My older son is off at college, and I’ve been heartened to see that his “new normal” includes a maturing and strengthening of the bond between us. I look back to the day I met him, just over eight years ago, and our years of attachment struggles, even as I look to his future, and ours, with hope.
Bonding and New Family Dynamics After Older Child Adoption
When you adopt an older child, it will take time to help her adjust to life in a new family. Find expert advice on older child attachment and read families’ personal stories.
A mother finds herself exhausted trying to keep up with the boisterous, outgoing older child she’s adopting, and also worries that the girl might start feeling “different” from the rest of the family (who are all naturally more reserved and quiet). An expert offers advice.
I adopted my son as he was entering his teen years, and now, too soon, I have seen him off to college. How will his still tenuous attachment play out when I’m no longer a constant, physical presence in his life?
Can a Band-Aid do more than heal a physical wound? For my daughter, adopted from Ethiopia at age 9, a mother's therapeutic touch — to real and emotional boo-boos — began a deeper healing process.
The adoptive mom and critically acclaimed author talks about her adoption of two brothers from Ethiopia, the AIDS crisis in Africa, and Haregewoin Teferra, the foster mother at the center of her book, There Is No Me Without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Her Country's Children.
Adoptive moms and dads share their best advice for bonding with a newly adopted child, from taking time off to never leaving a child to cry it out at night.
We may not have heard our children’s very first words, but we’ve heard many others in our journey through infertility and foster adoption—and now, as family.
Over decades as a foster and adoptive parent and an adoption social worker, I have mothered and supported hundreds of children. Each one has taught me more than I passed along to them. Here is just some of that wisdom.
When we adopted our son as a toddler, he rarely displayed emotion and wouldn't show us any affection. How far my big, cuddly 10-year-old has come!
Pictures help show our children that their lives matter, and that they are part of a family. A photographer and adoptive mom offers her advice for taking and preserving meaningful moments.
When older children argue and act out, it’s often connected to events from their past. How could any child move through 14 foster placements unscathed? But last night, another clash, followed by a heart-to-heart, brought us one piece closer to feeling like a solid family.
Planning an adoption shower for an internationally or domestically adopted toddler or older child? Here’s what to ask for.
A parent-to-be who’s adopting a four-year-old from foster care solicits advice about what to do that first day home and how to make it easier on the child.
As a father who raised a child from birth and is now parenting older children adopted from foster care, I’ve come to see that the game and pieces may, indeed, be the same, but you have to play in an entirely different way.
“My husband and I are working to adopt from foster care. How do we transition a child from calling us our first names to calling us ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’?”
How do you empower a child entering his teen years in a state of defeat, powerlessness, and utter self-disregard? You give him a key and tell him to take off!
One year after my daughter came to live with me from foster care, the memory was still too bittersweet for her. But today, two years after becoming mother and daughter, we are ready to celebrate.
“We adopted our 10-year-old daughter as an infant, and adopted her seven- and eight-year-old biological sisters last month. How can we help all three girls bond with each other?”
When I was a teen, my parents decided to grow our family by adopting from foster care. How did it feel to suddenly gain four new brothers and sisters through adoption?
After adopting older children, these parents found that maintaining a family photo album was a useful tool to encourage bonding.