Tips for Early Communication with Your Internationally Adopted Child

I’m sitting on a bed in a small hotel room in Taiyuan, China. The stranger across from me gives me a frustrated look then throws his hands up in the air. I gently take his hands and bring them together. “More.” I say. The stranger looks at my husband. My husband repeats the gesture. “More.” The stranger tries the gesture on his own. “More.” I hand him another graham cracker and his smile lights up the room.

This is what our first days in China were like. Small steps and small victories. For children placed through international adoption, the trauma of joining their forever families is two-fold. There is the loss of familiar surroundings, caretakers, and community – and the loss of language. Early communication can be tough, so here are a few tips to ease your family’s transition: