When I first realized how hard it had been for my biological children already in the home when we adopted, I felt like a failure. My ‘resident children’ had been suffering for years and I didn’t realize it. They’d been afraid to speak up for fear it would be just more stress added to their already stressed family.
It wasn’t until about 10 years after the adoptions that I realized how much pressure my biological children were under to continue to be welcoming to their adopted siblings even when they were tired and feeling alone in their frustrations at their brothers’ behaviors. My expectations about what the resident siblings could handle were way off.
Talking about it openly, discussing the ‘secondary trauma stress’ they were experiencing, and allowing them to not walk on egg-shells anymore made a world of difference for some of them. Giving them ‘permission’ to be understandably upset about what was happening with their brothers’ behaviors wasn’t an easy transition for me, but at least I didn’t feel like I was a complete failure anymore.
To help other parents avoid the mistakes I made by not knowing how to support my kids already in the home, I created Suddenly Siblings™, bringing focused support and education just on resident children.
The website suddenlysibs.com is full of content to help you understand
- WHY your resident child needs specific support when your family fosters or adopts
- WHAT you can do to support them
- and HOW to connect with them even if it’s years later (like with me)
You can support your children already in the home – it’s never too late!