Whether you’re adopting an infant or an older child domestically or internationally, adjustment periods are natural for everyone. Ease your little one into the new home by taking steps that will reassure the newest member of your family she is welcome, safe and loved. The secret is in minimizing her “newcomer” status and helping her find her special branch in your family tree.
The Adjustment Period: 4 Ways Parents Can Help Adopted Children
Soothing Bedroom Decor
Regardless of your adopted child’s age, the goal is to decorate a bedroom or nursery that’s soothing, not stimulating. As Shannon Greer points out in her article “Helping Adopted Kids Adjust” for Parents Magazine, bright colors and cheerful patterns can be overwhelming. If your adopted child is accustomed to sterile surroundings, she may have sensory trouble processing a brighter, busier room. Create a design theme and color scheme using muted, low-key hues and subtle patterns.
Family Book & Blog
Assemble an adoption book for your child that documents the special journey the whole family experienced. In an article for Rainbowkids.com, Crystal Killion recommends including pictures and keepsakes that will answer questions for your adopted child about where she came from. The visuals will cultivate a sense of belonging with the family she has now. You can also share you story online by starting a family blog for special memories and milestones that you’ll never want to forget.
Safety & Protection
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, infants and youth are more affected by identity theft than senior citizens. A child’s credit history is flawless, which makes them prime targets for identity thieves. Prepare for her future and establish a solid plan that protects your child from identity theft. Start by shopping for a junior identity protection service that provides threat detection, alerts and credit activity monitoring that signal identity theft. Additionally, Edward Leonard, the Franklin County Treasurer in Columbus, Ohio, highlights preventative measures, such not carrying your child’s social security card with you and verifying that SSN information is absolutely necessary before giving it out.
Adoption can be a taboo subject, unless you’re open and honest. Adoptees could live their entire lives believing they were biologically part of their family and feel devastated and betrayed when they learn the truth. Whether you’re a multi-ethnic family or not, don’t hide adoption. In an Examiner.com review of Sherrie Eldrige’s book “Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew,” follow this valuable advice — be open and up front about adoption, rather than keep it a secret. That’s not to say that you should share your child’s adoption story with the world. That is her story to tell. Be proud that your family is an adoptive family, and that your little one is a special blessing.
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