Preparing a Biological Child for an Adopted SiblingDiana Stone
Yesterday on the way to our hotel (I’m at BlogHer), I had a friend ask if we had told Bella about the adoption. At 2 1/2, we haven’t yet told her. We do plan on it, of course. Way before we bring our adopted child home, Bella will know what’s going on.
Right now, there isn’t much to tell her and I don’t really know that she’d comprehend what it all meant. But – it was a great thing to be reminded on how eventually, we will tell her and how we want to do that. How do you prepare a child in your home for another that suddenly appears one day? I think every parent who adds another child, no matter the way, wonders this at some point.
I know we’ll wait until we are referred a child. At that point we’ll have a picture and name, be able to explain to her this is her new sister or brother. She will be 3+ so I feel like at that point she’ll be able to grasp the concept a bit more. She understood about us having twins, so deeply in many ways that she still talks and asks about it 3 months later.
Because adoption takes so long, and children don’t really have a concept of “time”, Sam and I have talked about how to explain about when they will come home. Obviously there won’t be a big belly for Bella to see and feel, so we’ll rely on picture updates and video to show her what our new little one looks like.
We won’t be able to take her with us when we travel to S. Korea. Which means, like having a baby, one day we’ll show up at home with a new little one to rival her time and space.
Reading books, playdates with other kids that have young siblings, and being around toddlers as we get closer to our “Gotcha” date are just a few of the ways we plan on helping her adjust and prepare. I don’t know that she’ll be totally ready, but I don’t think any child ever really is. And that’s ok – we’ll do our best with it. Like every family, there is adjustment time and preparation for a new sibling, so she’ll be just an involved in that as she would have been for a pregnancy.
Diana blogs on raising a toddler daughter, the loss of her twin boys, and their families’ Korean adoption in progress on the aptly named Hormonal Imbalances.
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