November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and I have a friend who is guest blogging to share her experiences and blessings through adoption! Read more and be blessed.

 

 

How to Help Young Children Prepare for Gaining a Sibling Through Adoption

 

We began our adoption adventure when our kids were 3 years, 20 months, and 6 months. We had committed to opening our hearts and home to a child who needed a family, and after a lot of prayer, we knew the time had come. It was a very long 18 months before our son came home, but that period was the beginning of us learning how to help young children prepare for gaining a sibling through adoption.

When we adopted again, last year, we had five children, aged six and under. The dynamic shifted slightly, as we knew that seeing the adoption process could be challenging for our son. Our understanding of helping our children in this process grew.

 

5 Ways To Help Young Children Prepare For Gaining A Sibling Through Adoption GUEST POST BY NAOMI OF LIVING OUT 127 Christian Adoption Blog Post Biblical Adoption

 

One of the most frequent questions I have been asked is, “How did you adopt when your other children were so young?” The answer is simple: we followed the same steps as anyone else interested in adopting!

Instead of seeing their age as a hindrance or concern, we listened for the leading of Holy Spirit, and then did our best to prepare them in age-appropriate ways.

In our experience, there were 5 ways to help young children prepare for gaining a sibling through adoption:

 

 

How to Help Young Children Prepare for Gaining a Sibling Through Adoption
1. Keep Lines of Communication Open

Every child has a voice, and they have an innate need to know they are heard. By reassuring your children that those lines of communication are open, you instill in them the ability to come to you. During times of transition and change, it is normal for a child to feel overwhelmed or frightened. Changes in circumstances and family dynamics can produce stress and frustration.

It is imperative that children feel safe coming to their parents to discuss these things. Being able to express appropriate frustration with situations inhibits bitterness from developing towards a new sibling.

 

 

How to Help Young Children Prepare for Gaining a Sibling Through Adoption
2. Always Tell the Truth in Age-Appropriate Ways

There can be a tendency to want to romanticize or criminalize adoption, and the people involved. Avoid this at all costs. Instead, always speak the truth in age-appropriate ways. Remember that the child coming into your family has their own story and history – they have experienced grief, trauma, and loss. Yes, even if you bring them directly home from the hospital!

Acknowledging that, as a family, you are going to walk through healing with your child is critical. Unity in a family creates felt safety for all children, and that is crucial for bonding and attachment.

 

 

How to Help Young Children Prepare for Gaining a Sibling Through Adoption
3. Teach Children to Appreciate Differences

Teaching children the importance and beauty of diversity is an honor! One of my favorite sayings is, “Love is not colorblind – it’s color rich!”

Love acknowledges and appreciates differences in race, culture, appearance, history, biology, ability, and personality. Even before adopting, begin introducing books, shows, and toys that reflect individuals who differ from your family. If you know you are adopting a child from another culture, take the time to introduce some of the language, foods, and traditions to your children.

 

 

How to Help Young Children Prepare for Gaining a Sibling Through Adoption
4. Establish Routine Connection

When a child first transitions into a home, the focus is rightfully on that child and their needs. It takes time for the parents and child to learn about one another, and deal with the realities of bonding, finding care providers, and making sure the immediate needs of the child are met. Having already established times of connection with your other children provides security during a season full of change.

Every young child – whether biological or adopted – needs to experience the love, affection, and attention of their parents daily! Practice ways of establishing a routine connection with your children, so that in times of transition and/or crisis, you have a routine to fall back on!


 

How to Help Young Children Prepare for Gaining a Sibling Through Adoption
5. Seek God Together

5 Ways to Help Young Children Prepare For Gaining A Sibling Through Adoption Christ Centered Mama Christian Motherhood Biblical Adoption Living Out 127

This may seem like the most obvious, and least impactful, but I assure you, it is the most critical. Everything else I’ve written must be founded on the truth of God’s Word, the depth of His love, and the immenseness of His grace.

