by Stormy Woolridge, International Adoptive Mother 

Each adoption journey if different.

It is your family’s story so don’t expect

your journey to be like anyone else’s.  

Adoption stories and the processes are as different as each family.  Try to be present in each day and stage knowing and believing it has purpose.  Learning from the past is great, being thankful for the past is also good, but don’t live there.

The same goes for the future.  Looking forward to the future and preparing for the future are good but don’t live there.

Be present.

 Preparing and planning for the homecoming is necessary and good, but hold onto those plans and expectations very loosely.  Be prepared to be flexible. Always consider your child’s perspective.  It will help you care for them and appreciate who they are.

Although your adopted child will have more transitions and changes than you, you will have more than you thought.  Adapting to your child is just as important as him/her adapting to you. The saying, “pick your battles” will take on new meaning once your adopted child comes home.  Almost everything changes for them so don’t expect them to go along with every new thing (that would never work if someone did that to us, right?).

Start small and slow.

Pick one thing a day to accomplish with your child and prioritize wisely.  Be patient, it will likely happen even if it has to evolve over time. Don’t sacrifice a relationship with your child just to get your way.  You will need to “let go” of many things for the sake of forming a relationship and establishing trust. Don’t underestimate the power of waiting a child out.  It works and no one has to get upset, it only costs you time.

Celebrate small victories and write them

down so you can look back on them.

It may be just what you need on those hard days. If you need an idea or a resource, check on line.  Chances are there is a mom or professional who has already been there and has already done the work.  Be ready to get in touch with your inner child and play like it is your job.  So much loving and teaching happens through play.


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