Strengthening Your Family's Primary Relationship
Your family is built on the relationship between you and your spouse or partner. If you are going to take on the challenges of children, then it is necessary to be humble enough to get help when you need it. Reach out to your spouse or partner; talk regularly, or pray or meditate together, and set aside couple time.
Many people wrongly believe that adding children to a family will help heal problems in the marriage; in fact, the opposite is true. If you have any marital problems, the challenge of being parents can bring them to the forefront. As you parent, you must learn to be patient with each other and accepting of your differing parenting styles.
You might not do things the same way, but if you both do things in a way that brings about the same result (a safe, loving home), then the method should not be as important as the outcome.
Use Support to Strengthen Your Relationship
Build an extended network to give you the support you must have, a network of family and friends who approve and validate your adoption and give you the support you need to maintain a healthy marriage or relationship with your partner. For example, many parents find their greatest support system through active participation in a religious community.
In addition, seek professional counseling when necessary. Having wise counsel available isn't just an adoption issue, it's a parenting and marriage issue. Find a professional who will help you through the post-adoption process.
How can I find an adoption professional who meets my family's needs?
Talk to other adoptive parents whose children have similar backgrounds to yours. Also, ask your agency for a referral. Then ask for a preliminary interview. Be sure you understand the person and feel he understands you. In addition, assess whether the person is knowledgeable about adoption issues or is willing to put you in contact with those who are.
Read and listen to information that pertains to your family's issues on a regular basis. Subscribe to adoption magazines and newsletters, both online and in print. Keep a private journal to help you understand your feelings, your relationship, and how your behavior affects your child's behavior.
Note that an online blog can be a useful tool, but it can't take the place of a private journal — blogs are too public and you should be cautious about revealing your innermost concerns and feelings or details about your child's life online.