You’ve supported your child and their spouse through the decision to have children and perhaps through infertility. Now they are adopting your grandbaby and you may be facing mixed emotions. Grief that you are not having the grandchildren you once dreamed of, maybe disconnected because you don’t feel the excitement and attachment to the child (yet), or perhaps your love cup is overflowing and you are overjoyed. Whatever your feelings or reactions, rest assured that they are normal. In today’s post, we will share some tips on how to become a grandparent through adoption.
At AIM Adoptions in Houston, we have been helping build families all throughout Texas since the 1980s. We have helped thousands of birth parents, hopeful families, adoptive parents, and their parents, and adopted children adjust to adoption and settling into new family dynamics. If your children are adopting your grandchild, connect with us for adoption resources and information.
1. Be Honest With Yourself, But It’s Okay to Withhold From Your Child
We cannot recommend highly enough to be honest with yourself. Assess your thoughts and feelings and address your fears and concerns. It is okay to feel worried at the same time that you are hopeful for your children. Taking an honest evaluation of the things you feel can help you better support your child, but it is equally as important to keep your feelings in check and not pass your fears and concerns onto your children.
2. Find Support in Other Adoptive Grandparents
Network and support groups with people in a similar situation can help put you at ease and help facilitate a smooth transition. Instead of fearing the unknown and dwelling on “what-ifs,” you can gain insight into other’s stories and successes and learn from their mistakes and failures. Finding an adoptive grandparent support group can help you ease into the new role and offer better support to your kids. For more information or access to adoption resources, connect with us today.
3. Open Your Heart
When your child adopts your grandbaby, you may find the connection to the child slightly delayed or muted as compared to biological grandchildren. This is a natural reaction, and one that is fairly easy to overcome. Regardless of how your grandchild comes into your life – through marriage, adoption, or birth – becoming a grandparent is one of the most incredible experiences of your life. Opening your heart to let love in will benefit you, your child, your new grandbaby, and any birth parent who remains in the picture. Don’t be afraid to get to know the birth parents if they are in the picture. Embrace your new grandbaby as your own, because they are!
4. Process the Grief
All too commonly, parents and grandparents deny the grief that comes with adoption. However, this can add undue strain, stress, and disappointment. Instead, acknowledging the grief and processing it facilitates healthy relationships and resilience. You may feel grief over the fact that you are not having a biological grandchild, or you may suffer the loss of a failed pregnancy or cancelled adoption. Although the child is not “yours,” the loss can have an impact (and, that shows your heart is open!). This grief should be acknowledged and may even be shared.
5. Be Patient and Respectful
As an excited grandparent-to-be, you may want to jump in and help prepare for the child’s arrival and want to know everything about them. However, most adoption agencies will advise the adoptive parents to keep most information regarding the adoption, birth story, and birth parents, on a need-to-know basis. Don’t take offense to this, as it is usually in the best interest of the child. Adoption typically stems from loss and difficult situations and sharing intimate details can be harmful to the child. Allow your child to make decisions about their new child and what they share, and be respectful of their choices. You’ll know all you need to know, and when the time is right, you may grow to know more.
AIM Adoptions is an adoption agency in Houston that has been busy building families since its inception in 1984. We facilitate growth and unity and have access to resources that can help. If your child is looking into adopting a child in Texas, learn more about our services online and reach out to us today.