You may have longed to be a grandparent for a long time, or it might not have even crossed your mind-- either way, learning that your child is adopting can be a bit of a shock. This may be especially true if you have always envisioned your child having biological children, or if you've found out that biological children is not an option for them. Below, we address how to best handle any distress you may have about that, and how to move on so that you can fully enjoy the new child about to enter your life.

 

Mourning

If you have recently found out that your child will not be able to have biological children, it is entirely normal to feel a sense of loss about that. You may have been looking forward to seeing your child or their significant other experience pregnancy, or you might have hoped to see certain family traits show up in your grandchildren. However, it is important to remember that the parents-to-be have had to deal with this as well on a much grander scale, so if you have any disappointment or mourning to deal with, try to keep it private as much as possible so you can provide your child with the love and support they need as they grow their family.

Education

Once you have opened your mind and heart to the idea of an adopted grandchild, you may need to learn a bit about the process. Much of what used to be true about adoption is not the norm anymore. The biggest change is that in place of anonymous closed adoptions, where the child and even the adoptive parents rarely know who the birthparents are, we now most often see open adoptions, where the birthmother stays in the child's life to a certain degree. This has proven to be healthier in the long run for all involved. Take the time to do some research about the adoption process, and learn from your child which adoption routes they are exploring.

Follow

It is important to remember that the adoptive parents are working hard all the way throughout the adoption -- they have to decide to adopt, find the right adoption agency, find a match, possibly deal with the disappointment of not making a match for a while, and deal with the financial strain of adoption. Because of this, it is important to follow the lead of the adoptive parents when it comes to celebrating the new addition. They may not want to announce their adoption until it is final, which must be respected, no matter how excited you are about your new grandchild. If you want to contribute, ask the parents how you can help -- they may choose to forego the traditional baby shower, but may need help fundraising to come up with their adoption funds.

Above all, remember that this child will be your grandchild, whether or not you are biologically related! Enjoy the new addition and support the new family as much as you are able.