Adjusting to Parenting Your Adopted Son or Daughter
1. Get ready as much as you are able to in advance, so you understand what to expect when your baby comes home. Learn what habits are normal for babies in this time of adjustment and what expectations are reasonable. Go through books concerning parenting, go to any seminars on adoptive parenting, speak with other mothers and fathers about their experiences at support get-togethers. Make sure you understand more about how adoption can change family life, particularly about post-adoption depression, and the ways you can help to reduce or avoid it.
2. You may have jet lag if you journey to get your child. You should expect to feel worn out if your baby doesn't sleep throughout the night, and has his/her days and nights confused. Get a support system set up before you return; organize with family, friends or commercial services to come home to a house which is neat and uncluttered and well-stocked with meals. Recruit help with laundry, dinners, chores, babysitting older kids, or taking them on excursions, and so on.
3. Take some time for yourself, your partner, and your other children. You should look after yourself. Be sure you eat healthy food, get some regular exercise, and some entertainment. Don't ignore your marriage. Arrange for a sitter and go out with your partner for a date night. Your other children need to adapt to the new child as well. Provide them with some one-on-one time. Take your older child out for a trip, just the pair of you.
4. Get assistance from your support network whenever you feel exhausted. If you feel bogged down, exhausted and discouraged, or are feeling annoyed or worried about your son or daughter's conduct, talk it over with another adoptive parent you know and trust. Anyone who has not adopted might not be as sympathetic as parents who've been through it. Make sure you contact your social worker about issues and don't pretend things are okay when there are problems. Your social worker will have the ability to reassure you that your experiences and emotions are standard and to provide you with helpful advice.
"I appreciate your style of keeping me grounded throughout the adoption process."
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