Adopting a child can be a stressful path for any family. It can be quite exhausting and full of unknowns. Since adoption not only affects the adoptive parents, but everyone living in the household as well, it is important to not only prepare as adoptive parents but prepare the children living in the home as well as the adopted child in all aspects of their new life.
MLJ Adoptions strives to give every family a unique and individualized education by meeting each family where they currently are. MLJ Adoptions bases an adoptive family’s education depending on their adoptive child’s country and culture, the family dynamic, and individualized needs. It is important to remember that there is a limited amount of education required for each adoptive family (largely dependent on state requirements), and that it is important to keep yourself trained and educated during your adoption process. The field of adoption is constantly growing and everchanging. In addition to the agency education you receive, here are some tips on keeping yourself up to date:
- Join an adoption support group.
- Stay in contact with other families that are adopting as well.
- Attend MLJ’s annual picnic or your adoption agency’s events.
- Read MLJ’s adoption blogs or other informative adoption blogs.
- Stay in the loop with updates in adoption by visiting: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/Intercountry-Adoption/Intercountry-Adoption-Country-Information.html
- Or https://www.adoptioncouncil.org/
Another way to prepare your child coming into the U.S. is understanding that there will be cultural differences. It is important to be aware of these differences so that you, as an adoptive parent, can integrate your child’s culture into their new lifestyle in the U.S. Here are some ways to honor and celebrate your adopted child’s culture:
- Honor the birth family. Allow the child to talk about where they came from.
- Make a life book for the child that contains information about their past, present, and future.
- Place past photos around the house to remind them that where they came from is important.
- Plan in advance for dinner. Combine their favorite foods into your family’s everyday meals.
- Keep in mind that it is acceptable to introduce your child to new hobbies and cultures as well.
- Educate yourself. Susan TeBos’s book Before You Were Mine: Discovering Your Adopted Child’s Lifestory. This can help when creating a plan and life book for commemorating your child’s birth country.
There are so many different possibilities to prepare for your child coming home! Hopefully, these ideas can help you brainstorm more creative ways to help your child feel more at home and keep you aware of what is happening in the adoption world.
MLJ Adoptions always encourage our adoptive families to keep in touch after their child is home, so that we can continue to help with any challenges you may face as an adoptive parent. MLJ offers many services, including support services to help adoptive parents with the post adoption requirements and re-adoption processes. For additional information on intercountry adoption please contact firstname.lastname@example.org