You always wanted to adopt, and now you've become a foster parent. Adoption is in the future for you, but you have to wait a period of time before adoption is allowed.
During that waiting period, you want to make sure you bond well with the children. Newly adopted or fostered children may not be certain about their place in your family, but who can blame them? Fortunately, you can help. Here are four tips to help you when your children move in.
1. Getting your child home is step one
While the first goal is getting your child or children home, it isn't the only thing you need to remember. You should prepare the bedroom or bedrooms for the children and remember that the first few days are an adjustment period for everyone. Don't launch into rules immediately. Give the children time to explore and adjust to their surroundings first.
2. Set boundaries
The next step is to set boundaries. Once the children have calmed down and are starting to relax into your home, you can discuss rules. For example, if you want everyone to come to eat at 5 p.m., then you can explain why that's an important time for everyone to have dinner.
3. Have therapy, but make it fun
It's a good idea to have everyone go to family therapy together. This gives the child or children a great place to state their worries or fears in a safe environment. It helps you and your spouse ask questions or work through problems together, too.
Every day that the children are in the home, at least at first, you should do something fun together. Whether it's watching a movie or going to mini-golf, building memories and trust is important.
4. Plan time to get away
While bringing children or a new child into your home is a blessing, it can be overwhelming, too. Plan time each week to get away for a short time, like an afternoon or over the weekend. A short break will give you the time you need to consider how the relationships are developing and give you space to relax and recharge.
These are four tips for the first few months of fostering or adoption. Building strong relationships should be your goal, so everyone in the family can get along. Patience is needed, but with time, your household will grow stronger.