Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Making Adjustments at Home

Parents adopting internationally are usually concerned about what will happen after they meet and bring home their new child and what factors can affect this, both negatively and positively. They want to know what they can do to have the most positive adjustment possible, for their child and their family. Questions parents may have before adoptive placement include:

What will affect my child’s --
  • Initial reaction to me  
  • Behavior while traveling
  • Transition to a new home
  • Gradual adjustment to a new home and family
  • Attachment to me/us as parent(s)
  • Long-term adjustments, behavior, and development
How much of the influences for adoption adjustment come from –
  • My child’s experiences and age before adoption
  • My child’s genetic inheritance, intelligence, and health
  • My child’s individual temperament and personality
  • My own preparation for international adoption challenges and parenting
  • My own personal strengths and limits in coping with parenting and stress
  • The support and resources available to me, my child, my family
So much of adoption adjustment for families- both children and parents—is dependent upon the unpredictable interchanges between all of these factors, plus the addition of unexpected issues, both small and large, such as weather and travel problems, political and social changes in the child’s country, lost paperwork, unexpected health issue, and so on. The range of possibilities is vast and mind-boggling. And two or three families going through the same type of experiences may have two or three very different opinions about the adoption process and travel, based on their own experiences and strengths.

There are a number of practical suggestions, however, from adoptive parents and adoption professionals, which can help families, prepare for and cope with many of the expected and unexpected challenges in international adoption as parents head for the “home stretch” with their new child. Most parents and professionals say it is enormously helpful to understand as many of the challenges you may face in international adoption and related strategies for coping with these, as is possible. Their views about international adoption might be summarized as “Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”

Attachment and International Adoption. From Choices and Challenges in International Adoption by Joan McNamara ©2009

No comments:

Post a Comment