Preparing Siblings



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One of the most common challenges we hear about after parents bring an adopted child home is the struggle children already at home have adjusting to their new brother or sister.  Sometimes it is all about losing the attention they may have exclusively enjoyed; other times it is finding their new spot in birth order.  Jealousy, misbehaving for attention, anger and sadness are very common reactions.  I hear parents say “I expected some of the issues we’ve faced with our adopted child but I had no idea how difficult it would be for my biological child.”

We’ve found several good articles at AdoptiveFamilies.com that address this issue and there are probably many more:


Here is a list of some books written for siblings (ages 3-10) of adopted kids that can be found at many libraries and read with your kids both before and after their newest sibling comes home.  Check them out and let us know if you’ve found any of these to be helpful.

The New Barker in the House
by Tomie dePaola
Is That Your Sister? A True Story of Adoption
by Catherine Bunin 
Waiting for May
by Janet Stoeke
Seeds of Love – For Brothers and Sisters of International Adoption
by Mary Petertyl 
Things Little Kids Need to Know
by Susan Uhlig
A Sister for Matthew
by Pamela Kennedy

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Leave a comment and let us know what has helped you in 1) preparing your kids for an adopted brother or sister and 2) helping your children adjust after their sibling came home.  I know there are lots of parents who will appreciate what you’ve found to be helpful!