Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | April 2, 2013

What NOT To Expect

In the world of adoption, we are surrounded by books, articles, videos, and stories of what to expect from a newly adopted child.  It is not uncommon for adoptive parents to come home with their child for the first time and expect the child to behave/adapt/react in a certain way.  But what happens when things don’t turn out as you’ve planned and your child does things you never expected would happen?  A Love Beyond Borders, an adoption agency based out of Denver, Colorado, published an article entitled “Top Ten List of Things Not to Expect From Your Newly Adopted Child.”  You can read this article here: http://www.bbinternationaladoption.com/pdf/parenting/Top10thingsnottoexpectpostadoption.pdf

This very practical article gives ten tips on what not to expect when your child first comes home, such as:

1) Do not expect them to sleep well at night just because they slept well in their previous setting.

2) Do not expect your child to enjoy well-meaning visitors/relatives who insist on holding and feeding them.

3) Do not expect your child to be a “happy camper” if you go back to work very soon after bringing him/her home.

4) Do not expect your infant or young toddler to be at the same developmental stage as children his/her age here in the U.S.

5) Do not expect older children to be enthusiastic and eager to attend school soon after they arrive.

6) Do not expect your child to love bathing right from the start.

7) Do not expect parenting to come “natural” if you are a first time parent.

8) Do not expect an older child to be impressed and grateful just because you have brought him to a “better life.”

9) Do not expect your child to initially attach equally to both parents in two-parent families.

10) Do not expect anything! 

Although this list may sound like a “downer” or make you worry, that is not the intention!  It is very rare for a child to have difficulties with all of the things listed above.  However, we simply do not want adoptive families to experience the frustration and disappointment that can set in when an expectation may not play out as originally thought. I would highly encourage you to read this practical little article.  The more prepared you are for all possible situations, the more relaxed you will be, and the more successful your initial transition will go.  Your child will thank you for it!

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