Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Adopting an Older Child: preparing the house

Adoption is an interesting and confusing process. It's emotional and heartbreaking long before you ever meet your children. The confusion doesn't go away once you know who your kids are either. If anything, it gets more confusing.

I am the type of person that likes to do as much research as possible about parts of my life that have become confusing or challenging. I make lists and methodically prepare for every conceivable situation.

Unfortunately for me, there isn't a ton of information out there about the logistics of going from no children to multiple school-aged children. Tons about attachment (and if we were adopting a baby we would be totally set), but none about logistical things like how many extra towels to have on hand and how to go about setting up a welcoming temporary bedroom.

Please don't misunderstand me. Attachment is incredibly important and my husband and I are absolutely doing work to prepare for that aspect of welcoming kids into our family.

But pretending like there aren't logistical issues to consider would be almost equally as foolish as ignoring attachment. I mean... the kids will be spending the night before they move in and they will need towels and sheets and other necessities. Things they won't be able to give their opinion on until they need those things. Items my husband and I, as the adults, need to consider. Like toothpaste.

So... with all of that said, I am going to begin a series of posts chronicling what Steve and I figure out as we prepare our home for our kiddos. This first one is about general preparations and categories of things we plan to tackle before the kids spend the night for the first time.... which should happen some time in June.

1. create simple, welcoming bedrooms for kids - Closer to move-in the kids will be able to make these spaces their own, but they should be able to spend their first overnight visit in a room that reflects how excited we are to have them with us.

2. Creating a bathroom space for kids - Our guest bathroom is going through a transition along with us. What do the kids need and what can wait?

3. Prepare our fridge, pantry, and kitchen - Some of this was done for our homestudy, but some things are just logistical in nature like organizing the fridge to include a "quick snacks" section and making sure our Tupperware is kid friendly.

4. BOOKS - Adding to and sorting through our current library collection to include reading material for the kids at their reading level and within their range of interest.

5. Technology - What gadgets are we planning to use? What are we doing with our current tech items to keep the kids safe? What about social media?

6. Adoption registry for the older child - We may not be adopting a baby, but our friends and family have definitely been asking about celebrating with us and helping us stock up on essentials.

7. preparing our extended family - Discussing relevant issues with them and figuring out who and when to go about introducing everyone.


  1. What an exciting time! I too and a big researcher (it must be the teachers in us:). You may already know about this one but Adoptive Families might be a good resource for you. It is a $25 a year subscription, but has a lot of information for all kinds of different adoptive families including foster to adopt and older children. https://www.adoptivefamilies.com/ Looking forward to watching your story unfold!

  2. Ohh! I will have to check that out! And I definitely think my need for research and prep has a lot to do with being a teacher. A teacher raised by a teacher at that. There is no escaping the Type "A" lol!