What Does Adoption Mean to Grandparents?

You always wanted a grandchild, but after years of waiting and hoping, thought it would never happen. Now you hear you will be a grandparent through adoption. Your mind is flooded with emotion.

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You have a lot of fears. What you know about adoption is from the media. All of those situations end badly with broken hearted adoptive parents. The birth parents change their minds and the kids all have emotional issues. Plus, adoptions can be costly and there can be a loss of money. You do not want your child to have any if those experiences.

You are saddened that your family bloodline ends with your child. While the family name may continue, it will be in name only. You try to think how your grandchild will carry on family traditions and values. This makes you feel a little better.

You are also excited about being a grandparent. You want to be encouraging, supportive and fall in love with your grandchild. You feel you need some answers and wonder how to express your concerns.

Begin by listening to how the decision was made and ask questions about the process. You can mention what you know is from the media and, therefore, have concerns. Ask your child who they have spoken to and who will guide them through the legal process. You can ask how long it will take and how old the child will be when placed into their home. You can also research adoption and adopting parenting by talking to others or looking on the Internet.

You may ask if there is anything you can do to help, but respect the need for privacy and settle in for an “adoptive pregnancy” of any length in time. Depending on the type of adoption—some happen in 2 weeks, others take several years.

As you get closer to the birth or arrival of the child, imagine your child as a parent and you as a grandparent. Start thinking about holding your new grandchild, taking them to the museum or park, and celebrating family holidays with a child at the table. If you live far away, learn how to Skype and view photos online.

Grandparents wait for the day they can show off their grandchild. They don’t say “meet my adopted grandchild.” They say “Meet my grandchild.” Grandparents who accept the adopted child as one of their own, enjoy the time they spend together and delight in their daily accomplishments. They watch their children develop parent skills and rejoice in the expansion of the family. Even if you are nervous about the process, chances are you will fall in love once you see your grandchild or it is placed in your arms. Your reaction and interaction will influence your relationship with your own child. If you are nervous about the adoption discuss it with your child before the adoption takes place.

Grandchildren are a blessing. Congratulations!

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