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Help & advice please

(11 Posts)
youarebeingunreasonable Fri 21-Oct-11 15:52:39

My best friend is about to begin the bridging process before adopting siblings late November. I would really appreciate any advice on how I can help her now and the children once they arrive.

Lilka Fri 21-Oct-11 16:22:52

Hi yabu

Adopting siblings is really stressful, so any help you could give would be much appreciated I'm sure smile
Generally, you're just trying to survive the first few weeks and months. All adopted children have suffered trauma, and most have behavioral and/or emotional issues, as well as the grief of leaving their foster family

Some things that might help:
1. Anything practical you can do for her from helping walk the dog to cooking a few meals for her or doing some gardening etc might give her some more relaxing time for herself when she's worn out
2. Being a listening ear for her at any time
3. Follow her lead when it comes to the children. Moving to live with her will be truamatising for them, and generally it's recommeded to move slowly when introducing them to new people. Don't try to hug the children or anything like that without her expressly saying you can. They need time to bond with her
4. Don't ask intrusive questions about the children's pasts or similar
5. Try not to say 'all children do that'. Sometimes they do 'all do that' but adopted children tend to have more intensive behaviors which they do for a different reason than other children do. If she has a hard time parenting them, then don't judge her for that. Also many parents don't love or even like their children right away which makes it harder. Let her know it's normal if she has problems with bonding etc

Some of my family and friends ignored me completely when my kids arrived. A congratulations card or present just like you would if she had had a baby would be lovely for her I'm sure. Sometimes family or friends don't treat new adoptive parents like they would new birth parents, which can be pretty darn hurtful

You sound like a lovely friend, and I hope everything goes well smile

hester Fri 21-Oct-11 21:01:50

I really can't improve on what Lilka said smile

youarebeingunreasonable Sat 22-Oct-11 19:53:41

Thats brilliant. Thank you!!
she has already mentioned that she has fears about whether she will be able to bond with them so i'm glad you've mentioned that- i've been trying to tell her these feelings are normal, but obviously i have no experience of adoption so will say anything to make her feel better about the whole process! smile

hester Sat 22-Oct-11 22:51:42

Ah yes, bonding. The most useful advice I got on this site was, "Fake the love and it will come". It's so true! I'm sure there are some parents who love their adopted children instantly, but I've never met one. My adopted dd has now been with us for 14 months and I am completely in love with her, but that feeling took time to build and in the early months I mainly felt like a harassed and overwhelmed babysitter.

It helped that I also have a birth daughter, and it took me a similar amount of time to fall in love with her, too. Your friend WILL bond with her dc, but she needs to have faith that it will happen.

shockers Sat 22-Oct-11 23:07:51

Lilka I wish you'd been around to advise my friends and family when we brought our children home smile.

Maryz Sat 22-Oct-11 23:22:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lilka Sun 23-Oct-11 13:08:34

Great post as well Mary smile

Bonding and attaching is not a quick process, but parents put pressure on themselves to do it fast, and do it EQUALLY...which isn't really realistic. It's completely natural to bond quicker to one sibling than the other, but people guilt themselves over it, and think they are horrid to prefer one so much to the other. People feel bad if it takes months to develop a bond in the first place (me included, I blamed myself for my lack of attachment to DD1 and I shouldn't have done). It's NORMAL to need a lot of time and to attach to one child before another. Also, the children themselves do the same. They often reject one parent in favour of the other, which can be really upsetting..actually sometimes they need time because they can only transfer and build up one attachment at a time. It's complicated trying to attach to two people at once, whether they are kids or adults!

Hester is right one with 'fake it till you make it'

youarebeingunreasonable Sun 23-Oct-11 14:00:24

God this is really interesting although i have to say I feel I've underestimated somewhat the enormity of the whole situation!! i think i've been looking through rose tinted glasses.
My friend has been waiting for her children for such a long time and we've done so much talking about it - now its just a few weeks away i'm beginning to feel extremely nervous for her!
thanks for your input i've been trying to encourage her to talk to other people that have adopted i think it helps to share and to accept that all these feelings are normal and other people do feel the same, but she's not keen.
thank you both for your advice though. i feel slightly better prepared. hmm

Maryz Sun 23-Oct-11 16:22:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lilka Sun 23-Oct-11 19:52:11

Couldn't have said it better than Mary grin

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