In the early 1900’s parentless children were loaded onto trains and driven across the states to search for new guardians. At each railway stop, the children were herded onto platforms and showcased to the public. The local observers could view the children and decide if they wanted to claim one for adoption. The remaining unclaimed children were then loaded back on the trains to repeat their ordeal at the next railway stop. While this opportunity for families to adopt may have originated out of the best of intentions, the trauma that would be instilled onto these already frightened children is immeasurable. Adoption today has evolved into a more humane process, however, there still needs to be an awareness through the process for the child that is placed in the middle of this journey.
Remember the Children Involved
Children that are eligible for a family to adopt come into the system from a variety of backgrounds. Some from sudden traumatic situations and some from early birth. Some oblivious to any other way of life, but some will carry turbulent memories of their past. Regardless of their previous situation, they are suddenly aware of changing beds, faces and homes. Even a child that is not in the adoption system long will encounter a series of changes as they are moved between their foster home and introduced to their new adoptive family. While the families themselves will encounter a series of new emotions, the child will be forced to deal with new changes and transitions.
Even Good Changes are Scary
Any change for a child is a new voyage. Some are fun, some will leave them apprehensive. The ability for the child to comprehend their situation will vary with their mental ability and age. What will be apparent to any child are the new faces surrounding them and the new home they have entered. No matter how pleasant or smooth this change is made to be, it will be accompanied by fear for the child involved. It is imperative that this is recognized by the parents of the adoptive family. This fear and adjustment needs to be handled appropriately. The correct way to handle this will depend directly on the child. A child that is suddenly removed from their previous family may still be dealing with the loss of their parents, or even foster parents.
The transition can be a smooth one if all feelings are remembered and respected. Older children that have had the option to be adopted and to help in choosing their families are no more exempt from fear and apprehension then a toddler who has been given a new forever home.
The choice to adopt is a wonderful choice that will forever change the lives of everybody involved. It is a joyous event that more often leaves everybody with a happy ending. It is also a time of change. Spend time with the child you are looking to adopt, really get to know them and their situation. Once the adoption process is complete, understand that this is a new situation for them as well. While they may be overjoyed to have you as their new family, they can still be scared, unsure and apprehensive. Their adjustment time may differ from yours. All it takes is a little time and understanding for this transition to be smooth for everybody involved.
Worried about adoption? Get in touch with AdoptHelp who shall support you through the different stages involved in adoption. To know about the child adoption process, you may also visit About.com.