Anticipate the constant question that your family will generate and the inevitable “Are they twins?” Decide how you are going to answer the question. It is best to have a couple of different responses depending on the circumstances (grocery store produce aisle vs. dinner party)
- Highlight the uniqueness of each child. Your goal should be to nurture them as individuals. Just because you are driving to Taekwondo for one kid, doesn’t mean that the other should take as well.
- Carve out time from your schedule to spend with each child individually. Make it a priority for both parents to establish a special separate relationship with each child.
- Talk with your extended family, friends, and teachers about some of the downsides of the inevitable comparisons that will happen, and ask them to work against comparing the children.
- As tempting as it might be, do not dress them the same.
- Do not always refer to them as a unit: the boys, the kids, and certainly not “the twins.”
- Celebrate birthdays separately.
- Do not hold a child back in school just because you want them in different grades. If, however, one child sits on the cusp of the cut-off date and would benefit from an extra year in preschool, then it might make sense, especially if the child is smaller in stature. If they are in the same grade, put them in different classes.
- If at all possible, one parent should stay at home for at least the first year post adoption.
- Go into this adoption knowing that you will feel overwhelmed the first year. Plan for this in advance by saving money for extra household help and by lowering your expectations of what you will accomplish.