Talking to Kids About a Sibling
Talking to your children about adding to the family is an vital step in Catholic adoption. Your children will undoubtedly have many questions and concerns. Talk with them about each of these matters for as long and as often as they need.
Children may worry about the expectation of new children. This is true any time a new sibling comes into the family. Allay their fears as well as you can.
Share with them the reasons you want to add to your family. Let them know what wonderful siblings you believe they will be. Tell them that you want to give them even more people to love. Remind them that you will always be their parent. Adding to the family does not diminish the amount of love there is to go around. Instead, your hearts grow bigger.
Talking is important. However, you can do much more than talk. Your children should be allowed to be a part of the process from the very beginning. Letting them be a part of the full adoption proceedings helps them to feel even more connected to you and their new sibling.
Very young children may not be able to understand legal concerns, nor will they be able to go through paperwork with you and your spouse. However, they can attend meetings at the adoption agency. They can get to know the birth mother of their future sibling. They can even help you to prepare for the home study.
A home study for a Catholic open adoption is no different than a home study for other types of adoptions. The social worker will visit your home, ask you questions and make recommendations. The social worker will also want to speak with your children. These visits help the home study coordinator determine if the household is ready for another child. Your children should be coached to answer questions to the best of their abilities. Do not tell them what to say, only tell them to answer honestly. Share with your children that there are no right or wrong answers. Children may worry that they will do something wrong during the home study that will prevent the adoption. Remind them that this will not be the case.
Some adoptions will not proceed in the way that you wish. A birth mom may change her mind before the adoption can complete. Delays with paperwork or legal issues can arise. Prepare your children for these possibilities as well as you can. Tell them up front that all adoptions require a significant amount of prayer and patience. As long as you go through the adoption process as a team, you be a much stronger family when the adoption is finally complete.