Around 7 million adoptees are living in the U.S., and approximately 140,000 are adopted each year. Adopting children into your home is a meaningful commitment, but this change comes with a significant adjustment for both the at-home family and the newly adopted. For example, VeryWell Mind states that adopted children are more vulnerable to mental health issues, which means that welcoming them necessitates sensitivity.
If you’re concerned about making sure that your kids can have an easier transition into
your home, then here are some things that may help.
Allow your child to adapt at their own pace
Things can be particularly overwhelming for children who are suddenly integrated into such an intimate set-up as a home. When there are established routines and dynamics that they’re suddenly thrust into, then it’s important to understand that it can take some time for them to warm up. Take it slow and allow your children to ease into their new lives at their own pace. KidsHealth suggests easing the transition by learning what’s familiar to your children, as well as their daily routine, likes, and dislikes.
Adjusting to what’s familiar to them, such as serving food they like and keeping routines consistent, can allow your children to feel safe and loved in their new home. You also want to maintain the appropriate space so that your children don’t feel smothered or overwhelmed by the attention.
Let them know they belong
Kids may find it difficult to integrate themselves into the family, which is why you must be proactive in making them feel like they belong. Some ways that you can facilitate this adjustment period are by allowing them to feel involved and supported so that you establish a sense of trust. Let your kids know they are valuable members of the family by inviting them to be involved in tasks like cooking and decorating — simple activities that can help them spend time with the family. Take this opportunity to touch on light conversations and allow them to share their thoughts and experiences with members of the family beyond yourself.
Most importantly, make sure you allow your kids to know that you’re there to support them. This way, your child can speak honestly without worrying about anyone else.
Undergoing the process of adoption can significantly change your home life and even your marriage. Ensuring that you’re caring for yourself and looking after your mental health allows you to be in the best possible state to care for your children. Family therapists can do all this plus teach you things that can assist you with the adjustment process at home.
Fortunately, the widespread availability of telehealth makes it easy for you to attend online counseling sessions, without taking up too much time. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) consultations deliver the same quality of care as in-person visits, largely because of strict requirements for the job. In California, LMFTs need to pass LMFT Law & Ethics and LMFT Clinical Exams, for instance. Similarly, remote LMFTs in Utah must acquire a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy or a related program and meet the state’s clinical experience requirements. They even need to pass a “Marital and Family Therapy” exam. All of these procedures ensure that patients get the optimum quality care they need, making you well-prepared to face the challenges that come with parenthood.
At MAP, we always uphold the importance of nurturing children to give them the best possible life. Our post ‘5 Common Misconceptions About Nonprofit Organizations’ highlights the challenges of pursuing this mission to provide resources for children, but even then, adoption presents its unique challenges. However difficult it may be at the start, putting your children’s well-being at the center and reaching out with sincerity will help them to adjust to their new lives well.