Thursday, November 3, 2011

Some Parent Suggestions on How to Avoid Visitor Overload: How to tell well-meaning friends and family you will need time alone for a while.

  • Start early: Spread the news among your family and friends well before you leave that you will need time alone as a family without visitors, and then give a reminder again right before you leave on your adoption trip.
  • Ask other adoptive parents how they have dealt with this issue of time alone after arriving home with their own families and friends, and any suggestions the might have for you.
  • Arrange to have someone you trust be there for you at home after arrival to help with chores like laundry, bills, and meals, and fend off phone calls and visitors who drop by.
  • Send off a group email, or have a friend address a pile of pre-printed, addressed postcards for you, with the announcement that you are leaving on your adoption trip and when you expect to be back, plus reminder to hold off contacts for two weeks after you return so you can recover from the trip. You can do this beforehand, and just put in the dates.
  • Arrange for a group email (with new child or new family photo, if possible) to be send off to everyone during your trip or right after, with the announcement of your good news and the request that everyone wait a few weeks to contact you, so that you can all rest and recuperate from the long trip. Or do the same with card of postcard (perhaps printed in advance) that a trusted helper can mail for you.
  • If you do decide to have a just few important visitors, like new grandparents or great-grandparents, tell them you need to limit the visit time to just an hour or less,(unless it’s after your child is in bed asleep) since your new child needs rest to recover from the long journey and many new adjustments.
  • Ask those most likely to ignore your requests or most likely to be hurt or offended by them to help you by spreading the news about this request for some private time. Tell them they will be the one of the first to be invited to visit with you after this time.
  • Those people, who want to baby-sit to help you out, sign them up for a firm date in a few weeks time or ask them to run errands for you, which would be an even bigger help right now.
  • If there are still some stubborn hold outs about visiting, defer to a bigger authority: “Our social worker says that we must wait two weeks for the first visitors, and then limit the number and time for visits.”
  • Send out emails with photos of your new child to all those eager to see him or her.
Attachment and International Adoption. From Choices and Challenges in International Adoption by Joan McNamara ©2009

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