New siblings can adjust to a new family addition with love and guidance.
Preparing for an adoption can be a monumental event for a family. Because everyone will be making adjustments, you can smooth these transitions as you introduce adopted children to unknown siblings. These newly adoptive siblings need your help for a positive start to their future relationship. How you introduce siblings can make your kids’ relationships as good as it can be.
1Prepare your children for the adoption to make it a family affair. Read about adoption, talk to families who have gone through the process and talk about it as a family. Let your kids know that they can express any feeling and ask any questions. This open communication should eliminate the possibility of repressed emotions and anxiety.
2Build up the anticipation for the meeting. Organize a special project to make a card or gift for the adopted child. This should be a welcome gift so the siblings can show their excitement about the new arrival. If you’re naming the new addition, make this a family affair. Get everyone’s input and have some fun coming up with a name that everyone likes.
3Give the kids the opportunity to meet each other before the adoption, if possible. Encourage a quiet meeting in a neutral place where kids can size each other up and get comfortable with each other. As the kids interact, ensure that you’re staying impartial -- you want everyone to feel loved and important during this initial meeting.
4Bring the adopted child home in a quiet celebration. Whether you have everyone go to the facility to bring home the new family member or the siblings wait at home, make it eventful and special. Have balloons and cake. Have the siblings show the newcomer her new room and the rest of the house.
5Watch for anything negative during the transition. Depending on the new child’s age and disposition, you might be in for a bumpy ride or it could be relatively easy. Keep the household routine consistent and balanced to help the child learn expectations and adjust to her new home. Give one-on-one attention to all your kids -- the new one and the ones you already had. Everyone needs to know that they are special and loved.
6Nip any fighting in the bud. Set clear rules about how family members treat each other. Model respect and love and insist that all your kids treat each other this way.
- If your family has trouble adjusting, seek professional help to guide you through the process. With love motivating your growing family, you should succeed in adding a new family member.