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How do you Help your Relatives Embrace your Adoptive Family?

positive adoption languageYou’re looking forward to welcoming your new son or daughter so much you can’t even think straight. All the while, the members of your extended family aren’t acting with the level of  enthusiasm you might expect? The first thing you should do is no let them ruin it for you; instead, focus on doing things that will help them accept your process rather than putting unnecessary emphasis on feelings that are on the fringe of your immediate family life.  

Talking…

Don’t expect any kind of acceptance from the members of your family until you’ve made an effort to explain to them what exactly is going to happen and why you’ve chosen adoption instead of the “traditional” way of starting a family. Explaining your circumstances, feelings and wishes should help them see it through your eyes. It should also help them understand adoption is a perfect way to have children.

Set boundaries regarding positive adoption language…

The words we use reflect both our feelings and opinions on the matter we’re discussing. This is why it’s very important to establish some boundaries with the members of your extended family regarding the language that’s going to be used when talking about your adoption process. Your goal should be discouraging negative terms and encouraging positive ones. If the people that surround you start referring to the little one as “your child,” you can be sure they are starting to come to their own resolve with their own feelings.

Involve them in the adoption process…

You can start out small by including them in some of the little things you are doing to prepare for a new baby. Things like shopping for baby essentials is a great way help them feel included. It also gives them a landmark of just how far along you are in your adoption process as well.

Ask them to spend some time with the child…

There’s no better way to bond with someone than to spend some time with them. This is why you should avoid isolating yourself and your child from the members your extended family. Once they have enough exposure to you with your baby, affections grow and bonds are created. Sometimes adoptions happen very suddenly, there really isn’t an 9 month process that is usual like natural birth. They might just need some more time to better understand things as they are now and your new family dynamic. It doesn’t always mean they haven’t accepted it.