When we seek God together, He brings us into unity with Him and each other. We lead our children, by example, to the throne of grace. We seek Him – not just His will, His provision, or His answers – but Him, resting in His presence and allowing His love to transform us, so that we can walk fully in it.

And, we teach our children that there are needs only He can meet, hurts only He can heal, and answers only He can give.

Check out this article on How To Hear God’s Voice.

 

Together, we pursue the Lover of our souls – the One who adopted each of us into His family.

 

 

What about you?

Have you been considering adoption? Would you like more information on starting the process? How did you prepare your children for their sibling’s arrival? We would love to hear from you!

 

 

Guest Post from Naomi From Living Out 127

Naomi of Living Out 127 Christian Adoption Blog Post Christ Centered Mama Christian Motherhood

Naomi loves Jesus. She is married to her best friend, John. They have six amazing, beautiful kids, two of whom have been adopted from the foster care system. Naomi homeschools their tribe of world changers. She is a type-A, list-making, change-fearing girl living an adventure that demands flexibility, spontaneity, and constant change! Through her words, she prays you’ll find something that points your heart to the Dream Giver and the Author of each of our stories – Jesus.

Naomi is the author of Don’t Waste Your Wait: Embracing the Journey of Bringing Your Child Home. She writes over at her site, Living Out 127, and has done a number of speaking engagements and trainings for prospective and current adoptive and foster families.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/livingout127
Instagram: www.instagram.com/livingout127
Twitter: www.twitter.com/livingout127
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16 thoughts on “5 Ways to Help Young Children Prepare for Gaining a Sibling Through Adoption”

  1. I love this! Fostering, adoption, and mentoring are my favorite ministries to support and advocate for, so I am linking to this, in one of my posts and beside a picture of an album at Grandma Mary Martha!

  2. This is such an important topic! I often talk to parents about ensuring they preparing the children currently in their home for the new addition joining the family. Putting in the work prior to the adoption really helps! Great tips.

      1. Melissa, thank you for making that an area of focus in your ministry! It is something I feel needs more attention during adoption processes! By preparing and equipping every member of the family, we can help ALL of our children walk through healing!

  3. First of all, GOD BLESS YOU for carrying out such a significant mission of adoption! This is such an important topic to share for all those parents who need insight and wisdom in preparing children for a new sibling and cultivating a united and faithful larger family.

    I am going to share this on my page. SO helpful. Thank you for offering your experience and wisdom!

    1. Thank you, Christine! He has definitely blessed us beyond anything we could have asked or imagined!

      I hope that those you share this with would find encouragement for the adventure ahead of them! Adoption is beautiful and hard! Taking the time to prepare our hearts, home, and family is so important!

      My site has a number of posts on the topics of adoption and faith that may also be beneficial!

      Thanks, again, for taking the time to read and comment here!

  4. I will be sharing this with a very dear friend who just got a call this week that there is a mother who wants to meet with her and her husband. Their daughter is 7 and we have been praying that God would match a child to their family. What a timely and helpful post. Thank you!

    1. That is wonderful that they are so willing to help a child and mother who are in a tough place. I am so inspired by my fellow Christian sisters and brothers who have adoption so near and dear to their hearts. I hope to adopt one day when we have a house with another bedroom! 🙂

    2. Tracy, I will be praying for your friend and her family as they navigate this adventure! You are a precious friend, searching out and sharing resources! When we began our adoption process, my heart was so encouraged by those who were willing to reach out to me – especially when it was evident they’d spent time and energy trying to help find the resources we needed!

      Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing with your friend!

  5. Wow! Those are some truly amazing tips to prepare the kids. We haven’t adopted yet, but we want to. Bringing our second son home was a bit of a challenge and I can only guess it will be another when we decide to adopt. Having those tips in hand will make the process a lot easier and smoother for the kids! Thanks for sharing this, Naomi!

    1. Thank you, Isabel! So grateful to hear this was timely encouragement! The true gift of preparing our children is it doesn’t only help them, it helps the child we bring into our families! When we walk through healing in love with a child who has joined our family by adoption, we can do it in unity – and it is a beautiful, powerful thing!

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