We know that everyone is just as excited as we are for Julie Grace to be home in America. We also know that there are a lot of you who are excited to finally get to meet this sweet little girl you have been hearing and reading about for over the past year. Although our adoption process will come to an end all of the adjustments and ups & downs will just begin. We will be keeping our circle very small for several months to help all 5 of us adjust to our “New” lives together. We ask that you all please respect our privacy and space during this time. I will continue to post updates and info so you all will still get to see a little into our lives. Our home will not be open to anyone who has not been invited. I’m sorry if this comes across as harsh but our home will be our daughter’s safe haven. We will not have her on display for everyone to come and see the new girl. She is a very shy girl when she is around people she doesn’t know and that includes children. Please if you could read the passage below we would truly appreciate it.
The New Family
1) Encourage and ask questions. Give space to the new family while still expressing your care through cards, emails, phone calls, care packages, etc. Ask what their needs are and how you can help. Ask about established boundaries. By asking questions up front, this takes pressure off of the family and they are less likely to feel as if they are pushing you away.
2) Redirect the child to the parents. This can be as simple as saying, “go give your mom a hug” or “I bet your daddy would like that, go show him” or “let’s ask mom if that is okay.” The child needs to see you getting approval from the parents. It is the parent’s job to train and other’s to reinforce. Also, look to the parents for guidance on interacting with the child.
3) Care for the biological or previously adopted children. The other children in the home are transitioning too and need encouragement and support. Continue to make them feel important as they are often overshadowed in adoption.
4) Read and educate yourself about adoption! Educate yourself on the differences in attachment parenting and then communicate what you have learned to others. Become an advocate for the family.
1) Don’t meet needs or wants of the child. Initially, it is probably best that you don’t try to meet needs or provide care for the child at all (feeding, diapering, etc). This is how a child understands who their caretaker is and who they belong to. To begin with, the adoptive parents need to be the ONLY ones seen as the authority figure, provider, encourager, comforter, etc.
2) Don’t shower the child with gifts. If you want to give gifts, ask what would be appropriate and when it would be appropriate. Also you may need to let the parents give the gift and get credit for it.
3) Don’t lavish attention/affection on the new child. Don’t try to hold, hug, kiss or make eye contact with the new child, especially if he/she keeps reaching for you. Don’t encourage the child to come to you and leave their parent’s side. Try not to bombard the child with attention as many of these children are easily overwhelmed.
4) Don’t compare to biological children. Attachment parenting is, in many ways, opposite of traditional parenting. Trust and respect what these parents are trying to do.
5) Don’t make assumptions about the child’s feelings. Don’t assume the child is “relieved,” “grateful,” “excited,” or “appreciative” they’ve been adopted. Adoption is often a life-altering difficult transition for these children.