There are many different paths to a blended family. You may have adopted after struggles with infertility, then later fallen pregnant. You may already have children but feel you have more love to give. It is wonderful that your child or children will soon have a new brother or sister to play and grow with, but it is also normal to have concerns about how best to integrate adopted and biological children into family life.
Preparing your Kids for a New Arrival
It is not uncommon for couples who have adopted, later to fall pregnant naturally or with fertility treatment. As you prepare your child for the arrival of their little brother or sister, they will need plenty of reassurance. Even if it is a sensitive topic for you, you should anticipate and recognize any insecurities they may have. In particular, seeing you pregnant, they may feel troubled that you didn't carry and give birth to them the same way. Involve them in the preparations as much as you can. Whether with lists of baby names or decorations for the baby's room, make them excited and proud about becoming a big brother or sister.
Preparing Your Family for the Adoption Process
The adoption process comes with unique challenges that are distinct from pregnancy. You have to be prepared for the financial cost of adoption and anticipate delays and frustration as you jump through the process's many hoops. This disruption will not just affect you and your partner but any children you have too. If you can preempt any ways in which the strain of this process could affect your children, you can cushion against it. In particular, you will want to prepare them for the home study, which is a requirement in nearly all North Carolina adoptions. A necessary safeguard that can nonetheless feel intrusive, the home study involves an evaluator making repeat visits to your home to produce a report for the court's review. Be aware that the evaluator will want to speak with your child or children and assess your relationship. Keeping your child looped in, involved, and asking and answering questions is the best way for you to move through this process as a family unit.
After Your Child's Arrival
Once you have welcomed your new arrival, your concerns may dissipate, particularly when you see how eagerly your children adapt to their new role as brother or sister. Treating children the same is vital, and you should immerse children as quickly as possible into the rules, rhythms, and routine of your household. Even with older children who might have more complex needs, assimilating them into, rather than exempting them from family chores and routines will help them settle. If you have any particular concerns about cultural differences or trauma, you should take advantage of any support groups or counseling services your adoption company offers. They can steer you in the direction of expert help.
Compassionate North Carolina Family Law Attorneys
If you are considering adoption, our experienced attorneys can guide you through any concerns you might have. Caulder and Valentine support parents throughout North Carolina from our offices in Shelby and Gastonia. You can call us on 704-470-2440 or contact us online today.