Tuesday Topics: Preparing Adopted Children for a New Sibling

Honeybee arriving at the airport and greeting Little Man.

Hi, it’s Rusty again. With the dawn of a new platform, we are going to try a new format for Tuesday Topics. We can now have a page that just displays just Tuesday Topics, so instead of having to fill up the blog with redundant posts there will be just one a week. This is how it works: Every Tuesday my mom will post a new topic. Anyone interested in sharing their thoughts and answers comments. We will hold all comments until the next Tuesday, at which time the next topic will be posted. Since this is the first week on the new website, and the last topic never ran, I’m publishing it a second time along with the answers we received on the old blog. If you haven’t already answered and would like to share, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. […]

Tuesday Topic

We will be traveling to India in the spring to bring home our adopted son. Our girls came to us just two years ago. I would love to hear the ways that families have prepared their adopted children for the arrival of another adopted child. Also, how did you prepare them for the time you will be traveling to get the new child? They have expressed anxiety about our being gone for a week and a half when we travel. Thank you in advance for sharing!

This is what you said last week:

Sarah said…
There were 3 “big” deliberate ways that we prepared our two bio boys (ages 4 and 3) for the adoption of their sister, Rosie: 1-We began to pray for her every day as soon as we began the paperwork. So, our sons had been praying for their sister for two years, which built a real sense of love in their hearts for her. 2-We involved our sons in preparing for her arrival. From preparing her bedroom, to shopping for clothes, to allowing them to choose a gift for us to take to her, we made them a part of the preparations and anticipation. 3-Once we had our referral, we had some very open conversations about how the boys were feeling, using questions like: what are you most excited about?, what are you looking forward to doing with your sister?, how do you think your sister will feel in a new home and family?, what do you think will be the hardest thing about having a new sister?, etc… These questions provided a way for us to try to help our boys have realistic expectations for Rosie’s arrival home and for issues such as sharing that would likely be difficult.

Now that we are anticipating our second adoption, we are beginning to use the same techniques with Rosie and the boys again, and we are spending lots of time talking about Mommy’s and Daddy’s love and how it doesn’t ever run out, but how you just get more for each person that comes into our family.

Jillian and Crew said…
Our boys have almost been home one year when our daughter was born last Friday(15th)…we did many arts and crafts projects that were themed with “We all stay” and “Family is everyone”…we changed our homeschool focus to family and writing each others’ names. We talked about baby care and being gentle with small children. Since our boys were adopted as “older kids” some issues of “did I take a bottle or nurse?” “did I have a mom and a dad in Africa?” and some other harder questions came up. I believe oversall it was helpful for everyone.
The boys did “go to stay” with friends for 4 days…we gave them disposable camereas and “journals” to draw pictures of their day. We talked about how many days it would be and when they were coming home. They each packed a few toys to take to the couple’s house..we told them often “we can’t wait for you to come home” “you will play 4 days and when it is all done you come back here, YOUR home!” etc…
So far they have gotten right back into schedule with us…(one of our sons is PTSD, we were msot worried about him)…he has told us about his “trip” often and has retold us things we told him…he often says “I go Jess and Reid house, I play sleep 3 night, finished, I come MY home, MY room, see baby”…we affirm him of this truth.
His home, his room, his family…

J-momma said…
Read lots of big brother big sister books. and included him in the process of picking stuff out; toys, clothes, and books. we didn’t travel so i don’t know about that part.

If you have a question for a Tuesday Topic, please email it to me at lisa@onethankfulmom.com with “Tuesday Topic” in the subject line.

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Melodie Monberg
    January 27, 2010

    Just wanted to say again how I love this new blog! And I'm so glad you got the berbere pepper! enjoy it as I enjoy reading this! Have a great day!



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