I dreamed about my forever family for a long time. Where I would live, what my room would look like, what my family would be like.
However, getting a new family meant I would be getting more than just a new set of parents:
A new set of family rules and boundaries to follow.
A new group of friends.
Maybe a new school and a new town.
Even a new bedtime or pets!
It was a little scary...
All the new stuff, including my forever family members, was a lot to get used to. Remember to be honest about your feelings with your new parent (s) and to think of things that would help you feel more comfortable. Your ideas matter!
Do I have to love my new family immediately?
I was nervous about having to love my new family immediately. I was also not sure what to call my new parent (s). Don’t worry, you will know what to do when the moment comes. It can take time for new families to grow close to each other - after all you’ve just met!
You may need to unlearn stuff too.
I had to unlearn some of the things I was already doing, like how to brush my teeth well.
Things that make your life in your new family go easier:
- Using your words and telling your new family how you are feeling - scared, sad, mad, or happy!
- Blowing bubbles or squeezing a stress toy when you are upset.
- Being open to learning new things and trying a new routine
- Telling adults how you are feeling (your case worker or mom or dad).
- Writing a journal or making artwork.
- Ask to be part of an activity, like story hour, Sunday school at church, or sports.
- Listen to music
What Forever Means
Forever means that your birth family is now part of your past. For some reason, they were not able to take care of you. Adults whose job it is to take care of kids determined that you needed other people to take care of you. This is your ‘forever’ family.
When you are adopted, you may not see your birth family again until you are an adult and maybe not even then.
It is okay to miss them and think about them. They are a part of what makes you, you! Just as much as your forever family is going to make new memories with you and shape you as you grow up too. Sometimes writing a letter to your birth family to say goodbye helps.