Setting your marriage up for success when adopting

Setting your marriage up for success when adopting

Hey you… yeah you, the couple with the cool dog, and the cozy home just waiting on your next addition. A sweet child to fill your home with laughter, joy, and a little crazy. What a wonderful and exciting new journey you are about to embark on! Talking about the joys of adopting a child is so enchanting. Let’s talk about some things you can do to make your adoption experience even better. I am going to take you through the ultimate guide to prepare you for your new monumental journey. 

First Steps

First thing you will want to do is research a local agency in your area – and it’s crucial that you find one you click with. Next, you will want to set a budget for your new expenses that you will be taking on. Keep in mind that you will have to take off work throughout this journey, so work that into your budget plan. Your next steps will be considering what age of a child you want to integrate into your family – whether a younger or older child will blend in well with your family. Once you have made these defining choices with your partner, you will then move on to finding community. 

Get connected

The adoption process is a big deal. It can be an emotionally, physically and financially draining experience. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider seeking professional help to make sure your marriage will continue to grow even stronger. 

  • A therapist can help you understand what it means to be a parent and adjust to life with a new baby in the house (and how having more than one child may affect this).
  • A mentor or friend who has adopted can offer guidance on questions like what kinds of activities are best suited for your family’s needs—from extracurriculars that keep kids busy outside of school time all the way up through college-prep courses (or even grad school). 
  • A support group for adoptive parents might give you tips on how best to handle sibling rivalry or how much discipline should be involved when it comes down to making rules about screen time or sleepovers with friends from school.

Be patient with each other.

The first thing we need to do is set realistic expectations here. Adoption is not easy and it doesn’t just “happen.” If you’re thinking about adopting because you think it’ll magically fix everything in your life or make all of your problems go away: It won’t! While adoption can bring so many wonderful things into our lives (like love), there are also going to be changes along the way that will require some adjustments on our parts—and sometimes those adjustments aren’t easy.

  • Be patient with each other. This is a huge step for you and for your marriage, so don’t expect to be perfect immediately. Take some time to adjust, get used to each other’s parenting styles and figure out how to co-parent effectively.
  • Be patient with the child. The process of adoption can be long and difficult—sometimes it can even seem like it’s never going to happen! Remember that this is a new journey for your family: one filled with joys and challenges alike. If needed, seek out support groups or counseling services if you both feel unsure about where you’re headed as parents or simply overwhelmed by all that lay ahead of you at this point in time (or any point thereafter).
  • Be patient with yourself. There are no quick fixes or solutions when adopting children who have experienced trauma such as abuse or neglect; these children may struggle more than others when it comes to getting attached or trusting their new parents right away.

Define your family’s values together.

As you’re preparing for your adoption, it’s important to discuss your values as a family. You need to be on the same page about everything from finances and religion, to discipline and the importance of fun. Think about the things that are most important to you and make sure that those values are reflected in your marriage.

Don’t forget: This is a time when you’re not only adopting but also building a life together with your spouse—and this will affect how both of you feel about becoming parents.

Getting ready for adoption is a big deal, but it can also be fun and exciting. The most important thing to remember is that you’re doing this together – so take time to talk with each other about what you want in a family, what kind of values you want to teach your children, and how much time you have to dedicate to the process. It may seem like a lot now that everything is new, but once you have kids running around the house or playing outside there won’t be much time left over for planning! Good luck!

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