As parents, preparing for a new placement can cause a roller coaster of emotions as we anticipate the child's needs before he/she even steps through the door. Will he be shy? Will she be talkative? What will she like to do? What will he like to eat?
So imagine what it must be like for the child!
A great resource for helping with the transition has come to our attention through Family Strategies Publishing, which bills itself as "affordable resources for families in transition."
The company offers several books (available in hard copy and pdf download), including titles such as "Welcome to Your New Family," "Welcome to Your New School," "The Complete Lifebook Workbook," and "A Parent's Survival Guide," among others.
For a limited time, Family Strategies Publishing is offering free downloads to the following titles:
Welcome to Our Family (Foster Family Version): A great way to introduce a child to their foster family before the child moves to the foster home.
Finding an Adoption Family: Describes some of the basic steps professionals take in recruiting and selecting an adoptive family for a child.
Going to our Adoption Finalization: Explains what an adoption finalization is and helps the adoptive child and family know what to expect.
I must say that the "Welcome to Our Family" download really impressed me. It's 37 pages but you don't have to give the child all the pages -- just the ones that pertain to your family, such as "hi, I'm the MOM in our family"; "this is our kitchen"; "this is our bathroom"; "this is YOUR bedroom"; "visits"; and my favorites: "important things about us"; "special activities/holidays"; and "special things about YOU."
As we come across other resources for you, we'll post them here. In the meantime, tell us how YOU prepare for a child's transition into your home. It just might help someone else.
-- T. LaShaun Wallace