience that we use to help you through the entire adoption process and beyond. For more information or to get started completing your family, connect with us online, or contact our Houston office today.