Adopting a daughter is a joyous occasion, and it’s a moment that should be cherished and celebrated! You’re most likely feeling so much warmth, happiness, and love, and you hope that your daughter feels the same without any doubts or worries. But what if she does in fact have those doubts, fears, and concerns? As a mom of two young daughters, I’ll list some suggestions, ideas, and tips for you to show her how much your love is for her.
Learn Your Daughter’s “Love Language”
In 1997, two authors named Dr. Gary Chapman and Dr. Ross Campbell co-wrote a book called The Five Love Languages of Children. In their book, they discuss and explain the five love languages children show:
- Physical Touch
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Acts of service
Chapman stated that we should learn our child’s love language in order for her to feel loved.
By learning your daughter’s love language and letting her see your own love language, she’ll see your love for her, and she’ll reciprocate her love for you.
Spend Some Quality Time with Her
Spending that one-on-one time with your daughter will benefit both you and her by creating a bond by doing something you’re both interested in. Maybe she likes the same genre of music you do, or perhaps you both can share similar hobbies. Whatever your interests are, she’ll love that you are opening up to her. You could also show her you love her by learning about what she’s interested in. She maybe didn’t get that special one-on-one time while with her birth parents or with her foster parents, so this experience would be a positive and happy moment for her. Showing her that you’re really open and understanding in her interests, will, in turn, show her that you care and love her.
Another thing you can do is have a mommy and daughter (or daddy and daughter) day and spend the day watching movies, playing games, going out to lunch, going to the park, etc. You could one day plan a trip to go to wherever she’d like (if the budget allows) and have a fun road trip with just you and her. Or you could spend the day being creative, spontaneous, and silly! Your adopted daughter will feel loved by you because you took a day off of your busy schedule just to plan a day around her.
Take time away from your phone regardless of work, emails, social media, games, or whatever technological distractions you have. Even if it’s only for an hour or two, you both would benefit from the time away from the interference of technology. Having an authentic, face-to-face conversation with her would mean so much more than blankly staring at a screen. Putting your phone down or stepping away from your computer will show your daughter you have time for her, and she’ll appreciate the small sacrifice you made to connect with just her.
You can take time out of your day to simply just talk to her about her day. Ask her things like how school is going for her, being open to talking about her feelings, or just joking around with each other. Let her know that you’ll always be there to talk if needed and be open to understanding her point of view. She’ll feel loved by you and how you’re making some time to have her feel heard and understood.
Help create a special bedtime ritual with reading a good bedtime story or make one up together! Have her take a calm, relaxing bath before bed with calming scents, like lavender. Sing a special lullaby to your daughter every night or have you both take turns singing it together. That special bedtime bond is something that’ll help her feel loved, and she’ll look forward to it to help her sleep better.
Make Your Home a Loving Environment
Create a loving and supportive home environment by being present. If you feel she’s old enough, have your daughter help you make meals, set the table, and help with chores. She’ll feel that you trust her with responsibility, and she’ll love to make you feel proud of her. Run small errands for her and show her how much you appreciate the big and small things she helps with around the house.
Praise her for her hard work and accomplishments with not just at-home things, but also with school as well. If she studied hard for the subject she was struggling in, reward her with a small treat or gift. Make a “good work” chart that you can put up for her and let her pick stickers to put on the chart to reward her accomplishments. Telling her enthusiastically how proud of her you are will not only help her feel loved, but will also boost her self-confidence. Also, if she makes mistakes, tell her it’s perfectly okay and give her reassurance that you’ll always love her regardless of her mistakes.
Provide a stable environment for your adopted daughter by making a work-life balance. Don’t let work consume you right as you walk into your front door. Instead, be open to communicating with your household about how their day was and stay focused on matters at home and in your adopted daughter’s life. One of the most loving things you can do for your adopted daughter is to show her that you’re available to talk about what’s on her mind.
Show love every day by doing small, sweet tasks for not only your daughter, but also for your spouse or other family members. Show her what it means to be in a loving home—a home full of manners, patience, kindness, laughter, and joyous times. Be an example of unfailing love for her so she has a role model to look up to and to one day be for her own family in the future. Showing your adopted daughter what a loving home is will help her feel safe, happy, and loved.
Give Her Sentimental “Just Because” Gifts
Surprising your adopted daughter with small gifts is a great way to show her you love her. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant gift, but maybe take her out to pick a toy, go see a movie she’s been wanting to watch, go out to get ice cream, take her for a spa and salon day; you get the idea. Show her that she doesn’t just get rewarded for positive behavior, but you do these things because you love her and appreciate that she’s your daughter.
