The impending arrival of a new foster child can bring chaos. You may get the call only a short time before the child is set to arrive and the hours or minutes become a race to ready your family, yourself and your home for a new family member. You may have spent the past hour making phone calls, gathering clothes, tidying a room or cleaning all the toilets in the house.

You may be anxious or stressed or feel sick to your stomach, but when you meet your child for the first time, it’s time to take a deep breath, put all of the day’s worries aside and greet him or her like you are overjoyed to make their acquaintance (even if you’re not). Smile, get down on their level and offer your hand. If they come in for a hug, reciprocate with warmth.

Here are some other pointers on what to do the first day.