5 Preparations to Make Before Welcoming Your Child Home
Making the decision to adopt and grow your family begins an often long and involved process. One of the many steps you’ll need to take on the adoption journey is readying yourself for a home visit and ultimately your new child’s arrival. While you are waiting for your match, here are some tips on preparations you can begin making to welcome your child home.
- Have a Family Heart-to-Heart
When welcoming your newly adopted child into your home, you’re also going to be including them in the lives of your extended family. Once a placement has been made, it’s important to sit down with your close family members and friends so that you can give them the details of your placement and what they can expect. While the adoption will most directly impact your life, your family’s lives are also affected and they should be kept in the loop as much as possible.
- Have a Cleaning Schedule
Cleanliness has never been more important than it is now. COVID-19 has already impacted the adoption experience. It is also impacting the state your home should be in when welcoming your adopted child into it. This is especially important and true if your child has underlying conditions, meaning you may have to adopt a more rigorous cleaning schedule than you were previously used to. You and your family should also have a discussion about what your expectations are as far as family-wide cleanliness and who’s responsible for what so things can stay consistent.
- Ensure Home Safety
Realizing that you have a young person’s life to look out for now can be daunting and overwhelming. However, with the right safety measures in place, you can get substantial peace of mind. The most well known way to do this is by childproofing your home with safety devices. Recommendations range from safety gates and outlet covers to anti-scald devices and more. What you need to equip your home with will depend on the age of your adopted child, however it’s always better to be safer and more prepared than not.
- Expect the Unexpected
With children, it’s always best to be prepared for any situation. This is especially true for first-time parents who are gaining first-hand experience in caring for children. While you can put all the appropriate safety measures in place, unexpected events can still arise. These can be medical, personal or even financial, and they can take their toll on you. One of the ways you can do this is by setting up an emergency fund. While the adoption process is expensive and can take its toll on your finances, you should try to find some money you can put away just in case. A low-interest option is to take advantage of your home’s equity so you can at least get started with a basic emergency fund.
- Welcome Them with Open Arms
Your adopted child is now a part of your family. It’s undoubtedly an exciting time for both you and your child. While you want to constantly shower them with love, affection and support, there are also a few connections you should be sure to make. As adopted children, they may need more encouragement and reassurance to feel as though they truly belong, especially if they’re older children. You should also make a point to continuously honor and incorporate their birth culture into your lives. This way they can learn the traditions you grew up with while still having a connection to their biological heritage.
By making the choice to adopt, you’re quite literally making a huge difference in a child’s life by giving them opportunities and experiences they may not have had access to otherwise. Before you welcome them into your heart and home, it’s important to be as prepared as possible, whether that’s making sure your extended family is ready for the impact on their lives or learning to embrace and celebrate their biological culture. Also, remember that this is just one step of many in the adoption journey that helps get you to holding your new child in your arms.