Giving her a sentimental gift that you made just for her like a card, work of art, pottery, dessert, etc., will also show your love for her. Sentimental gifts will leave an unforgettable feeling for your daughter every time she looks at your special gift made just for her. The fact that you took time out of your day to create something that she’ll treasure forever would mean so much to her, and she’ll realize that you do truly love her.
Support Her Dreams and Aspirations
If your adopted daughter has dreams and aspirations that aren’t aligned with your own, you shouldn’t force her to try to be something different. Not everyone is cut out to be a doctor or lawyer. Also, don’t try to push your own dreams and aspirations on her; it’ll only push her further away. Let her know how much you believe in her dreams and encourage her to work hard.
Really pay attention to what she’s passionate about. Do her eyes sparkle with excitement when she talks about her dream? Does she focus really hard on becoming the best she can be in her pursuits? Does she eagerly await your response when she shares her life goals with you?
Whether she wants to be the next famous popstar, scientist, best-selling author, MVP in her athletic division, or whatever it is she aspires to be, be her biggest cheerleader and supporter! Having the utmost faith in her will prove that you love her and give her the confidence to work hard in whatever she’ll become in life.
Laugh and Be silly!
Nobody wants to be so serious all of the time (and if you do, no offense!), so you should show your daughter you love her by making her laugh and being goofy once in a while if not once daily. Play silly games, tell funny jokes, enjoy being a kid for a short while, and have fun! This method could help if your daughter is more standoffish and shy. Showing that it’s okay to show your silly side and laugh might be the icebreaker to help her form a closer bond with you. Your adopted daughter might just love your sense of humor and won’t be able to avoid cracking a smile or tell some funny jokes of her own.
Accept Her for Who She Is
Tell your adopted daughter what you admire most about her. Is she gifted academically? Does she excel in sports? Is she kind and compassionate? Is she a leader? Praise her strong suits and let her know how great she is.
It’s also very important not to compare her to other girls and not to criticize what she’s doing wrong. Try not to be judgmental with every choice that she makes in life and try not to have just a “black and white” outlook. Your adopted daughter wants to feel loved by being accepted for who she is despite her preferences, personality, race, religion, sexuality, size, beauty, etc. In my opinion, genuinely accepting her for who she is should be in the top three ways to show your adopted daughter you love her. (I wrote these suggestions having no particular order.)
Find Ways to Comfort Her
If you recently adopted your daughter, she might have strong feelings of uncertainty, worry, and might seem a little standoffish. You should try comforting her by reassurance. Extend the invitation to appropriately hug her, cuddle her, and show her the love that she might not be used to before being adopted. Let her be open to that type of physical connection she might want to have now that you’re officially her parents. She’ll notice and feel your love for her ease her anxieties, and she’ll feel much calmer.
If she’s not the “touchy-feely” type, try talking with her and declare that her feelings are normal and dotingly tell her that you care about her strong and anxious feelings. Show her that you want to completely understand how she feels and sympathize/empathize with her. Offer the opportunity to see how she feels by asking things like, “Help me to understand how you feel.” Your adopted daughter will see that you love her by giving her a chance to feel heard and comforted just by talking and being honest about those big, scary feelings, which brings me to my last topic and suggestion:
Tell Her That You Love Her
This last one seems obvious, but the sad reality is that most foster kids don’t get to hear that their parents love them daily. Sincerely telling your adopted daughter while looking at her right in her eyes that you love her and how much you love her would mean so much. Leave little lovely notes for her like Post-it notes to have her read when she wakes up or a little “I love you” note in her lunchbox to read at school or simply writing her a sweet letter on how much you love her and love having her around would make all of the difference for her. Tell her you love her each morning and before she goes to sleep at night. Tell her when she’s happy, sad, angry, nervous, or however she’s feeling. Adoringly tell her that your life wouldn’t be the same without her; and without a doubt, she’ll feel your love tremendously.
After reflecting on all these answers, at least one—if not all—will help your adopted daughter feel loved by you. It’ll take work, time, and lots of effort, but your adopted daughter will feel loved by you taking the time to show her just how much you love her with these ideas and suggestions.
Kandice is an adopted twin, wife, and mother of two girls who loves spending time with her family and two rabbits. She loves reading and writing inspirational works of literature and loves telling stories.