Raising Adopted Children
I'm still raising adopted children myself, so I am writing this page with fear and trepidation.
My oldest child is only ten;
some days I'm convinced he could be a future president of the United States;
other days, I worry if he'll ever be able to even hold a job when he's grown.
Here's What I've Learned So Far
The longer I'm at this task of parenting, the more convinced I am that I'm the last person on earth who should be giving advice on raising adopted children.
But I have learned a few things, so for what it's worth, I'm sharing them:
Never Let Feelings of Inadequacy
No one understands how truly precious a child is more than the adoptive parent.
And because we understand what a tremendous gift this child is, we take her into our arms with a deep feeling of inadequacy.
This inadequacy is heightened a hundred fold if you have infertility issues.
After all, one tends to reason, if you were meant to be a parent, wouldn't God have made you fertile?
Interfere With Your Parenting
For the first six years, I raised my son under the shadow of judgment.
I felt a constant need to prove both to him and the world that I loved him.
Instead, I should have been more diligent in setting stronger boundaries, something my son desperately needed.
I should have been more of a parent and less of an apologist.
As the old saying goes, children don't need a friend, they need a parent.
And no statement was ever truer when it comes to raising adopted children.
Have You Struggled With
Reactive Attachment Disorder?
Have you adopted a child that you didn't bond with right away?
Bless others by sharing your story with International Adoption Facts and information by
You Will Attach to Your Child
But it might not be an instant attachment;
in fact, it could take years.
My beautiful daughter disliked me the moment she saw me.
When she was a baby, the mere sound of my voice could set her howling.
In fact, it wasn't until she turned three that I felt like she truly loved me.
But we are not called to love only the people who love us first, and that's doubly true when raising adopted children.
When we agree to be parents, loving our children is part of the job description.
If you become a parent simply because you want someone to love you, you are setting both you and your child up for heartache and disappointment.
So choose to love your child, even if you don't feel an instant attachment.
The bond will come, but it may take time. Be patient.
It is Not the End of the World
While in the womb, your child may have been exposed to heroine, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines or serious malnutrition.
As a result, he or she may be behind developmentally and suffer from learning disabilities.
Despite this, he will be okay, and so will you.
If Your Child Has Learning Disabilities
It is not the end of life as we know it to have learning disabilities.
Famous singer Susan Boyle has learning disabilities and is doing quite well.
You don't have to be a Rhodes Scholar to be successful in life.
Heck, you don't even need a college diploma.
So show lots of mercy when raising adopted children.
Your child will find his place in the world and do just fine.
People Are Going to Make Stupid Remarks
And you and your child will survive.
Adopt a child of a different race, and you're going to run into idiots from time to time who will stop you and say in a loud voice, "That child's not yours, is it?"
Just smile and say yes, she is.
You don't have to explain that she's adopted.
You're her mommy, and she's your daughter.
That's all she cares about.
That's all you care about.
That's all anyone needs to know.
Other Parenting Resources
Thinking about adopting - and homeschooling - boys? Homeschool Your Boys.com is a great resource full of great tips for working with - and teaching - boys.
Did you know when raising adopted children, that most accidental deaths of your sweet angels are preventable?
Alive Past 5 provides baby and child safety information and products to parents in order to prevent the accidental death of their young children.
They help parents keep their toddlers and small kids safe with important safety tips to improve awareness plus key infant, toddler and child safety products.
Consistent Parenting Advice believes that being a consistent
parent is both vitally important and
totally necessary to ensure a happy family life. This website addresses
HOW to adopt a firm, clear, consistent parenting approach, while
enabling you to enhance and increase your emotional well-being.
Raising Twins- Advice, support, help and information for parents who are expecting twins, or who already have them and love them!
If you are looking for creative ways to bond as a family, visit Family ABC. This site has tips on how to bond as a family, including fun activities.
Looking for advice on building a healthy relationship with your children as well as siblings, parents and friends? Then visit Clays Relationship Advice.
If you are looking into having biological children as well as raising adopted children, a great site to visit is Natural Pregnancy Mentor.
They have answers to questions about pregnancy, natural childbirth methods, extended breastfeeding and new parenting styles.
DaycareAnswers.com supplies you with all the answers a parent needs to questions regarding finding quality daycare, practical parenting tips for raising children and tricks for successful potty training.
Plus, activities to do with your children. And it's all FREE!
If you're looking for help on raising your baby or toddler, visit Today's Mommy Baby and Toddler Guide.
It provides practical, real life parenting advice for busy moms.
For tips on raising adopted children with disabilities, as well as the chance to share your own story of overcoming a disability, visit Christian Disability Life Coach.
Do you need a shower? A nap? A vacation? You're not alone. Check out Celebrate Motherhood.
The Motherhood Cafe is a parenting website made by and for mothers. Created by Stephanie Knaak, PhD, this website is a place to get and share information, advice and experiences about modern parenting and motherhood.
For useful guidance and advice on travel with children check out Travel Baby Travel.
This travelling with kids website has useful first hand hints on flying with baby, tips for driving with kids and general family travel advice.
If you're looking for a game or a toy for your child with an educational focus that contributes to a positive development, then visit Smart Kid Educational Games.
They provide tips on educational toys for babies and children ages two and older.
How to Become a Positive Parent
Teach your children that good behavior will lead to positive benefits.
There are a number of ways to do this, including using a parenting program that allows children to earn tickets for demonstrating good behaviors and positive values.
