When I started blogging I started at the beginning. Then I have gone through all the steps to where we are now. I think I will start back at the beginning again. Any who have already adopted please feel free to off encouragement or share your "mom expertise" with those just starting out. I have a stat counter and I know from looking at the site that much of what is googled that brings people here is searching for some answers. I can only tell you my experience with my kids but other moms can share theirs too and maybe as a group we can cover all you need.
Adoption is a wonderful way to add to your family. I know many people adopt and have some transition and adjustment but everything settles into a fine happy family. That is not the case for everyone. Children who are adopted from over seas or from the US foster care system sometimes have attachment issues or sometimes even have RAD-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactive_attachment_disorder . There are many things you can do during transition and during those first few months at home to help with attachment. I am going to go back over those over the next few days. I'll start with transition. We did a 3 month transition between the foster home and our home. On our initial visit we took them each a teddy bear. We wanted them to have something soft. Our first month we only went to the foster home. We brought them a tape of me reading bedtime stories and singing lullabies (I know. scary) but kids don't know I can't sing. We started bringing them to our house for over nights and then for weekends. We made a video of our house and took it to them before they came. I bought 3 soft receiving blankets. When they came I would wrap them in them at night and rock them and sing. We'd practice eye contact. I did this by making it into a game. I'd say see if you can look at me while I sing a phrase. Use a very nonthreatening song such as Row Row Row Your Boat. I added phrases until it was the whole song and then switched to lullabies. Then I added stroking their faces. It was a very hard game for them but I kept it light and fun. I would tell them I was not going to leave them. I loved them and they were safe. I told them they were a gift to me from God and that I was so happy to be their mom. All the events in their life and my life had brought us together. Transition is tricky. You don't want to become the gift giving "fun mom", while poor foster mom is the chore, school work, pick up the pieces mom. There has to be a careful balance there. When they came to stay the foster parents brought them to us. They said they felt it was important for the boys to see them give them to us and not to think we took them away. Smart foster family!