A New Family Is Overwhelming: For Adults, Kids & Everybody Else Involved
Huddled on the cold floor of the orphanage with a bevy of different children of all ages, I was painfully aware that it was adoption day. There was usually one day every two weeks when couples came looking to fulfil some desire; be it a baby to start their family or an older child to add to their brood.
We were all washed and dressed in our finery; whatever that was, and paraded in front of our prospective parents. We waited with baited breath as we were examined, poked and prodded like produce by hands we thought would take us home. That day, I was chosen out of the bunch to be whisked away into the arms of a waiting family.
Anything new is overwhelming. It may be a new car, a new job, or a new family. However it’s not that easy getting acquainted with a new family. Imamate objects like cars are not complex; they don’t have opinions or personalities, although some may think so.
Being integrated into a new family is overwhelming for the adults, the biological offspring as well as the new child. It is a good idea to acclimatise the children already existing within the household to the new arrival; be it a baby for an older child.
The acceptance of a younger child is more likely than the acceptance of its older counterpart. Getting your new child involved in the daily routine of the existing household will be a challenge and it’s always best to let them take small steps.
One thing that should not be compromised however is the rules and regulations that already govern the household. If the pre-existing children view there is a change or favouritism being displayed this can open the door for all kind of undesirable attitudes.
Kids always let you know when they feel a situation is unfair and often show their disdain. Your home may not function like a well-oiled machine, but what is good for the goose should be good for the gander.
Have an introductory meeting with all parties so everyone gets to meet the new child and vice versa. Be clear that the child will be part of the family and should be treated as such. This way, everyone will know your position as a parent and no one will feel undervalued.