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.

author Billy Cuchens and his son Jayden snuggle together at home

“My Snuggle Boy”

“My Snuggle Boy”

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!

JOIN

Subscribe or renew now for exclusive access to this article, future digital issues of Adoptive Families, the full searchable Adoption Parenting Library and much more.


Already a member? Log in below. [wppb-login] Need help? CLICK HERE
welcoming an older child into your family and creating sense of belonging through photographs

Creating a Photographic History for an Older Child

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.

JOIN

Subscribe or renew now for exclusive access to this article, future digital issues of Adoptive Families, the full searchable Adoption Parenting Library and much more.


Already a member? Log in below. [wppb-login] Need help? CLICK HERE
father's hand placing missing piece in wooden heart tangram puzzle, representing healing after older child adoption

“One of the Missing Pieces”

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.

JOIN

Subscribe or renew now for exclusive access to this article, future digital issues of Adoptive Families, the full searchable Adoption Parenting Library and much more.


Already a member? Log in below. [wppb-login] Need help? CLICK HERE
An adoption shower cake and gift

Adoption Shower for Toddlers or Older Children

Planning an adoption shower for an internationally or domestically adopted toddler or older child? Here’s what to ask for.

JOIN

Subscribe or renew now for exclusive access to this article, future digital issues of Adoptive Families, the full searchable Adoption Parenting Library and much more.


Already a member? Log in below. [wppb-login] Need help? CLICK HERE
A father who adopted older children from foster care shares his story, likening parenting and filling in missing pieces to playing Jenga backward

“Parenting After Foster Adoption—Like Playing Jenga, Backward”

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.

JOIN

Subscribe or renew now for exclusive access to this article, future digital issues of Adoptive Families, the full searchable Adoption Parenting Library and much more.


Already a member? Log in below. [wppb-login] Need help? CLICK HERE
Teens Alejandro and Rosanna, adopted as older children from foster care

“Letting the 13-Year-Old Drive”

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!

JOIN

Subscribe or renew now for exclusive access to this article, future digital issues of Adoptive Families, the full searchable Adoption Parenting Library and much more.


Already a member? Log in below. [wppb-login] Need help? CLICK HERE
foster-adoption-anniversary-first-visit-photo-700

“Anniversary”

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.

JOIN

Subscribe or renew now for exclusive access to this article, future digital issues of Adoptive Families, the full searchable Adoption Parenting Library and much more.


Already a member? Log in below. [wppb-login] Need help? CLICK HERE
Julia Baxter with her family, including four new siblings through foster adoption, on their adoption day

“Where We All Belong”

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?

JOIN

Subscribe or renew now for exclusive access to this article, future digital issues of Adoptive Families, the full searchable Adoption Parenting Library and much more.


Already a member? Log in below. [wppb-login] Need help? CLICK HERE
Bonding Over the Family Photo Album

Finding Belonging in Pictures

After adopting older children, these parents found that maintaining a family photo album was a useful tool to encourage bonding.

JOIN

Subscribe or renew now for exclusive access to this article, future digital issues of Adoptive Families, the full searchable Adoption Parenting Library and much more.


Already a member? Log in below. [wppb-login] Need help? CLICK HERE
"Front Porch Children" - Foster Parent essay by Keri Collinsworth

“Front Porch Children”

Being a foster parent is not for the faint of heart. Your heart swells, loves, breaks, and heals with each placement—and it is all, every moment of it, worth it.

JOIN

Subscribe or renew now for exclusive access to this article, future digital issues of Adoptive Families, the full searchable Adoption Parenting Library and much more.


Already a member? Log in below. [wppb-login] Need help? CLICK HERE
"We Are All Adopted," by Veronica Chenik Gilmore

“We Are All Adopted”

From my own search for my roots through adopting older children from foster care, life has taught me to treasure my children’s biological connections while knowing that we don’t have to look alike to belong together.

JOIN

Subscribe or renew now for exclusive access to this article, future digital issues of Adoptive Families, the full searchable Adoption Parenting Library and much more.


Already a member? Log in below. [wppb-login] Need help? CLICK HERE
Browsing baby stores helps my adopted teen and I bond and talk about the years we missed out on as mother and daughter

“Bonding with My Teen in the Baby Department”

My daughter came to me at nine years old, so neither of us knows what she looked like as a baby, but walking these aisles is a way for us to recreate what we both lost.

JOIN

Subscribe or renew now for exclusive access to this article, future digital issues of Adoptive Families, the full searchable Adoption Parenting Library and much more.


Already a member? Log in below. [wppb-login] Need help? CLICK HERE
Relative Adoption Niece

“An Unexpected Family”

For eight years, my wife and I watched our chances of having a baby evaporate. Then our eleven-year-old niece came to live with us, bringing with her a bittersweet deliverance.

JOIN

Subscribe or renew now for exclusive access to this article, future digital issues of Adoptive Families, the full searchable Adoption Parenting Library and much more.


Already a member? Log in below. [wppb-login] Need help? CLICK HERE
helping adopted children adjust

“The Dog Who Came to Stay”

"Moments after bringing our new puppy home, I understood that raising this dog would begin to create a history for our new daughter, would lodge her firmly within our family. A family pet conjures notions of family ties, of belonging."

JOIN

Subscribe or renew now for exclusive access to this article, future digital issues of Adoptive Families, the full searchable Adoption Parenting Library and much more.


Already a member? Log in below. [wppb-login] Need help? CLICK HERE
family bedsharing

“Sleeping Together as a Family”

At night, each of this mother's three children wanted to be with mom.

JOIN

Subscribe or renew now for exclusive access to this article, future digital issues of Adoptive Families, the full searchable Adoption Parenting Library and much more.


Already a member? Log in below. [wppb-login] Need help? CLICK HERE
Newsletter

Given email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.
Please provide a valid email address.
Thank you, your sign-up request was successful! Please check your e-mail inbox.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Please fill in the required fields.
Top