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How the Holidays Can Affect Adoptive Families

How the Holidays Can Affect Adoptive Families
November 20, 2014 LS_admin

The holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Years are often times of immense celebration with friends and family. Unfortunately, adoptive families may find that there are certain stresses on these joyous occasions, especially emotional complications and scheduling stresses that are unique to their blended families. Adoptive families across Kansas may find there are many situations around the holidays that affect the lives of their adopted children and other family members. Even though there may be no ill intent, even some of the most common elements of the holidays can have an impact.

While there are many factors that can contribute to holiday stresses for adoptive families, some of the most common include rituals, family member stresses, infertility, and questions of belonging. Let us look at each of these factors a bit closer to help Kansas families be aware of the factors and hopefully be able to successfully resolve them.

  • Ritual – Rituals are a part of most holiday celebrations. Whether it is the traditional Easter egg hunt, waiting for Santa Claus, or opening up presents during Hanukkah or on Christmas morning, ritual is often a source of excitement, but can also be a source of tension and conflict. Many people have different experiences and ideals regarding rituals and traditions, and when these ideals clash, parents, children, and other family members can enter conflict. For adoptive families, it is important that adopted children be carefully integrated into family traditions, with consideration being paid to the child’s past experiences as well.
  • Family Members – While most families have that one uncle or cousin who says the wrong thing more often than not, it is important that all family members involved in the life of an adopted child be mindful that his or her experiences, family life, race, and ethnicity are not open for criticism or debate. It is important that the holidays become an exciting time for adopted children with the focus being on love and support.
  • Infertility – Let us not forget the hopeful adoptive parents, especially those who struggle with infertility, in our discussion of holiday stresses. For infertile parents, the holidays can become a constant reminder of what can never be for them. Visiting with nieces, nephews, and other family members can become a source of stress and grief, rather than celebration.
  • Questions of Belonging – As for the adopted children of infertile parents, it is important that they do not look at their new adopted family and regret the fact that they do not look like “mom and dad.” This may be especially important for families who adopt children internationally, or across different races or heritages. Building a strong system of support during the holidays is crucial for adoptive families.

Minimize Holiday Stress with Solid Support

In order to minimize holiday stress, the best course of action is to remember that no family is perfect. For families who are in the process of adoption, the holidays can be extremely stressful and emotional. If you are one of those families, remember that one of the best ways to minimize stress is to have a solid system of support in place as you move through the adoption process. That includes choosing the right Kansas Adoption Attorney to help you find the best options for your family. At McDowell Chartered, we understand how difficult it is to celebrate the holidays when your family feels incomplete, and we are dedicated to providing you with the support you need for your family to have a wonderful holiday season. If you have questions about adoption, contact McDowell Chartered today to schedule an initial consultation by calling our Wichita, Kansas office at (316) 633-4322.



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