In many respects, parenting an adopted child is not unlike parenting a biological child-they need love, security, direction, and understanding. Although it is critically important that these children be treated equal to any biological children, it is also important to combat the negative rhetoric and stereotypes associated with children who are adopted. One simple way to combat these stigmas is to celebrate their adoption, for instance through a special ritual or ceremony to help make their transition smooth, enhancing bonding and attachment.
Oftentimes families will celebrate a "gotcha" day, in addition to birth days. The "gotcha" day commemorates the day that you "got" your adopted child. It is important to be in tune with and sensitive to your individual child as you consider these suggestions. For example, while some children find "gotcha" day celebrations special and meaningful, others see it as one more reminder that they are somehow "different" than other children. In that case something more like planting a tree together is more appropriate than a party. It is important to keep in mind that adopted children have a past and that it is important to recognize and honor their past-their culture and racial heritage, their birth family and their own memories and experiences in ways that will edify them as they grow. One valuable tool to help you do this is a lifestory book. Children in orphanage or foster care need links that help them to connect their past, present and future. A life book is one tool that can help provide these links. For more information on a life book see the Children and Adoption Parenting Book Recommendations below.
For more information on post-adoption parenting and support start in the Beginner's Guides, and then see below our Adoption Kit Resource At-A-Glance for more information on post-adoption services.
|Adoption Learning Partners||Finding the Missing Pieces: Helping Adopted Children Cope with Grief and Loss|
|The National Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice and Permanency Planning||National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice and Permanency Planning|
|Casey Family Services||Casey Family Services Post Adoption Initiative|
|The Center for Adoption Support and Education, Inc.||Other publications for download or purchase from Center for Adoption Support and Education|
|adoptiveparenting.com||Website addressing such issues as : attachment & bonding; parenting special needs; international families; and camps|
There is a Great Need. There are over 100 million orphans, worldwide. There is an international response. Yet, the Great Need is made up of little ones in need: A single child that needs a loving family. You can hear that child. You can be the caring environment that that child needs in order to really flourish. You can be a part of an event that transcends human understanding — the miracle of adoption!