If you are waiting to welcome a child into your family through adoption, there are a number of things that you and your family can do to help prepare for the new chapter you are about to begin.
Familiarize yourself with the culture of your child’s country of origin and find positive elements of it that can be naturally incorporated into your lives together. Because the culture your child knows and the one they are being adopted into will likely differ in significant ways, understanding the differences that exist can be a huge help as you prepare for their homecoming. If your child eats solid food, take time to learn how to make healthy foods that will be familiar to them and easy to include with your family meals. This will not only help affirm your child’s heritage but can also help ease their transition into your family and culture. A fun idea while you wait is to throw a “Getting to Know You” party! Gather your family and friends for a fun night of new cultural experiences! Present photos of your child, explain a little bit about your child’s country of origin, and make food and snacks that reflect your child’s heritage! This event may serve as a great opportunity also to help your family understand what the attachment process will look like for your family once your child is home and how they can help support you in this crucial period.
Finding a supportive community that understands the challenges you may potentially face as you work to form secure attachments with your child can be a key help for you and your family. There are multiple support groups for adoptive families that can be found through churches, local adoption agencies, or your community. These support groups can help provide a great deal of encouragement and insight into how to help meet the needs of your child. There are also many helpful resources available through our Empowered to Connect conferences that can help your family understand and develop new connecting strategies that will help to bring hope and healing to children from hard places.
By assigning individual roles to each family member, you can help everyone feel more involved in preparing for the arrival of your new family member. Whether it’s organizing the nursery, gathering supplies, or shopping for clothes, this is a helpful way to encourage and unite your family. Some simple ways to keep your children involved in this process is to have them pick out items from the store or have them help you decorate the new room! By keeping your children engaged and involved in even the small tasks, they will feel more included and excited!
4. Family Time
Whether it’s just you and your spouse, or you have little ones already, as with any new addition to a family, your world is about to change. Because of this, it’s a good idea to set aside regular time to “unplug” from all the busyness and just have fun connecting as a family! Weekend getaways, camping trips, day trips, or family game nights are all great ways to stay connected and united as a family. During a time that is often filled with anticipation, getting away with your loved ones will help you stay grounded.
As you move through this life-changing journey, remember that prayer is a vital component of the preparation process for both you and your child. If you already have children at home, involving them in praying for their new sibling at dinner or bedtime can be a great comfort and encouragement to them as they also wait. Keeping prayer as a regular part of your day reminds us that God is the one who ultimately goes before us in this journey and because of this, we can rest in his strength and provision.
While you wait, we pray that the Lord, our Father to the fatherless, would bless you abundantly as you move through the process and transition into a newly created family through adoption. We hope that these tips will be encouraging and useful as you prepare to welcome home your new child. To read stories of families who have walked the path you are on right now, please click here.