How to Use This Blog

A Wayfarer is a person who is traveling, a particular place, a circumstance, a stage of life, etc. Let's walk the road of adoption together. The journey is so much better with company!
Much of this information is useful for any adoption, but this blog is designed to be a
I hope this blog will be helpful to you in your adoption whether you are considering, waiting or home. I started this blog when we were adopting and found there was next to nothing on the web in any orderly manner. I set about to collect information for myself and then for others. Now, there are more sites for resources, but still not much that brings it all together. I hope this blog will serve as a sort of clearing house for Ethiopian Adoption Information. Please feel free to contribute your knowledge through commenting.
You can search by topic in three ways. 1. Go to the "key word" tabs on top and open pages of links in those topics. 2. Use the "labels list" in the side bar or 3. use the "search bar" above the labels list. You can also browse the blog by month and year in the Posts section or in any of the above as well. The sidebar links are to sites outside of this blog. While I feel they provide good information, I can not vouch for each site with an approval rating. Use your own discernment for each. If you have more to add to the topic, please add it in the comment section of that page or post.
And, please link to The Wayfarer Adoption Blog by putting my button on
your blog so others can use this resource too. Please link to this blog when ever you can and whenever you re-post things (or images) you have found here. Thanks!
The solid tabs are links to my other blogs for books and family. Check them out if you are interested.
Welcome to the journey!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Adopting as First Time Parents

I get the opportunity to field questions from all sorts of pre adoptive parents. I am so fortunate to be able to do this, I love it.  There are lots of happy and hard things to consider when you are starting out on the adoption adventure.  It is important to consider both, maybe because happy is so easy to consider, it is more important to consider the hard things.  This is important because we all want to have a success story and we can not have one without addressing the hard parts of our child's life and the hard parts of adoption. With transparency and open honesty comes healing and success. This is true for all of life. Here are some of my thoughts for those of you who are adopting as first time parents:

The plus side:
  • Because there are no other children in the home...............
you will be able to devote all your energy to your newly adopted child (ren)
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. 
Things to Consider:
  • 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. :)

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The content on The Wayfarer:Ethiopian Adoption Resource Blog is for informational purposes only. We are adoptive parents, but we are not professionals. The opinions and suggestions expressed here are not intended to replace professional evaluation or therapy, or to supersede your agency. We assume no responsibility in the decisions that families make for their children and families. There are many links on this blog. We believe these other sites have valuable information, but we do not necessarily share all of the opinions or positions represented by each site, nor have we fully researched every aspect of each link. Please keep this in mind when visiting the links from this page.
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