Adopting a child is as challenging as it is rewarding. This is especially true for older, adopted children who have often had to deal with moving from family to family before landing on their feet with parents who are in it for the long term.
If you are new to the adoptive experience, there are a few points to consider when taking an older adoptee under your wings. Of course, treating your adopted child as lovingly as you would your own child is crucial, as is giving them the tools they need to succeed. Below is a list of a few basic things that are important to do when you adopt an older child.
- Make sure your child has the right kind of clothing that is suited for each season: winter clothes for winter, summer clothes for summer, etc. Shorts, jeans, light jackets, overcoats are all essentials. Companies like Rocawear and Levis provide some affordable and durable options for the adoptive parent.
- Have a way for your child to get around. Buy him or her a bike or a bus pass. Establish boundaries and restrictions, but do so within reason and in consideration of your child’s needs. Giving them freedom communicates trust, and boundaries communicate care.
- Come up with some good eating options. Learn what your child likes and doesn’t like to eat. Make them dishes they know and encourage them to try to new things. Nothing builds relationships like conversation shared over a hearty, happy meal.
- Keep open lines of communication. The most important thing that parents can do for any child is to keep communication open. This might mean investing in a family cell phone plan so they can get in touch with you (and vice-versa) whenever necessary. It also means developing an environment of trust on both ends.
Everyone with children will tell you the challenge of parenting is worth the reward, not matter how old the child is.