The plus side:
- Because there are no other children in the home...............
there will be no division with siblings bio vs adopted (sometimes happens at various times)
you won't be hung up on comparing your new children with your bio children
you are not set in one mode of parenting and can learn new parenting with adoption in mind
you can form a home life structure that is tailor made to your adopted child's needs
- you have the opportunity to start out your parenting being intentional, something many parents with a bio infant don't think of until later, but you have to think about it right off the bat.
- your child has the benefit of developing as their own person without the genetic comparisons of the parents. Parents often compare their bio-children to when they were a child or worry over their bio-children getting certain traits or hereditary maladies. While there seems to be a fondness in this it can actually hinder the individual development of the child as him or herself.
- There are times when parents wonder if they have just ruined their bio children's lives by this adoption and you never have to worry about that.
- you are able to be single focused on that new child and their attachment and development.
- because you do not have children you will need to educate yourself on normal and abnormal child development so that you can tune in to subtle cues of attachment issues and head them off right away.
- you will have to learn to parent and face adoption and attachment issues all at the same time.
- you will need to learn how to "read" a child for clues to how to best parent them.
- you may have your own grief to deal with
- unrealistic expectations
- new parents are not usually all that flexible
- if you have never had an infant and you are adopting an older child you need to know how a child develops and what is normal and what is not.
- the reasons you are adopting an older child will be a hindrance if you think it will be easier.
- Read all you can about child development
- volunteer in your church nursery or with friends who have kids your future children's ages
- get a good book for parenting. Love and Logic or Beyond Consequences are really great and really get that style down.
- Decide on some basics of intentionality
- grieve your own losses and the losses of your future child
- read all you can on attachment and make your plan
- know signs of normal and abnormal behavior and signs of attachment and attachment issues. (I am talking about subtle cues and signs not the extreme ones, you get that in training).
- find a group who will support you, others with adopted kids.
- plan to be home with your child as the main care giver for as close to a year as you can get.
- If you are adopting an older child, get familiar with the issues that could entail.
- If you are adopting trans-racially, love may be color blind, but the world is not. Prepare for that, and prepare your family.
See post for Adopting as Seasoned Parents for the flip side of this post. :)