It's so easy to come up with a long list of New Year's resolutions. While each resolution is a need and important, the list can become a bit overwhelming. One technique I learned was to focus on a different goal each month. So with that in mind, here are 12 New Year's Resolutions for adoptive parents broken down by month.
January - I will continue my education as an adoptive parent by taking parenting classes. I have learned that as my children grow, different needs may arise and I want to be prepared to help my children through difficult times.
February - I will continue to build my relationship with my children by working on our attachment. I know that bonding takes time, and I'm willing to allow our bond to grow and strengthen over time.
March - I will explore opening lines of communication with my child's birth family. If we already have an open adoption, I will work on strengthening that relationship. Knowing that every situation is different, I will keep my child's best interest in mind and if contact with family is not a healthy choice I will explore other opportunities for my child to connect to his birth family through a lifebook.
April - I will help my child connect to his heritage by exploring his culture and incorporating different aspects of his culture into our core family traditions.
May - I will explore the different resources available in my community including therapy, baby-sitters, day care and after school programs because I know that having available, helpful resources will be a great support to my adoptive home.
July - I will work with my child to help her answer the often rude questions that people ask about adoption. I too will work on being prepared to answer questions from my family, friends and community.
September - I will help my extended family attach to my child, especially my parents because I know the importance of having grandparents in a child's life. If my parents are not available, I will seek older friends to be surrogate grandparents to my child.
November - I will build up a reading library of adoption books for my child as well as for myself. I realize that relating to other who understand adoption, even if it's just a character in a book is important for my child.
December - I will reflect on a year's worth of learning. I will continue to set goals for myself and my family while preparing for a wonderful holiday season.