Moving from being an only child to an older sibling can be traumatic for children in Michigan. It can be even more so if the child is adopted. Following some tips can help smooth out the transition.
Let the child help you make some decisions
Even if they are not your decisions, ask the child to help you make some decisions. For example, with preteens and teens, you might discuss if international or domestic adoption is the best move, while with younger children, you might let them choose an accent color to use in the nursery.
Embrace the child’s talents
Each person has their talents. Figure out how to use your child’s talents to help prepare for the new arrival. For example, if your child is an artist, let them draw a picture to frame and hang in the nursery, but if they like to cook, involve them in planning what to eat at your first family meal.
Answer questions honestly
Even if your child’s adoption questions seem bizarre, take time to answer them honestly. If you do not know the answer, let the child know that. When possible, research the answer together.
Listen without judgement
Your child will have fears that will not cross your adult mind leading up to the adoption. Sometimes, they may seem excited. This could change, however, and they may express discomfort with adding a new family member. When your child expresses their feelings, tell them you hear them by mirroring their words.
Becoming an older child instead of an only child is momentous, especially when it happens through adoption. Involving your child in the process and letting them be heard can help smooth out the process. Most happily move through the process when the new child arrives.