Learn to modify your child's behavior by watching your language.
By stating commands in the positive rather than the negative, you can teach your children in subtle, yet powerful ways.
You can practice better discipline methods by teaching your children that it is their behavior, rather than your anger, that has both positive and negative outcomes, eliminating your anger and frustration in the process.
Peace at Home
There are excellent programs out there to help you with this goal.
The important thing is to take a positive step toward positive reinforcement parenting.
Your home will become more harmonious, and you'll all be happier and live in a more peaceful environment.
More Information on Raising Adopted Children
Do you long to adopt more children, but feel like you can't afford it?
Finances are the number one reason many children do not adopt a second or third child. But it can be done.
We adopted all three of our children without going into debt. So can you.
Are you single and thinking about adopting? It can be tough to be a kid raised by a single parent, but there are also advantages to being a single parent.
Adopted children who are now grown can tell us a lot about how to raise an adopted child. Here are some tips.
The first time you hold that precious child in your arms, you may be tempted to protect her from every conceivable harm. But that may not be the best thing for her.
Here are some reasons to avoid helicopter parenting.
Although it is rare, there are failed international adoptions. Learn the warning signs before it is too late by reading this article.
When celebrities like Madonna are raising adopted children, it has an impact on international adoption for both good and ill. Learn how.
Learning about adoption does not have to be a major or traumatic issue for your child. Learn some useful tips on telling her about her adoption here.
Good parenting skills are something most adoptive parents are thinking about while on their international adoption journey.
We truly appreciate these precious children and want to raise them the best way we know how. Read more.
Raising adopted children through a permissive parenting style is an easy trap for adoptive parents to fall into, but if you choose to parent your child without rules both you and your child will suffer for it.
Sign language is a great tool for anyone raising adopted children, especially internationally adopted children by providing parents with an easier way of communication during those early days and easing frustration for their child.
Most adoption stories are told from the parent's perspective.
It was truly refreshing, therefore, when I stumbled across the story of one adoptee who reunited with her family in Taiwan.
An international adoption resource to help parents effectively communicate with their newly adopted children was the goal of one adoptive mom when she created Russian for Adoptive Parents and Chinese for Adoptive Parents.
These programs teach parents comfort phrases in their children's native languages. Read more.
Having a learning disabled child is likely, especially if you adopt more than one child internationally or even domestically.
But these children can be just as intelligent as any other child, and raising adopted children with learning disabilities can be delightful, although they will have their own unique challenges.
Children that are adopted; what's the rest of their story?
What happens to them when they are grown, and how do they feel about being adopted?
International Adoption Facts and Information is starting a new series where we hear the stories of adults who were adopted internationally as children.
This is the first in that series.
Adopted children and parents who are raising adopted children are no different from any other relationship between a parent and child.
It's not biology that makes a relationship, but rather time, devotion and love.
Here is one adopted person's story.
International adoption Mexico is one person's story of being born in Mexico and then eventually be adopted in the United States.
Adopted child syndrome - ever heard of it?
Basically, it's a controversial label used to explain hurtful and destructive behaviors in adopted children such as violence, defiant behavior, lying, stealing and reactive attachment disorder.
If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, take heart; it's not nearly as difficult to raise a child with ADHD as you may think.
But please do think twice before putting him on a prescription medication.
Want to build your newly adopted child's immune system, protecting him from a host of nasty bacterial, viral and fungal infections?
Feed him this healthy oil.
For the best bonding experience in the world plus the best nutrition for your newly adopted baby, consider breastfeeding him.
Yes, it can be done. Read more.
Have you ever wondered what the phrase, positive parenting means? It's learning to focus on the positives rather than the negatives.
Looking for ways to raise your children without nagging or yelling?
What happens if the child you adopt is displaying autistic tendencies? Take heart; he or she will very likely improve with time.
Nobody wants to adopt a child with serious emotional problems, but being prepared for the unexpected is the best way to successful parenting and preventing a disrupted adoption.
Understanding the reasons why siblings fight is a good way to prevent rivalries and promote family harmony.
Adoption books are a great way to explain adoption to young children and open the door for discussion about sensitive adoption issues such as birth parents, and why your child was placed for adoption.
Here are some great books your child will love.
Learning to cook ethnic recipes from your child's country of birth will be a comfort to your older child and a great learning experience for children adopted at a younger age.
If you're waiting for your adopted child to be grown before telling him he's adopted, you may be doing more harm than good.
If your child is of another race, make sure you teach your child to be proud of his race and to appreciate his and other cultures.
When a child is adopted internationally, he must not only deal with the shock of new parents, but also often a new language, customs and even different food.
Follow these tips to make the transition easier.
It's always best to be open with your child about his adoption, but how do you approach the subject with him?
Here are some tips.
Your grown child is looking for his birthparent. So should you feel threatened?
Are you worried that your newly adopted child is so different you won't be able to attach to her?
Then you need to read this article.
As adoptive parents, we often place high expectations on ourselves as parents and it's easy to become discouraged.
That's when it's time to realize you're a normal parent with normal feelings.
A birth mother who searches for, and even comes back to take back a child she has given up for adoption.
Is this possible?
This issue was addressed recently in the hit show Glee, when teen mom Quinn, who had given up her baby for adoption in a previous season, announced she wanted to get her daughter back.
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Pay Adoption Costs
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