Where were you a year ago today? Maybe things haven’t changed much, but maybe you were midst countless IVF treatments, finishing paper work for your first adoption, or chasing a toddler in diapers. Maybe last last year you were minus that precious little baby asleep up stairs. A lot can change in a year. What about those resolutions you made for 2012, did you reach your goals?
Now, you might be thinking about what 2013 will bring. As you sip your coffee or catch a few minutes during nap-time this morning I present to you a challenge…yes…. a challenge! It’s easy to come up with a long list of typical New Year’s Resolutions—lose weight, organize, save money, etc. Each of those mass-promised resolutions is important, but many are easier said than done. One technique we have found is to segment resolutions throughout the year, a one month goal is much more likely to stick than a 12 month goal—for me at least! This year we want to challenge you to focus your resolution on parenting, and in particular be in touch with the what it means to have become a parent through adoption.
So with that in mind, here are some great ideas we found, 12 New Year’s Resolutions for adoptive parents broken down month by month for 2013.
January – I will continue my education as an adoptive parent by taking parenting classes. I have learned that as my children grow, different needs may arise and I want to be prepared to help my children through difficult times.
February – I will continue to build my relationship with my children by working on our attachment. I know that bonding takes time, and I’m willing to allow our bond to grow and strengthen over time.
March – I will explore opening lines of communication with my child’s birth family. If we already have an open adoption, I will work on strengthening that relationship. Knowing that every situation is different, I will keep my child’s best interest in mind and if contact with family is not a healthy choice I will explore other opportunities for my child to connect to his birth family through a lifebook.
April – I will help my child connect to his heritage by exploring his culture and incorporating different aspects of his culture into our core family traditions.
May – I will explore the different resources available in my community including therapy, baby-sitters, day care and after school programs because I know that having available, helpful resources will be a great support to my adoptive home.
June – I will look for blogs, support groups and adoption forums where I can connect with other adoptive parents. I know how important it is to learn from other parents.
July – I will work with my child to help her answer the often rude questions that people ask about adoption. I too will work on being prepared to answer questions from my family, friends and community.
August – I will help my child start the school year right by discussing adoption with her teacher. I will read an adoption-related book to the class or ask her teacher to plan a mini lesson on adoption.
September – I will help my extended family attach to my child, especially my parents because I know the importance of having grandparents in a child’s life. If my parents are not available, I will seek older friends to be surrogate grandparents to my child.
October – I will help my child enjoy the upcoming holidays by preparing her and my family for the different festivities from having fun with fall weather and scary Halloween night to other holidays.
November – I will build up a reading library of adoption books for my child as well as for myself. I realize that relating to other who understand adoption, even if it’s just a character in a book is important for my child.
December – I will reflect on a year’s worth of learning. I will continue to set goals for myself and my family while preparing for a wonderful holiday season.
Let us know how you do!