Wednesday, June 14, 2006
With Adopted Children, the Rules are Different
It is time to focus back on adoption. This is an adoption blog after all. I was going to write down for myself some of the things that I have gleaned from books and advice from others, and I thought why not just share it with you all. What I would like to do is start a discussion on a new topic each day over the next week. Let me know what you think of this “advice” I have been given. Do you think it is good advice? Is there anything you could add to it?

Preparing for Your Adopted Child to Come Home

Learn some basics of your child’s language. Learn about your child’s birth country.

Create a nurturing environment for the child to come home to. Child- proof your home. If you don’t want your child to get into it, move it. Don’t expect your child to “learn” to not get into things at first.

Purchase soft, comfortable clothes and bedding for your child. Make sure you have purchased all of the necessary items. Click here for a list.

Begin your child’s Life Book (More on Life Books later). Figure out what you will tell your child about his or her personal life story in as positive light as you can while remaining truthful.

Be aware that your child might reject you at first. Give it some time. Don’t expect your child to immediately love you and want your affection. On the other hand, your child may cling to your affection like there is no tomorrow.

Be prepared that caring for your child is going to take a lot of physical and emotional energy, and you may be required to have this energy at the same time that you are feeling sleep deprived due to continual awakenings by your child.

Find out everything you possibly can about your child when at the orphanage, so you can incorporate it into life at home.

Take a long time transitioning your child out of the orphanage. Say good bye to everyone. Take your time. Take lots of pics. Have the caregivers sign an autograph book for your child. Make sure your child sees the caregivers are happy about you coming for him or her. If possible, bring something home from the orphanage (a blanket, toy, etc. for a transition object). Replace it with a new one.

Try to feed your child a similar diet as was in orphanage at first and slowly introduce new foods. Possible foods: formula, baby foods, cut up hot dogs, meatloaf, chicken, vegetable soup, yogurt, white cheese, oatmeal, fruits, crackers, bread, chocolate milk- carnation instant breakfast

Visit your child’s pediatrician (get vaccinations), dentist and early intervention specialist or attachment therapist as soon as possible. Make appointments ahead- before you adopt. Many times new patients require several months before they can get an appointment.

Write potential daily schedule/rituals. Example: Cuddle time w/ bottle, breakfast food, clean-up, playtime, reading, snack, nap, outside time, exercise time, dinner time, bed time

Diaper Bag should include: Changing pad, diapers, travel wipes, blanket, change of clothes, hat, sunscreen , bug lotion, toys, books, snacks in small Tupperware (crackers, cheerios, etc.), juice boxes, sippy cups, bottles

First few months should be quiet, without a lot of visitors, no babysitters.

Allow at least 2 weeks for child to adjust to time change- helps to bring her outside

Before bringing the child into the bath fill up the bath tub and test the water. Usually kids like the water a little cooler than adults. Don’t fill up the tub with the child in the tub- this could be loud and scary. Don’t fill the bath too high with water- keep it shallow. Use bath toys. Use a bath mat, spout cover and little shampoo visor to keep water out of eyes. You could try soft music in the background to calm child. At first hold all of your attention on the child the whole time. Let her get used to baths before really concerning yourself with him getting really clean. Don't drain the water out with the child in the tub. Do this when the child is out of the bathroom (again, this can be scary). Children are always freezing when getting out of a tub, so get a towel around him right away and gently dry your child. Cover child in lotion. Put on warm fluffy p.j.s or clothes.

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Anonymous Leggy said...
You are always so practical. I find myself reading these thinking "I need to remember this a year from now when I may actually have potential kid home" and then think "I can't possibly keep all this in my head with everything else I have in there. That's the great thing about blogs. I'll have to do is vaguely remember that you have these lists and then when I actually get close to needing them, I'll come back and pay more attention to them.

Blogger 6blessings said...
All the advise sounds great. I think it is good to file it in your brain, but also good to be flexible. Every child is different and will react differently to different situations. There are exceptions to every rule. I guess that lines up with the title to this post.

Blogger Debbie said...
Great idea and great advice.
1 thing I have learned and try to remind both Dave & I of is about attachment. There are some families that the child only bonds with 1 parent at first. I have been told that it can take a couple of months before the child is really ready to have much to do with the other parent.
I worry about how Dave will handle that if our child doesn't bond with him. I personally know I would be crushed so I need to prepare myself for that incase it became an issure with us.

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