Parenting K-6 Kids/New Baby
My husband and I adopted our 6-year-old daughter from foster care when she was 4 (along with her two older siblings, who were 9 and 11). She thrives on one-on-one attention and does best as the youngest child in the home. She loves the spotlight and has a hard time sharing attention with children her age. I'm pregnant with twins, and I'm due in three months. When I told my kids about the new babies, she seemed neutral about it. My husband and I explained to her that when the babies are really little, they won't do much and they'll needs lots of attention, but we'll still love her the same. Again, she's neutral about it. I'm just worried on how she'll react when we actually bring the babies home. What should my husband and I do to help her adjust before and after the babies are born?
There are a variety of reasons she may seem neutral, the most probable is that she doesn't really know what it will mean for her. Even though you tell her they'll be babies who need attention, she can't really translate that into how it will be. In some ways it's like telling someone who doesn't have children what's going to happen when they do. In that case, they can have a better anticipation, but until the kids are there, they don't really know.
However, since she's the youngest, I'd continue to talk about it in conversation. If she's game for it, you can have her help pick out stuff for the babies (i.e. toys or clothes). Twins (along with 3 other kids) is going to be a huge change for you all. She'll be moving in the middle position, which can be tough.
I'd set up some sort of routine that hopefully you can keep after the twins arrive in which no matter what, she gets some one-on-one with you (all your kids should have this). This isn't homework or chore time. It's 15-20 minutes where she can choose the activity. It's focused and uninterrupted. This focused time will help insure that she doesn't feel displaced, it will build self-esteem, and help her and you feel connected.
The other issue you should be aware of, though not worried about, is having biological children after adoption. It's possible all three adopted kids may feel apprehensive. Some times kids don't get that adoption is forever or that your love is equal to the love of your birth children, so they might need a little reassurance. It's something to watch for, just in case.
Finally, see if your library has any books for children about what it's like to have a new baby sibling. Often discussion from kids books are easier for children than simply being told about it. Kids are more concrete (need to see, touch, experience) and less able to project into the future.
Oh... and consider talking to your adoption worker. Having worked in adoption for many years, I've always tried to be there for my families, even after post-placement and decrees.
Good luck. And congratulations.