After having gone through the ups and downs of the adoption journey, you are raring to make another go. The success of your adoption with A Act of Love Adoptions has only made you think of a second (or perhaps even a third) adoption. You realize that your heart has the capacity to multiply love and welcome one more child into your family.
Here are some of the things you should consider with a second adoption:
• Examine your reasons. As with the first adoption, you need to take a close look at the reasons why you are adopting for a second time. Are you adopting again to give your first child a playmate? Or to give him an idea about adoption? These may be wrong reasons to adopt again. Closely examine your reasons to make sure you are adopting for the right reasons.
• Consider your finances. An adoption entails a huge chunk of the family resources. For some, the costs of the first adoption were covered through loans or by dipping into the family savings. Can you afford to do the same thing for the second adoption? You may need to make changes in your spending patterns, becoming more frugal as you strive to meet the needs of a bigger family.
• Consider your resources. This is not just about finances but also other resources such as your physical and emotional energy levels and your support from loved ones and friends. Are you up to the demands of parenting siblings? Meeting the physical and emotional needs of your children, as well as managing their schedule, going for visits to the school or the doctor, helping out on your children’s homework and all the everyday things these entail will be exhausting both physically and emotionally. Do you also have loved ones and friends you can count on if you need help with watching the children? For instance, you got into an accident and had to stay in the hospital. Will there be someone to be with the children during times like these?
• Consider the different details at play in your second adoption. If you had your choice, would you want a similar adoption setup as your first adoption (i.e. open adoption vs. confidential adoptions)? How would you deal with the differences, if any, with your relationship with the birthparents of both children? Would you prefer your children to share the same race or country of origin? If not, how do you plan to immerse your children in two different cultures?
• Talk with your adoption agency to explore other sources of support. Adoption agencies such as A Act of Love can provide you with access to support groups and parental counseling. You can also start the ball rolling on the process. The adoption agency will also provide you with further support when the second adoption pushes through.
• Be prepared for a change in lifestyle. Whereas parenting one child is “manageable”, two will be more challenging. Travel, eating out, moving around and indulging in other simple luxuries will require more work, preparation and energy when you have two children in tow. A second domestic infant adoption will also mean another round of night feedings, diaper changing and worried nights when baby is sick. A second adoption will also mean shifting priorities in one’s career as a growing family will also have more demands of your time and energy.
• Involve your child in the process. When you have decided to adopt for the second time, it is best to let your child in on your decision, as well as the preparations. You will need to decide how you will talk with your child to prepare him, especially when with adoptions, the timing is often unexpected. You can prepare your child by constantly assuring him of your love and his place in the family – this time, as an older sibling.
In the end, after weighing the ups and downs of adopting for a second time, you will be the one who will decide whether a second (or third) adoption is right for you. What is important is that you have made the choice to be parents to siblings.