It’s no secret that adoption is a long-drawn and expensive process, especially for the LGBTQ community. If you have successfully jumped through all the hoops, it’s time to give your child a fresh start. Particularly, adopting an older child implies that you have to pay attention to their transition and help them become a part of the family.
Here are some useful tips to make your adopted child feel welcomed and loved. Take a look.
Manage Your Expectations
The foster system is broken. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise if your child was constantly moved from one home to another. Moreover, they may have faced abuse and developed trauma. And that’s why they may not feel safe or trust you in the beginning.
But don’t let that make you think that you’re doing something wrong or that you’ve failed as a parent. Slowly but surely, your child will feel safe and comfortable. If they are struggling with the transition, it’s a good idea to seek professional help.
Think About Renaming Them
Some adopted children may have gone through seriously damaging trauma. And their name may be a constant reminder of the neglect, abuse and inconsistency they have faced so early on in their lives. That’s why adoptive parents often consider changing their child’s name.
That being said, a person’s name is also a representation of their heritage. If you want to honour your child’s background, you can add your last name to their existing name. You can do so at the UK Deed Poll Office.
It’s also a good idea to ask their opinion about changing their name if they are old enough or wait till they are older.
Inclusion in Key
Rather than always walking on eggshells around your child, make an effort to include them in everyday household chores and activities. Something as simple as asking them to help you with the dishes can instill a sense of normalcy.
Designate Personal Space
Designating a room for your child is a wonderful idea. It will provide them with much-needed security. If you don’t have a spare room and the child will be sharing a room with their siblings, you should give them a different bed. Allow them to decorate and personalize their space.
Help Them Create a Routine
Creating a daily routine can offer your child a sense of stability. A routine could include setting up a time when they wake up from school, go to after-school activities, have dinner, and so on. You can also plan something fun for the weekend, like cooking breakfast together.
Spend Time Together as a Family
Even if you have a demanding job, it’s imperative that you spend quality time together as a family. From movie nights to weekend excursions, find ways to spend time with your child. Moreover, you should avoid going on long work trips during the initial transition period.
Give Them Space
Getting adopted and transitioning to a new place can be quite overwhelming. To make it easier, we suggest avoiding having too many friends and extended family over. Try to give them space and find their footing.
Nurture Their Interests
Many foster children never have the opportunity to develop interests or hobbies because of unstable homes and negligent caregivers. Now that they have a permanent home, you should encourage them to explore arts, sports, music and other creative activities. And if they end up joining a team, make sure you show up for their competitions.
Communication is everything. Your child may take some time to open up, but they will eventually trust you and feel comfortable in their new environment. You just have to be there whenever they need you.
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