It really depends on the age of the child. If you adopt a baby or toddler then just spend time with them. The beauty of life is in the little, unplanned moments. The more time you spend together, the more the two of you will bond. In my experience, my adoptive parents were always just my parents. There was no extra effort required to bond with them. I loved them more than life itself. It was the same way with my adopted siblings, and we were all adopted at birth.

For older children, the process of bonding can be more difficult. Any time you take an older child into your home there is going to be a period of adjustment. I highly recommend making yourself available and approachable at first while still giving them some space. Don’t pounce on them. You move in 60 percent and let them come the other 40 percent. It’s okay if that takes a while.

Kids like to have fun, and fun can be a good distraction during life changes. Find things they are interested in and do those things with them. If she likes to read, then get involved in events at the library. Take her to shop book sales at thrift stores around town. If he likes to go skateboarding, go with him. Ask your friends for cool skateboarding spots you can introduce him to. Take him to a local skate park.

Learning activities can be fantastic for bonding. Find something that the children can teach you to do. It lets them be in control for a time and can be entertaining for the both of you. Both mom and dad need to spend time bonding with the child together and separately. It’s important to the family dynamic for everyone to have their own relationship. Special treats infrequently are always a great way to make fond memories as a family. Whether it’s ice cream for dinner, cake for breakfast, or some silly thing all your own, I’m sure the kids will love it. Above all, be yourself. Allow your children to be themselves. They will notice your efforts and grow up with wonderful memories they will keep forever.

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Ashley Foster is a freelance writer. She is a wife and a mother of two, currently residing in Florida. She loves taking trips to the beach with her husband and sons. As an infant, she was placed with a couple in a closed adoption. Ashley was raised with two sisters who were also adopted. In 2016, she was reunited with her biological family. She advocates for adoptees’ rights and DNA testing for those who are searching for family. Above all, she is thankful that she was given life.