Adopting An Older Child: What To Expect The First Year | National Adoption Month

When adopting a child, you may be wondering what it will be like once you are home and there are no social workers there to guide you. The first year can go through many different phases and situations, what can you expect?

What to expect the first year; this isn’t your newborn book.

All three of my children came to me in very different ways.  My oldest is my biological son.  I had him in my 20’s and was successful with conception in my first month of trying. I took prenatal vitamins for months before conceiving and had everything planned to the T. No surprise that I read What to Expect When Expecting and What to Expect the First Year from front to back more than once.

Fast forward through infertility and 11 years later our second son came to us through domestic infant adoption. Our preparation for his homecoming was filled with adoption education, learning about open adoption, and refreshers on what in the world it’s like to have a baby again!

When our third child came to us, she was 11 years old. The book What to Expect the First Year was not going to be of any help with this one.

No two children are the same in how the first year will transpire. You could experience all these phases in the first weeks or months, or it could take years. Some phases will be a blip or even bypassed, but these are the things our family saw when we welcomed an older child into our family.

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Sarah - Content Specialist for, is a mother both biologically and through domestic infant open adoption. She resides with her husband and two boys in Ohio. She is passionate about open adoption and adoption education. In her free time she enjoys cooking, photography, writing, and hiking. You can find more of her adoption work at Heart For Open Adoption on Facebook or on

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