The emotional and behavioural challenges of adoptive parenting – Sophie Ashton

Ashton_Secrets-of-Succ_978-1-78592-078-3_colourjpg-printIn this article Sophie Ashton, author of The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting, talks reassuringly about the emotional challenges of adopting a child.

It is quite common for adopters to feel emotionally overwhelmed soon after their child moves in

In the early weeks post-placement many adopters feel a mix of emotions in response to their child.  For some adoptive parents the challenging and negative emotions seem more prevalent than the positive ones, and can on occasion lead to them starting to question their reasons for wanting to adopt.  Sometimes these challenging emotions can put the adoption placement at risk of breaking down.  I know this – because it almost happened to us.

After four years in the adoption process we were very ready for the arrival of our daughter. Although emotionally exhausting, the eight-day introduction period went well.  We warmed to her – she warmed to us; she and our birth son seemed to get on well.  We were all beyond excited when she moved in – we adored her.  Happy days!  Our dream of a perfect family was coming true!

Our honeymoon period didn’t last long

Unbeknown to us, however, just the other side of a brief two-day honeymoon period were some pretty challenging and debilitating emotions lying in wait for us to experience in full.  These emotions turned our excitement into panic, our hope into despair and our happiness into gloom.  We felt heavy and weighed down by the mixed emotions we felt in response to the placement of this little girl in to our family.

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