Growing a family is exciting whether through pregnancy or adoption—and neither is easy! But while ways to support expecting parents are well established, for many, the unfamiliar and unpredictable nature of adoption can make it confusing to understand the best ways to support an adoptive family. We’re here to make it simple! Here are 10 ways to help an adoptive family:
10. Check In
The adoption process can be complicated, long, and lonely. For some families, it takes months and for others, it takes years. As a loved one of an adoptive family, you’re not expected to understand every step of the process but don’t let unfamiliarity scare you into avoiding the topic. Ask the family how it’s going and how you can be supportive.
9. Financial Gifts
Adoption is expensive and there are fees at every step of the process. If you’re able to support an adoptive family financially or host a fundraiser like a garage sale on their behalf, they will greatly appreciate it.
8. Be a Resource
If you’re familiar with adoption or the country from which the adoptive family is adopting, offer to be a resource! Let them ask questions and learn everything they can from you.
7. Adoption Shower
Once a family has found their child, celebrate! Much like a baby shower, an adoption shower can help an adoptive family prepare to welcome their child home.
6. Meal Train
The process of bringing home a child is emotional and physically draining for an adoptive family. One of the simplest ways to support them is to coordinate a meal train.
Formula, diapers, baby wipes—costs add up! Once an adoptive family is home, you can support them by gifting them some of their basic needs.
4. Respect and Support the Cocooning Process
Developing healthy attachment is crucial for an adoptive family. The cocooning process with an adoptive child is very different from a biological child, and it might be a while before friends and family are invited to visit. Be understanding and supportive of this process. Maybe even drop off coffee at their door without expecting a hello. They’ll know you care and are never far if they need you!
When adoptive parents are occupied meeting the needs of their adopted child, the other children in the home may feel less important and benefit from an outing that makes them feel special. Take them out for ice cream and ask how they are doing. Give them a chance to talk about whatever they choose.
2. Nap Time
Many adoptive families experience difficulties sleeping for the first few weeks or months. Parents can often feel exhausted or need some alone time but know that their child is not ready for that. A great way to support them is to offer nap time. Simply play in the backyard with the kids for an hour while mom or dad takes a nap. Everyone is safe, comfortable, and close by.
Never underestimate the power of prayer! Reach out to God on the family’s behalf and ask that He cover them with love and faith through their journey.