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Supporting brother who is adopting

(5 Posts)
AuntiePufflepie Sun 07-Dec-14 09:34:36

My brother and his wife have just announced they are adopting a child from Africa. I am thrilled for them but unfortunately the rest of the family are not so pleased. I found it hard just being the excited auntie-to-be hitting this wall of negativity so I can't imagine how they must be feeling having shared their great news and getting this kind of response.

I want to support them as best as I don't know much about adoption and I live in the UK while they live on the continent so I can't just pop over there. I will of course ask them what I can do but can anyone advise on what helped most during their adoption process?


Velvet1973 Sun 07-Dec-14 09:54:02

We're just about to hopefully have our lo placed with us and throughout the process friends and family gave been supportive and interested. I'm struggling at the moment because they now have no understanding of how different things are for us now. It's extremely stressful becoming a new parent and we have all the same worries and fears of an expectant mum coupled with the anxieties of whether or not the adoption will go through, what troubles will our child face etc. The biggest thing for me though is everyone expects me to be the mum of a 6 month old baby (as that's the age of the lo) and be as relaxed and confident as they were when their baby was 6 months old. The reality is we are still newborn parents, on day 1 of them having their first baby home they were probably still trying to figure out which way is up as we will be but also having to deal with excited family who don't understand why they can't come and visit and cuddle baby etc, as well as having social worker visits assessing how we're doing as well as dealing with a grieving baby.
So for me ask questions and listen and respect what they tell you. If you do that it will be the mist support they can have.
Congratulations on becoming an Aunty soon, I know my sister in law is also very excited at having a new nephew soon.

AdventuringAbout Sun 07-Dec-14 17:32:26

In addition to Velvet's sound advice, I would say, be prepared to be the one who does the "staying in touch" for a while. If you've rung or emailed, don't wait for them to take their turn before you get back in contact. They may well be feeling like their household has just been hit by a train (!) and just learning how to function with this brand new fully formed person depending on them for everything ... And the little person will be distressed and disoriented too. So the family are unlikely to have ANY energy for staying in touch, but be deeply grateful for people who keep making the effort, and show they're thinking of them.
You might also feel like doing some reading (such as "related by adoption" or have a look at BAAF website for things that might relate to international adoption).
Enjoy being an auntie!

Italiangreyhound Sat 13-Dec-14 12:44:20


Do you know if the wider family is concerned because it is adoption? Is it because it is international adoption. Is it transracial adoption because the parents are white and baby is black? Maybe there are concerns because in the past transracial or international adoption might have lead to cultural confusion or whatever?

If your wider family express concerns to you, you may find you can be the helpful person who is a positive force in the family. This is a sensitive role as you can't be answering on behalf of the parents.

However, you could for example read up about modern day transracial or international adoptions so when relatives mention a black or Chinese friend who was raised by white parents 40 years ago and has not adjusted or whatever, you can say honestly, I was reading on the internet how nowadays blah blah blah!

This is fascinating to watch!

Italiangreyhound Sat 13-Dec-14 12:48:16

This is amazing, if you need inspiration.

or just more to read and see:

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