Preparing a Home for Your First Adoption
Preparing to bring home your first child through adoption is an exciting time. Knowing that you are well prepared for the big transition can help calm anxious nerves and allow you to focus more fully on the most important thing: your new child. There are many steps you can take to ensure you’re ready to welcome your new child into your home with the smoothest transition possible.
Preparing a Space for Your Child
Your child will need personal space. Create a bedroom that will meet the needs of your child to help ensure a smooth transition. Stock the room with books and toys that are an appropriate level for your child’s age. For a baby, this means board books, cloth books and other “indestructible” books that hold up to baby and toddler wear and tear. You’ll also need basic baby toys that your child will play with when he or she is ready to do so.
For an older child, consult with the current caregiver, foster care parents or with the child personally. Find out what kind of books are preferred. Ask about favorite colors, characters and hobbies to help personalize the room to your child’s tastes. This will help your child feel welcomed and appreciated as an individual. Don’t forget that your child is experiencing a major life change and will be very overwhelmed. Keep the room simple, without too much stimulation, to help your child feel at peace and well acclimated.
Your child will need clothing appropriate for the current season. This way, you won’t need to add “shopping for clothes” to your to-do list during the early weeks at home with your child.
For a newborn, fill the drawers with clothing in both newborn size and 0-3 months. This ensures your new baby will have appropriate clothing in the early weeks when you’re unlikely to want to go to a clothing store.
For an older child in foster care or who is being adopted by relative adoption, check with their current caregivers to ensure that you’re purchasing clothing in the correct size. Look for outfits in your child’s favorite color, or featuring characters or activities that they love.
Baby Proof Your Home
Regardless of the age of your new child, you’ll want to do everything possible to ensure that your home is a safe, secure environment. Be sure that you identify and secure any chemicals, cleaning products, tools, or other items that may be a danger, as well as any heirlooms or other fragile items that you would be upset to have broken.
Many excellent baby-proofing lists exist online. For an older child, don’t assume that just because your child is not a baby or toddler that these items won’t pose a risk. Err on the side of caution.
Build Up Freezer Meals
During the first few weeks home with your new child, you’ll all be adjusting to the newness of a major life change. Simplifying basic life tasks will give you more time to focus on family.
Choose a few favorite meals and make double batches to freeze and heat up later. This way, you’ll have many meals that require little preparation.
If you are adopting an older child through agency or foster care adoption, you’ll have the ability to take their preferences into consideration. By serving some of their favorite foods, you can help make them feel loved and understood as they adjust to their new home. If you have friends or family members who would like to help during this time, ask for freezer meals prepared in advance. Inviting relatives and friends to help with the food allows your loved ones to feel like a part of your adoption journey.
Create A Life Book
A life book is a special book that many adopted children have. A life book is designed to help them learn and process the unique story of their lives and how your family came to be. By taking some time to make a life book for your child before he or she comes home, you can have it ready to go in their bedroom. You can even read it to your child from day one. There are many good websites and templates available online to help you customize a life book to your child’s own personal life story.
Adoption, whether you’re going through a foster care adoption, independent adoption, or private adoption, will change your life forever. You’re likely to feel some jitters in those weeks and months leading up to and just following the adoption day. You need to be prepared. Call or contact Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor online today and request a consultation to speak with a capable Georgia adoption attorney before getting started with the adoption process.